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市政选举本不是党派之争,但这已经成为过去!
No bipartisan in municipal elections? Not any more!


 
理论上说,市议会里的议员是“不分党派”的。但这种理论已经不成立了!它正逐渐变成另一个“虚构的神话”。 “不分党派”的定义是:政策不同的两个政党达成协议或合作。换句话说,市议会议员们的决定不应该基于自己属于哪个政党。

Municipal councils are supposedly “Bipartisan”. This statement is no longer valid! It is slowly turning into yet another “Urban Myth”. Bipartisan is defined as : of or involving the agreement or cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other's policies. In other words, decisions made by municipal council members should not be based on political party affiliations of its members.
 
在过去二十年中,市级政客成为培养省级和联邦政客的土壤。双方对这种结合情投意合:市议员希望往上爬,成为省或联邦议员,政党则期望吸纳有名望的市级政客作为省/联邦大选的候选人,将市级政客的声望转换成选票。

Over the last two decades, municipal councils turned into fertile cultivation grounds for rearing provincial and federal candidates. This is the marriage of convenience for both parties – municipal politicians who want to further their careers and graduate into the next levels of government and parties who want to secure politicians as candidates with name recognition by the public that will translate into guaranteed votes.

 
结果是,只要有机会,市级政客们就会抓住一切机会攻击与自己不属同一政党的省级或联邦政党的政策。这也意味着他们必须经常为省或联邦政党站台。这些行动是为了表达自己对所属政党的忠诚,并准备爬上省或联邦的席位打基础。

The result? Municipal politicians will take every chance to attack the policies of other political parties at the provincial or federal levels whenever an issue lends itself to the opportunity. It also means that they have to promote or praise the policies of their affiliated party when the occasions arise. These actions are executed to express loyalty to their own political party and to impress the party to grant them preferential selection when ready to advance to the next levels of government.
 
正因如此,选民们渐渐地就搞不清市和省之间的政治界限,甚至在某些情况下把市级政治与联邦政治混为一谈。如果我们想知道为何会发生这种事,你只要看看选民们对政治的城府有多深。很多选民搞不清楚联邦,省和市都分管哪些事。

Mostly because of these actions above, the voters slowly get confused between municipal and provincial politics – even federal politics on some occasions. If we want to look at why this is happening, we have to examine the voters' depth of political knowledge, or lack thereof.  Very few can distinguish Federal, Provincial, and Municipal jurisdictions on particular issues.

今年,很多帮助市级政客拉票的义工们告诉我,他们在拉票中遇到许多奇怪的事。来自中国的移民会当面问他们候选人的政治背景。他们会说,由于省保守党的政策和前省自由党将安省财政搞了个窟窿,他们的市政选票只会投给保守党候选人。

Many election campaign volunteers talk to me about their unusual encounters with residents this year. Chinese residents openly asked about the political affiliations of the candidates. They will say that their votes are going to the PC party candidates only and will actively support the candidate due to the provincial PC party's policies and the poor management of finances by the previous Liberal party.

对他们来说,省选举还在继续,今年市政选举是左翼和右翼两党之间的较量。当一位万锦市市长候选人打标语攻击现任市长时,这一问题变得更加突出。此候选人的标语是:“让另一位自由派(市长)回老家,投(我)一票 – 我是保守派!”。显然,这使得市政选举中的政党竞争的暗流从私下变为公开。

To them, the provincial election has not ended and this municipal election is now a contest between the two parties on the left and right side of the political spectrum. It did not help when one Markham Mayoral candidate took on a slogan to direct at Markham's incumbent mayor - “get rid of another Liberal (the mayor), elect (me) – a Conservative!”. This brings the undercurrent of political party contests in municipal elections into the open.

 
今年的市政选举中,市级政客得到升级政客公开支持的人数有所增加。以前,大家都信守省级政客不参乎市级选举。现在,这一不成文的规矩已经过时了。

In the current municipal elections, the involvement of the number of provincial politicians granting endorsements to municipal candidates increased. Previously, there were traditional and unofficial understanding of non-involvement from provincial politicians in municipal elections. Now, the door is swung wide open.

历史上,市级政客在自己的政党属性方面非常低调。他们只在参与省级或联邦选举时才暴露自己的政党属性。如今,选民想更加了解候选人,而不仅仅是现任市级政客。他们会去社交媒体查看这些候选人都参加哪些活动,以确认他们属于哪个党派。对于市级政客来说,想隐瞒自己党派属性的日子已经结束。

In the past, municipal politicians are very low key when it comes to their political party affiliations. They are only exposed when they declared their nomination for candidacy in provincial or federal elections. These days, the voters are leaning towards finding out about the candidates and not just incumbents. They go to social media and check out the pictures of these candidates attending party events to quickly identify the party they belong to. For municipal politicians, the days of hiding their party affiliations are over.

 
市级政客对党的忠诚也可能突然改变。为了进一步发展他们的政治职业生涯,许多政客会在政党之间跳槽,尤其是自己效忠的政党能否上台不知道要等到猴年马月。当然,这种情况只会发生在拥有很多选民爱戴的“明星”候选人身上 - 通常都是族裔选民聚集的选区。

Loyal commitment to a party can also changed abruptly. In order to further their careers, many politicians will select to switch political party rather than wait for the party's fortunes to turn around in future elections. Of course, this can only happen to “star” candidates with plenty of supporting voters – typically a heritage politician within an enclave of ethnic supporters.

随着人口膨胀加速,加拿大的政治格局在过去几十年中变化很大。许多当选的市级政客在政策上首先考虑的是政党利益,结果造成许多选民的利益被忽视。我们需要改变这种情形,以保持三级政府的完整性和独立性,这不仅只限制在大选期间。但由于存在如此大的利害关系,我无法看到在现行体制下受益的人会在不久的将来改变这种现状。

The Canadian political landscape has undergone metamorphic changes over the last decades as its demographics evolved at a rapid pace. Many elected municipal politicians are only actively serving a fraction of their constituents with policies of their affiliated party in mind. Adjustments need to be made to preserve the integrity and non-interfering tradition of the three major levels of government not only at election times. But with so much at stake, l cannot see those benefiting under the current system will make any efforts to change it in the near future. 

 
 

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