When a winning candidate is a loser

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by David Herman

Every candidate for public office should have a statement: “I’m running because…”, that clearly lays out the candidate’s reasons for running. History has proven over and over that this statement is rarely the real reason the candidate is running, so how do we determine what their motivation is.

Four of the reasons for seeking public office are as follows:

Personal reasons: Some candidates run because they feel slighted by their opponent in local government. These candidates usually want to go negative very quickly in their attacks on their opponent, as, in their opinion, the way to correct the wrong they feel they have been dealt is to run for office.

Psychological reasons: Many candidates choose to run to stoke their own ego, to be in the spotlight and have people tell them how great they are. These candidates are running to be something, rather than to do something. A good example of this can be found by looking to the south, where an individual, whose ego is so large that he truly believes that he knows better than anyone else, wants to impose his will on others. I do not think I have to mention any names here.

Opportunistic reasons: Exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances, without reference to a general plan or moral principle. They run for an office they can win, rather than the one they want, in the hope that this will position them to run at a later time for the office they really want.

Altruistic reasons: Based on a desire to genuinely make a difference. Some candidates run because they truly want to change policy or conditions for their constituents. These conditions are few and far between, but I am of a mind that we now have a council of this type. It is a noble calling to make a difference for people, but the system is usually stacked against them. It will not be easy to accomplish most of what you are laying out before you, so it is important to be realistic about your goals.

For the second term in succession, we have had a vacancy on council shortly after the election; but this time, because of the tenacity of a councillor at that time, we had a process to quickly and democratically fill the vacancy. That councillor was, of course, Jim Bertram. Thank you Jim.

How did we get to this place? The press release issued by the Municipality of North Grenville on the afternoon of January 24 stated that Councillor McCormick submitted his resignation effective January 22, citing personal reasons as the motivation behind the decision. Why does a person put themselves out as a candidate, which entails a great investment in time, energy, resources (volunteers, money, literature, signage, etc.) and then resign just as the council is getting set to start making a difference? The election was October 23, 2018. The swearing in of the Mayor and Councillors was December 3. Councillor McCormick was among those taking the oath of office at that time. Now that the council was official, it was time to put together their committees to help run the municipality.

It appears that Councillor McCormick had a strong desire to be the council representative on the Police Services Board. After a long career as a member of the OPP, you can understand he would have a strong interest and feel that he had something to contribute to the Board. But, the rules do not allow a retired officer who has retired less than two years to serve on the PSB. This fact was explained to Councillor McCormick prior to the decision to name the council representative.

It is, I should state, the role of the mayor to make these assignments, after satisfying the due diligence that is incumbent on political appointments. It makes one wonder which of the four reasons for seeking public office was the real reason that Mr. McCormick decided to enter the race in the first place. Was it solely his decision, or were there others that encouraged, and perhaps helped him, in his campaign? We will, I suppose, never know, as Mr. McCormick has stated he has nothing further to add, other than what was in the press release. If I had – and I did not – voted for this candidate, I would feel cheated and owed an explanation for his actions, or lack thereof. His polling was second highest for councillor, at 2,795 behind only Jim McManaman, so almost half of the voters that voted chose him, only to have him pick up his toys and go home before the game had even got under way.

“Personal Reasons” may be a valid reason but, in my opinion, it is a reason that explains anything, and it is usually used when the person doesn’t want to say that he is leaving because of a bruised ego, or other personal reason.

Going back to the start of this piece, maybe we should have some sort of penalty when their “reason for running” is proven to be nowhere near the reality of their performance, but that will add another layer of bureaucracy, and that we do not need.

10 COMMENTS

  1. First of all the sensationalised headline.. Calling someone a loser.. My Blood is boiling… I had the pleasure of meeting Craig during the election, and he is a huge advocate of mental health issues , youth in the community among many other things beside being on the Police Services Board… Why did the paper even support this headline ?.. Shame on you David Shanahan,,, We are suppose to be against bullying not promoting it.. And as for the reporter, put your neck in the ring and run, maybe you will learn politics is far more complex than your simplistic take on it. It is obvious you did not vote for this candidate, as stated in your article, but just because you didn’t doesn’t mean that you should abuse your position as a reporter to justify why.

    Edit or delete this

  2. I realize that the person writing this is most likely not an employee of The Times, and is an opinion piece, but surely the paper should be held accountable when printing such an appalling headline. For Mr. Herman to call someone a loser is shameful, for the times to print such a “Trumpism” is doubly so. As for the reason Mr McCormick left, like most of us, I have some guesses as to why he made this decision. but they are just that, guesses. I would never pretend to know. What is Mr Herman intimating with the statement “Was it solely his decision, or were there others that encouraged, and perhaps helped him, in his campaign” All candidates are encouraged and helped by volunteer time, campaign donations etc… what is Herman inferring by such a comment?

  3. Once again this “newspaper” as stepped across the line. One has to wonder why Herman has to write to a paper? Is it to stroke his own ego? Show his superiority over us? Who cares what this moron Herman has to say. Since this paper seems to think it is acceptable to slam people in public with pure speculation, it seems acceptable to call Herman a moron.

    Also since this paper’s policy is that we print what peoples opinions are, then in my onion the editor is a goof for printing such a headline. This is supposed to be a newspaper not Facebook. What a complete unprofessional, classless paper.

  4. A very sad day in journalism when we can’t respect someone’s decision due to “personal reasons”. We have no idea, including Mr. Herman, what brought Craig McCormick to his decision and nor should we. He is a good man, still committed to our community. What on earth would prompt The North Grenville Times to stoop to the level of The Enquirer.

  5. This is a garbage piece written for a creditless; tasteless and rediculous publication. Your paper is good for the fireplace; that’s all.

    In a world where we are trying so hard to eliminate evil and harassment; bullying if you will; this is a shameful and deplorable attack. Fake news at its finest.

  6. If your business advertises in this crap “newspaper” run by narcissists, I will be boycotting your products and services. I will encourage others to do the same.

  7. Greetings all. Everyone has a right to their opinion and we open our pages to everyone with a point to make. Whatever the reason for Craig’s retirement from Council (and I voted for him), he did have an obligation, as an elected official, to explain to those who supported him. I might not agree with how various people express themselves in the Times, but is it the general consensus that I should censor them? When and how much? Only when I disagree with them? The Times gave David Herman a platform, as is our mandate, just as we gave it to others to comment on what he said. Even when you don’t use your full names.

    • Mr Shanahan, I don’t disagree with anyone having the right to an opinion., but I do believe that it is not only the papers right, but obligation to refuse to print such a headline that goes far below the belt by calling them a loser. That’s on you

  8. Hi all. I am somewhat surprised that the level of hostility being directed to myself and/or the North Grenville Times as generated by my opinion article in this weeks Times. It appears that the title which was meant to grab attention was not understood. It was not an attack on Mr. McCormick but was my opinion of the process. I was saying that Mr McCormick was a winner which was obvious by the number of votes he had cast for him but that the electorate as a whole was the loser because the people who voted for him essentially lost their vote and they will never know why. That may be OK with some but I feel that if I had voted for him I would feel cheated and owed a proper explanation as he did not, in my opinion, live up to the confidence the electorate placed in him. It is surprising the level of vitriol that exists on the WEB where there is no requirement to give your name or properly identify yourself. I am not reporter for the Times but I would be proud to work for them if the occasion was to arise, but for now, I am a concerned citizen who is lucky enough to live in a community and a country where a person can express their opinion. As someone once said I do not agree with what you say, but, I will defend your right to say it. I am a person who cares about my community and I feel very positive in our future with the Mayor and council we now have. I will continue to contribute to the Times when and where an issue draws me in.

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