Monday, July 12, 2010

Politics 101: Always assume the microphone is on!

Psst, Psst, Mr. Mayor the microphone is still on!

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has just learned one of the most important rules of politics, always, always, always make sure that you know that the microphone is off. Mayor Robertson, apparently not impressed with a local resident's group petition to council over development issues, laughed derisively and dropped a few F bombs and other salutations to his fellow council members, unaware that while he was dissing his constituents, the tapes were uh, rolling!!

The controversial commentary came after a presentation of a number of members of the West End Neighbours Association, who had, as is their democratic right, spoken out in council chambers over some pending changes to the city's guidelines on rentals in their community.

The Mayor's commentary came after he called a recess from proceedings, and with the applicable warnings to all that computers and other machinery should be turned off, an apparent common edict that seemingly was followed to the letter... until someone flicked the wrong switch and an audio feed jumped to life.

The West End Residents who we imagine were anxious to see how their presentation to council went, were rather surprised to find that a short bit of time following the recess they were suddenly the subject of the Mayor's disdain, and were quick to post the apparent thoughts of their civic leaders making use of the Internet (oops, some councillors we hear don't like that place, now we know why) to post the unflattering comments for all in Vancouver and beyond to enjoy.

And it's a good thing that someone did, since we otherwise never would know how our elected officials really feel about those inconvenient electors, as you seen the City of Vancouver removed the extra curricular commentary from its own official version of the days events.

Having found himself on prime time across the digital universe, the Mayor has since offered up his apologies for his use of the colourful language but we wonder if he still thinks his fellow Vancouverites are on the right track in their pursuit of accountability and transparency of their council.

The latest events from Vancouver's civic leadership certainly don't help to dispel the reviews of arrogance as outlined on the community politics blog/website (for those that read such things), which has chronicled a number of citizen complaints about civic arrogance of late.

The full exchange is posted below, though we must admit some sympathy with our elected overlords, as some of the preamble before the entertaining stuff is certainly of the pedestrian and boring. Still for context one should watch the clip in its entirety, however for those with time constraints, the F bombs and much more begin at the 2:05 point.

For our convenience in case we miss some of the extra curricular thoughts of how some politicians may really think about us in those infamous in camera sessions, subtitles are provided.

Needless to say with the normal routine of yet another tedious council meeting suddenly veering off the rails, the media ( both the ole traditional print  and electronic providers, as well as those evildoers in the blogosphere) have been quick to catalogue the events that have fallen into their lap.

Globe and Mail-- Vancouver mayor caught in Gordon Brown moment
Vancouver Sun-- Microphone on as Gregor Robertson swears over speakers after meeting Vancouver mayor apologizes for F-bomb Mayor sorry for swearing, criticizing speakers at meeting 
CKNW--Mayor apologizes for insulting remarks Vision Vancouver arrogance exposed in offguard moment

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