Who benefits from non-partisanship in local government?

Most news stories that mention municipal partisanship proceed from the assumption that partisanship in local government is an unalloyed evil. As I pointed out in my last blog entry, it is elites, not ordinary voters who benefit from non-partisanship. If the NDP, the Conservatives and the Liberals participate in municipal politics, we should be thanking them for it, not stigmatizing them.

Parties help us to nail down what prospective councillors actually stand for. The most important consequence of municipal non-partisanship is to make it easier for our representatives to conceal what they actually advocate.

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