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Public School Boards
Party Politics


Theoretically, school boards don't have party politics. They use a consensus decision-making model. I personally would like all legislative bodies to operate with a consensus model. 

However, all trustees function within a particular political values system. I think it is important for voters to know who they are voting for.

If I am to ask for transparency, I have to provide it and model it. Here is a history of my political values.

I once wanted to vote for the Progressive Conservatives. I was 13 and could not vote. I do think 16 year-olds should vote as they are studying civics in high school and it would set a pattern of voting (ie engagement) that could last for a lifetime. The first election I was permitted to vote was the 1988 federal election.

In my lifetime, I have voted for the Ontario Liberal Party, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Ontario NDP Party, the Manitoba NDP Party, the Manitoba Green Party and the Green Party of Canada.

Like many other Canadians, my voting behaviour is constrained by the First-Past-The-Post system and I tend to vote strategically. I have typically (but not always) voted Liberal federally and NDP provincially. I do believe in democratic reform. I favour a proportional representation, quick-runoff ballot process.

I voted against the Charlottetown Accord. There have been times in my life when I didn't or couldn't vote. I've missed provincial and federal elections because I was living in Japan. I was also living in Japan during the Second Québec Referendum in 1995.

I have had one unfortunate instance when I was denied the vote. I had moved from living in downtown Winnipeg to the  Westwood neighbourhood just before the 2010 Manitoba municipal elections. I had not lived in Westwood for six months and was told I could not vote for my local representative. I was told (late on election night) that I could vote for people where I didn't live anymore.

Especially because school trustees are muzzled in what they can say publicly and recorded votes are a rarity, I would encourage voters to ask prospective candidates about their political voting history.

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