Does The Chamber Of Commerce Matter
I just cannot take the Chamber of Commerce "2010 Municipal Election -Membership Survey" seriously considering that it was closed for responses before a major civic event took place in Windsor! That troubles me.
In fact, the Membership Survey should be a cause of a great deal of concern to many.
Oh no, not to any of the candidates because the Survey is basically useless but to the Chamber itself because the message delivered is that its own membership does not care about it!
Just so everyone knows and so that I do not get into trouble with respect to "Copyright matters," I will be quoting excerpts from their survey in this article as "fair dealing." OK, OK, I am sensitive about this stuff.
If I was a Chamber Board Member, I would find one of the slides very disturbing. It is the Methodology one in which the following information is provided:
"•Survey was conducted from July 22, 2010 until August 16, 2010
•The Chamber asked all of its members to respond to 12 questions
•The Chamber received approximately 250 responses. The response rate of 20% is statistically significant."
Can you believe it, the survey was out for about a month and 80% of the membership ignored it. Not only is it "statistically significant," but it should be significant to the Chamber that most of its Members did not participate at all in a matter it felt was so vital to the Organization.
Again, if I was a Board Member, I would start asking questions about why the membership considers the Chamber almost irrelevant. If I was a Member, I might ask if I still should be one.
Who will take the Chamber seriously now if they only speak for 20% of its members! The Voice of Business…..hmmmmmmmm.
Dealing with the survey, obviously, the key question is whether businesses feel better today than they did a couple of years ago. And yet, 60% of the respondents did not find it better.
That is a very telling result since two years ago we were just entering what was probably our most dangerous economic situation since the Great Depression. Today, two years later, after an injection of billions of dollars into the economy by the Governments and the saving of the automobile industry for this region in particular, one would have expected a much more optimistic response. Yet we do not have one.
Clearly, the question is extremely political. Why was the period of "two years" picked rather than "seven years" or even "four years" considering that questions were asked about this Council. Why even the Bridge Company traffic has picked up since the near-collapse of the automobile industry as the DRIC-ites keep telling us but it is far below the volumes just before the collapse.
I would have thought that the answer is obvious. We are better off than we were two years ago. However, I would wager that very few people would say that they are better off than they were seven years ago when hope was so high when Edgar (aka Eddie) was first elected. Even four years ago, we were not in the depths of the economic disaster and there was still some chance that we could be saved by the start of the DRIC Project which would have created thousands of jobs for this region and would have forced us to look at economic diversification.
Yes I know that the survey asked about the respondent’s own Council but we were not given a breakdown of the demographics of the respondents. There should be more City respondents than County but given the answers to some of the questions, I wonder if that is true.
What a black mark against our Municipal Governments when about half of the businesses are not sure that what they are doing economically is on the "right track." If our businesses are not certain, then what would the outside investors think if they are offered the choice to come to this region or to go somewhere else?
Only 2% think that all of the Council members should be re-elected. It is unfortunate that the survey did not break it down into the Mayor and Council. 59% believe that the Majority of Council should be sent back with 39% not being so generous.
Again, it is hardly a ringing endorsement. I wonder if there were many County respondents so that the numbers were biased in the approval direction since I must admit that I do not hear the negativity about local County governments as I do about Windsor.
Considering the high number of people who claim that they always or usually vote in elections compared with the actual number people who vote in municipal elections, obviously, the respondents have an interest in politics.
One last thought. What was the date that the survey was called off: August 16. What date did Rick Limoges file his papers confirming that he was running for Mayor: August 20.
Short URL: http://www.windsorsquare.ca/?p=4560