News reaches us, via TheStar.com, of unfortunate behaviour by allies of the Mayor of T0r0nto in the face of independent criticism of the mayor’s activities.
This story not only reinforces the central importance of robust scrutiny of the Mayoralty but also highlights the limits on power. It suggests the existence of a very unhealthy political culture.
There are important governance lessons to learn from this type of case.
Councillor Richard Kemp has recently blogged on his concerns that the governance of Liverpool has deteriorated since the move to an Elected Mayor. The post is entitled: Is Liverpool becoming a banana republic?
His post reinforces the importance of thinking about the Mayoral model not simply in terms of role of the Elected Mayor but in terms of the whole complex of institutions in which the Mayor is embedded, and with which the Mayor has to operate. Weak institutions – lacking strong checks and balances – open the way for Mayors to operate in an unaccountable and non-transparent manner.