Consistently split votes on key council decisions can leave the ‘losing’ councillors feeling powerless and alienated.
An inner urban council has seven councillors. Four are pro-development and three are pro-environment. All major decisions are made on a 4:3 vote reflecting these divisions. The environmentalists feel like they have no power and have started to become publicly critical of the council’s processes and decisions. As a result council’s reputation is suffering.
When there’s a pattern of split or close votes on key issues, the councillors on the ‘losing’ side start to feel alienated and powerless. It can be very frustrating for councillors if they believe their opinions have not being taken into consideration in the decision-making process. It can also mean that diversity of community views are not being fully represented by council. Decision making simply becomes a numbers game which is not good for the municipality in the long run.