Does Nanaimo Need a Mayor?

While Nanaimo’s mayor has said that city hall didn’t order the RCMP to send out closure notices to cannabis dispensaries and compassion clubs, the city has no plans to ask the police to cease and desist.

“Here we’re a funding agency for the RCMP and I don’t believe it’s our job to interfere with their activities,” said mayor ,. “We could certainly voice our opinions but will it have an influence on them? I don’t believe that it should.”

Of course, that makes sense.

It really does.

We don’t need, nor want, politicians dictating policy to the police.

Sure, it’d be nice if the mayor stood up for the entrepreneurs in his town, if he could meet with the police and try to reason with them.

But the last thing this country needs is more political power, especially local politicians working exclusively with the federal government’s monopoly-police force.

And the police know this.

When the Vancouver Police Department was accused of playing politics with the law over Vancouver‘s cannabis dispensaries, the police defended their actions by telling the Police Board:

“Further, contrary to a misapprehension held by many, municipal police departments neither report to the municipality’s city manager nor are they accountable to its Council. Municipal police departments in BC are products of the Police Act and are governed and accountable to civilian police boards. Among other duties, the Police Board exists to “act as a buffer to ensure that the police are not subject to political interference.” The municipality’s duty is to provide adequate funding, not direct police operations, although ideally there is a collaborative relationship with senior municipal staff.”

There are better “buffers to ensure that the police are not subject to political interference.” In my last two pieces I demonstrated why it’s preferable (if one’s goal is to maintain peace and order) that police services should exist in a competitive market with voluntary exchange and contractual obligations.

As opposed to paying mandatory taxes to the city council that acts as a “funding agency” for the police but with no ability to “interfere with their activities” even when those activities are clearly violating the peace and order of the community.

The traditional course of action has been to complain to the civilian police board.

But if I have a problem with a local grocery store, I don’t take it up with some grocery board. I shop at a competitor. And, surely, food must be more important than policing. If we can trust food to a matrix of voluntary association and competition, then why not policing services?

Because of the guns?

If guns are so dangerous (more dangerous than cars, evidently, maybe even more dangerous than marijuana!), then what rationale is there behind allocating these services to a politically-funded monopoly?

Since the ability to withdraw payment would correct the police accounting problem, and competition would diminish corruption and enforcement of victimless crimes, the question then becomes, do we really need a mayor?

Does Nanaimo (or any other city) really need that “funding agency” that has no say over which laws are prioritized?

It’s as if I was forced to pay taxes to the city bureaucracy for my groceries, and once a week they delivered a box of food.

“Hey wait, I don’t like raisins.”

“Well,” the mayor would tell me, “we’re a funding agency for the grocery-monopoly and I don’t believe it’s our job to interfere with their activities.”

“But, I’d rather have grapes. I don’t want to pay for raisins. Can’t you do something?”

“I don’t believe that we should.”