So, yesterday I did some quick calculations looking over past council papers to find out how often the Liberal Councillors have actually voted against each other since they got in as a bloc in 2012.
The results were breathtaking and the figures seem to indicate that normal voting practices have veered wildly off track since this group came to power.
Over the 62 meetings since the Libs have come into power, they have all voted exactly the same way on an entire meeting night 51 times (82%).
Compare that to the Independents who have only voted the same way on an entire meeting night 19 times (30%) and this occurs usually in simple, short meetings.
How does that compare with past councils?
Before this Liberal block came to power and our council was constituted along community, not party lines, (in 2011) with Liberal Chris Patterson as mayor, the council only voted the same way at a single meeting five times in a year.
That's 23% of all meetings, which is very close to the way the independents are currently voting.
In short, the distortion is such that it gives the appearance that the Liberals appear to be acting as a bloc to ram through an agenda. They have rolled the rest of the council 23 times on important issues, including when they repeatedly blocked information about why the former GM, Greg Wright, was sacked when the community was desperately trying to find out the reasons for his dismissal. To this day there has been no answer.
As far as I can see, there can only be three reasons why this extraordinarily distorted voting pattern has occurred.
The first is that the Liberals all think so much the same way that they spontaneously agree on nearly everything. If that is the case, I can't imagine how this party groupthink is good for community representation.
The second option is that they have discussed the papers before the meetings and have already decided as a block which way they want to vote. If this is the case, then it is verging on breaking Local Government regulations that call for all decisions to be discussed in public.
The third option is that over three years this incredibly distorted pattern of voting is purely random. The chances of this are, I suspect, microscopically small.
Whatever the case - single-mindedness, plotting or a wildly random chance over three years - the statistics suggest we are seeing a fundamental distortion of the democratic process at council level.
This is not the kind of politics Camden needs or deserves. As a community it is probably time to demand more from our representatives or, as The Daily Telegraph so eloquently put it during the last Federal election when it was talking about the Labor party, kick this mob out."