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Policy 1: Philosophy of Governance and Leadership

Since policies and priorities may change as new issues arise, a leader's philosophy of governance may be more important than any single issue. Residents should have confidence their Council and Mayor will address future issues in a thoughtful and consistent manner.  Below are guiding principles I use in my approach to Council:

  • I believe facilitation should be a key role of government – maintaining a set of rules that allow individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations the freedom to use their initiative and intelligence to better our society.  For the most part, legislation is a very crude tool, and other avenues of resolution or change (mediation, compromise, leveraging current laws, etc.) should be tried before proposing additional bylaws. Where legislation is required, I strive to ensure it is balanced, clear, and carefully written, as clear policies and regulations allow most decisions to be made efficiently at the staff level.


  • I believe it is the responsibility of each member of Council, including the Mayor, to be prepared for meetings, to contribute meaningfully to debate, to listen with an open mind, to be respectful of the public's time, and to always act in the best interest of the community.

  • I will always be open to new ideas and better ways of moving forward. I have often benefited from other’s knowledge and listen to differing opinions with an open mind.  I try to base my decisions on facts and reason, recognizing that it is in the interest of the community to make timely decisions.


  • I regard municipal infrastructure as analogous to the foundation of a house, to be built with future generations’ needs in mind and lifetime operating costs as our guide.  While the Official Community Plan provides general values, we need strong, detailed and clear policies as well to guide staff and the public.

  • While governments must provide a core social support structure for those in need, community groups such as churches and charitable aid groups are often the most innovative and efficient at delivering such support.  I believe that all levels of government should support and encourage such initiatives.

  • I believe government has a role in supporting heritage, arts and culture. I also recognize that narrowly defining culture is the surest way to ensure its failure: culture is a living embodiment of our collective energy and as such, is constantly changing.  Nevertheless one of our most important responsibilities is the documenting of the past so we may learn from it.

  • I believe in leveraging the expertise of residents through short-term working groups formed to address specific issues. Where practical, I prefer working groups over standing committees as they make the most efficient use of volunteers' time and allow for clear deliverables and timelines.

Kevin Murdoch, Candidate for Oak Bay Mayor

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