They say that if you can’t beat them, join them. And so Belleville’s Good Government Party is disbanding after years of controlling City Hall in the wake of independent candidates winning multiple seats in the past few elections.
Politically it’s probably a smart step for Mayor Mark Eckert and other party members to disassociate themselves with the GGP label. But we hope they understand that being successful at the polls will require more than that. It’s not just the party name but also members’ approach to governing – on public safety, tax increment financing, spending and other issues - that influenced voters.
The former GGP members seem stuck on the idea that the party fell victim to campaigns of misinformation, but voters are not that easily fooled. They voted for different faces and diverse perspectives – things they didn’t feel the Good Government Party members could or would provide.
If former GGP members are going to say they’re independent, they had better mean it. If they become independents in name only, voters will figure it out quickly. And people particularly don’t like politicians who try to dupe them.