But if someone deviates from the "Scout" topic and suddenly starts ranting about dislike of an oil company... or starts putting down our oil sands/ethical-oil production.... or throws out an off-hand comment like "lets be more casual and try and drop the para-military look".... statements like that, even if they are the opinion ONLY of the person typing them, might be just enough for the 'drive-by' viewer who might end up thinking we are a bunch of left-wing pea brains or a group of anti-Military hippies.
This is a bit of a straw man argument. Just because someone thinks that people who try to make scouts look "para-military" with the attendant emphasis on regalia are a little self-important and somewhat misplaced in their thoughts on uniforms doesn't automatically make them an "anti-military hippie." Trust me on this one. The average passer-by doesn't take this nearly as seriously as you probably think they do.
Conversations that are too focused will inevitably be less productive than they can be - there is a bias imposed by the restraints. Since scouting is a movement with a strong ethical core, it only makes sense to bring about other factors, such the environment into consideration when discussing sponsorships. How can you tell a kid with a straight face that taking some stick out of a forest as part of a leave no trace lesson that you'll have some detrimental effect on the environment when you're being bankrolled by a terrible polluter with extensive human rights abuses? It's like having Imperial Tobbacco donate sports equipment. Saying "oh that's another topic" is essentially putting a set of blinders on (what social scientists call "cognitive dissonance.") Really, it's very hypocritical. After all, a scout is honest.
As for an open forum - it's important to note that SC is not a paramilitary organisation. It's a volunteer organisation reflecting the values of Canadian society at large. If people don't think that their opinions will be valued, they really won't bother. If SC doesn't want to have some criticism of its policies, than it shouldn't have a facebook page. If you're going to (try to be) trendy and hip by using the internet and social media, then be prepared for differeing opinions and some criticism. After all, you're using the tools that helped take down Mubarak and free Tunisia. Sacre bleu! They don't like the new shirts! Whatever shall we do?
I hardly think that the public will lose faith in SC if some leaders are pointing out that they don't agree with SC policies. I'd like to think that a baseline of disagreement and dissent is healthy, especially if it's a volunteer organisation that's trying to keep up with the times.