Up this week: George Babula and the Parkdale Party.
Now before you go getting all huffy and start yelling that there can’t be a Party because parties aren’t allowed to overtly participate in municipal politics, the Parkdale Party isn’t a Party party but a party!, as explained to me by spokesman Walter Widla. When the members of the Parkdale Party get together, it’s always a party!
Who are these members of the Parkdale Party including their mayoral candidate George Babula? According to their website, this is “a group of individuals who grew up during the period of time when Toronto was a wonderful place to call home. Doors were not locked through the day and kids played outside until the street lights came on.” It was the halcyon days of the 60s and 70s “and Parkdale was just like most other neighbourhoods throughout the city” where “…immigrants or children of immigrants…” could “…work their way to prosperity and a good life for their family.” The Parkdale Party would endeavour to restore this sense of a secure and prosperous city so that new immigrants are given that exact same opportunity “to find a good quality of life.”
How would this be done? First and foremost, trust must be reestablished between City Hall and the taxpayers. This trust has been eroded because too much is being done behind closed doors. Taxpayers are no longer able to see why and how their taxes are being spent and therefore resent forking over their hard earned money. Mr. Babula vows to swing the doors wide open if elected, shining a light on the inner workings of every department, council meeting and even union negotiations for all to see. That way, the public will give informed and ungrudging consent for their money to be spent.
Such transparency will also lead to much cost savings as it will force efficiencies on departments under the ever vigilant scrutiny of the public eye. Like many of the candidates running for mayor in 2010, Mr. Babula believes the city has more than enough revenue coming in to meet its expenditures. All that is really needed to restore a sense of fiscal sanity is accountability, transparency and trust.
Nice sentiments but as regular readers of these pages will know by now, we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke believe that our city’s money woes are a little more complicated than that. It is disconcerting to see that many of the candidates running for mayor, from the frontrunners to those operating out of the spotlight like George Babula and the Parkdale Party, have internalized the idea that we are the sole authors of our money misfortunes and all that is needed to turn things around is discipline and purity of purpose. There are bigger, more pitched battles to be fought in order to regain some sense of sure-footing on Toronto’s part.
Detail disagreements aside, Mr. Babula and his team seem committed to making the city a better place to live. Their platform is much more in depth than anything front runners like Smitherman and Rossi have put forth so far. When asked our lame ass question we’re putting to all the mayoral candidates, “If the present mayor would like his legacy to be that of the Transit Mayor, how would a Mayor Babula like to see his legacy written?”, their response was: “The Mayor who re-built the Trust Bridge between Toronto’s citizens and City Hall“. It reveals something that should be as important as tactical prowess or media savvy in a political candidate: heart. Corny? Sure. But in a campaign for public office, a little compassion and empathy beats divisive calculation hands down.
– dutifully submitted by Cityslikr