The Real Agenda Debate

The boys of summer are gone replaced by men of fall (no offense, Ms. Thomson), all in their resplendent autumnal colours and nary a pair of white slacks between them. From the starter’s tower, the white flag has been waved signaling the commencement of the final lap. (If you thought it meant surrender, you’re not a Rob Ford supporter.) Months and months of mindless posturing and can kicking now gives way to grave seriousness and weighty deliberation.

And nothing says ‘weighty deliberation’ more than a mayoral debate on TVO hosted by respected journo, Steve Paikin. He’ll civilize the proceedings, quiet the roar to a more pleasing, easy to follow decibel. There’ll be no grandstanding under Steve Paikin’s watch. The candidates won’t be able to slime their way out of the tight corners Steve Paikin will put them in. This one’s going to be different. Steve Paikin will finally shed the light of truth and reason on the race and we’ll all be the better for it.

Did he?

Well, yes and no. The sound level on yesterday’s debate was noticeably lower than previous televised debates but, then again, isn’t everything more quiet on TVO? They don’t have the money to buy one of them kick-ass volume goes to 11 amps. It certainly felt more dignified, less shouty and aggressively confrontational. Steve Paikin held much tighter onto the reigns, never letting things veer too out of control. Steve Paikin was insistent without being obnoxious. A one hour debate moderated by Steve Paikin brought much more clarity than any two hour debate we’ve witnessed so far.

And just what was that clarity, you ask?

Well, it become glaringly apparent that, barring some minor miracle, some Hail Mary pass being tossed up and caught, Toronto will be led by someone intent on cutting it down to size. Our next mayor is going to want to see blood on the floor and guts exposed. The terms of the debate are now set in stone. It’s no longer if the city has a spending problem but what to do about the spending problem.

Rob Ford is already the winner of this election even if he doesn’t become mayor on October 25th. His endless braying chant of Toronto not having a revenue problem but a spending problem has been whole-heartedly picked up by Mssrs. Smitherman and Rossi and Ms. Thomson and embraced, leaving any other opinion or view on the matter simply peep, peep, peeping quietly and ineffectively out of the mouth of Joe Pantalone. I know conventional wisdom has it that Councillor Pantalone is simply not a good campaigner but the malaise goes deeper than that. His refusal to embrace the last 7 years, both the good and bad, has put him purely on the defensive, reactive not proactive.

So he’s ceded the battleground to the interloping tax-and-spend choppers, the self-proclaimed white knights with a thirst for government blood. Major surgery will be needed, folks, to cure the ailing patient. But don’t worry. It won’t hurt a bit. At least not for you, what with that protective coating of tax cuts. You’ll be fine. You’ll barely even notice the freezing/cutting spending at City Hall because, seriously, what have they been doing for you over the past 7 years? What with all that retirement partying and sole sourcing and gravy train gulping they’ve been doing…

The table is now set. It’s only a matter of what and how much to axe, what to sell off and who and how much to outsource. The last remaining vestige of liberal impulse in any of the front runners (sorry Joe, you’re not really a front runner) was tossed out by George Smitherman yesterday when he said, cryptically, “There will be less Copenhagen, more Scarborough.” As if Toronto’s problems can be traced back to being too Copenhagen-ish. Clearly, Smitherman’s now speaking code to conservative voters, assuring them once he’s mayor there’ll be no more of that smarty-pants, European, environmental, bike riding going on under his watch. Strip malls for everyone!

Enough Of The Downtown Shenanigans®©™ has become the framework of our mayoral campaign. It’s time to get back down to basics; the basics of low taxes and government spending on only the essentials. And then what?

This is where future debates have to take us. We now know what any one of Ford, Smitherman, Rossi and Thomson will do if they are elected. It’s only a difference of degree between them. What we need to discover is once they’ve restored our fiscal house to order, what kind of city will Toronto look like. They are all harkening back to a former time of Toronto greatness which they vow to restore. When was that exactly? The good ol’ days of… ? Mel Lastman? Art Eggleton? David Crombie? Nathan Phillips? William Lyon Mackenzie?

Because if things are as bad as everyone’s assuring us they are, and can only be fixed by returning to a magical, mystical place in the past, just when was that exactly? That’s what I want to start hearing from our mayoral candidates. Paint us a picture of the Toronto we’ll be living in when your job as mayor is done here. A time, like that one in the past you keep referring to, when there were no problems to solve and seldom was heard a discouraging word.

inquiring mindedly submitted by Cityslikr

9 Responses to The Real Agenda Debate

  1. Walt says:

    Just have to chime in on this one. Now that the positions of the Big 5 have been somewhat clarified there is no doubt that our man George Babula is exactly what this city needs. Slashing and burning will create hostilities like we have never seen and has the potential to bring the city to a standstill. Babula is a left of center pragmatist who knows how to deal with the people who provide our services by engaging them in the solution process as opposed to sending them to the gallows.
    Now, just to take a bit of the edge off the recent activities our George has just released his video titled “The Mayor’s Word” which can be viewed from our home page at http://www.parkdaleparty.com. Under the guidance of George Babula it will be OK to smile and joke again.

  2. Sonny Yeung says:

    I made some comments about the Asians among other topics…
    I was invited to live blogged twice yesterday at
    http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=3&action=blog&subaction=viewPost&post_id=13364

  3. Sonny Yeung says:

    Have you seen a diverse group of people working on the Ford campaign?
    I think you would have to listen to the complete audio of Ford when he said that they were “slowly taking over and that they sleep beside their machines” rather than computers?!(smile) P.S. I’m Chinese

  4. Peter MacQuarie says:

    “So why is bad to say someone is Oriental, but its OK to have a mall called the Oriental Center in Scarborough?”

    I hope Sonny gives us an answer, especially since he is Chinese.

    BTW, is Sonny suggesting that we should vote based on the diversity of volunteers in a campaign and ignore all else? What’s he trying to say, that Chinese won’t work for Ford?

  5. Sonny Yeung says:

    Dear ignorant white guy; this Chinese guy answer is that the name is what it is. I believe the “Oriental Centre in Scarborough” is on Sheppard near Brimley so that hillbillies could know what the chinese characters meant. There was a hooha about signs a while back. Had they physically gone into the business they would find that it was a store, restaurant, retail of some sort etc.

    • Peter MacQuarie says:

      I’m assuming Sonny is referring to me with his salutation, “ignorant white guy”. Where did that come from? Why so confrontational? I think the question is valid and Sonny is surely qualified to answer it.

      I can claim to be a hillbilly, not that I feel the need to, but surely there’s a whole lot more people than them who don’t read Chinese?

      Is Sonny a candidate in the upcoming Municipal Election?

  6. Sonny Yeung says:

    Ne Hao! Perhaps, I could be writing it for the every day average white guy. You are white? Aren’t you? I was thinking that Terry Jones is ticking off brown people and some white people…
    The man who used “Oriental”, I suppose meant those with black hair and brown eyes. Statistically, those of “Asian” descent make up over 30% of Toronto’s population when you include those of mixed and multiple origins. Didn’t see many Orientals pull sleds like dogs or do the work that Michael Vick had to electricute some…
    I am that I am, which is CanAsian

  7. Peter MacQuarie says:

    The colour of one’s skin seems to be very important to you. I prefer to not be swayed by a person’s skin colour, religion, sexual preference. Who is Terry Jones?

    Why not answer the question?

    “So why is bad to say someone is Oriental, but its OK to have a mall called the Oriental Center in Scarborough?”

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