Corrosive Politics

John Lorinc drops another great article today about transit planning and election races. As has often been the case recently, gamesmanshipself-interest and narrow political calculation run roughshod over reasoned debate at every governance level involved. There ain’t no good guys in this story except the ones with almost zero chance of winning provincial office this coming Thursday.

Now, I know you’re going to get all up in my face when I quote the following passage from the story but I beg you to bear with me.

The broader point to make here is that Rob Ford’s corrosive influence on all the parties and the state of debate is writ large in this by-election. He’s given too many political people from all three partisan clans permission to be astonishingly dishonest and unprincipled with both the voters and themselves.

No, no. I am not pointing the finger of blame squarely at the mayor on this issue. gasolineonfireHe’s been remarkably consistent with views on public transit in this city. Horribly misinformed and willfully ignorant, but remarkably consistent.

The truly incredible aspect of this is that almost every other politicians of every political stripe allowed him to define the terms of debate, and continue to do so long after it seems simply politically expedient to do so.

The provincial Liberals could’ve stopped this latest debacle in its tracks back in 2010 after the newly elected mayor of Toronto declared Transit City dead. They could’ve stepped up and politely said, nope, sorry. The deal’s been signed and the books are closed on this.

Instead, lagging in the polls and intimidated by the notion of Ford Nation decimating them throughout ridings in Toronto, they shrugged. Whatevs. It’s our money to do whatever you want with.

And even after the Ford Nation wave failed to materialize and the mayor’s hold on whatever1city council has grown increasingly tenuous, his views on a Scarborough subway continue to hold sway. In the provincial by-election campaign. With sitting Scarborough Liberal MPPs. At City Hall.

I’d ask why that is but it’s pretty obvious. Pick a word. Pandering. Calculating. Craven. And put shameless as an adjective in front of them (or use its adverbial variation as needed).

It’s bad enough, the adverse affects this is having on actually trying to get transit — the right kind of transit – built in this city and region. Even more worrisome is how Mayor Ford’s ‘corrosive influence’ has been adopted. Rather than re-examine how he and his team, using catchy slogans, dubious claims and numbers, won the day back in 2010, toxicatmosphere1many of his opponents have embraced those practices for their own purposes and not figured out ways in which to successfully combat them. In the end, it’s nothing more than an endorsement of cynical sloganeering and destructive obfuscation.

Not only does that short-circuit efforts to build transit in this city but it also poisons the entire political atmosphere, turning off public engagement instead of encouraging it.

drippingly submitted by Cityslikr

9 thoughts on “Corrosive Politics

  1. Good article by Lorinc. I am so disappointed in Giambrone. Not only for his forcing his way into Scarborough when Amarjeet Kaur was Chhabra clearly the better choice and now his swift tune change on transit. He of all people. I have no respect for Horwath.

    • You should see Kirupa’s campaign lit which is anti Liberal/NDP and not pro Conservative but SUBWAY. Ford is rallying his nation to help Tuesday at 4pm; campaign office on Kingston Rd.

      These Conservatives are short $1 billion given Ford only wants to raise property taxes 0.25% for 4 years = $40 million and the Feds are non committal but have recently ran a $25.9 Billion DEFICIT

      • Hunter has the “Subway Champion” on her new campaign signs.
        Ford is going to the Argo game tonight. Maybe he could recruit the New QB Collaros for his Office.

        The other TTC is still trying to bring it’s size petition to the OMB!
        After Amalgamation there were 57 councillors and since 2000 is 44. With mostly right of center and a couple of New Democrat on the public teat since 2000.

        Rob Ford, HOLYDAY, Lindsay Luby, MILCZYN, Mammoliti, Augimeri, Nunziata, Di Giorgio, Mihevc, Filion, Shiner, McConnell, Minnan Wong, Kelly, Cho, Moeser

      • Rob Ford in campaigning for Holyday is hurting his “relationship” with the Province. The Liberals still hold 48 seats and we’ll see what happens in the 5 byelections even though it won’t change the balance of power.

  2. But, the folks at AFUITBS told us a while back that Council had taken the transit file away from the mayor? They told us Ford had been rendered impotent by the revolt. Now, he’s credited with setting the agenda on so many levels! Could it be that the folks at AFUITBS are just blowing smoke? Agreed, they hate Ford, and anybody they finger as a Fordite, but do they have anything more than hate in their pipes?

    • Dear Mr. Smyth,

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke… *sigh*

      Is it that you have no reading comprehension or simply choose not to exercise it?

      • Is that all the folks at AFUITBS, and Sol, have to say?

        Of course it is, and they repeat it – often.

        You don’t fall for their shtick, do you?

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