October 8, 2010

Will Municipal Incumbents Be Punished by Federal Largesse?

By admin

I’ve been running through some thoughts lately as I see the circus-like scenarios materialize with cities like Toronto and London as the municipal election approaches in Ontario.

In many cases, it seems like incumbents are going to pay the cost of the ‘Canadian Economic Action Plan’, particularly any of those that may not have been the most ‘frugal’ with their budgeting over the last four years.

People are making wild promises like no tax increases (to win over the minds of people that don’t want to pay for road closures any more), limited terms (so that they can avoid the repercussions of slashing budgets to make up for the halt on tax increases) and making general statements that they can eliminate largesse all-the-while balancing budgets (ultimately making promises they won’t be able to keep just so they can get into office).

While I’m not a professional politician, I am a voter and I’m calling bullshit on all of it.  They’re lying if they’re saying that they have a vision to invest and make their city better all-the-while slashing the heart out of municipal spending and not raising taxes.

These people are actors, not professionals.  They’re trying to manipulate the rage that individuals feel when they see the complete and utter waste that’s been directed by the federal government with the Action Plan.

They’ll put incumbents on the spot and demand to know what kind of investments were made in their area during the past four years.  The answer will be nothing but a bunch of shitty roads that will fall apart in five years.  We don’t have the vision and we weren’t given the flexibility to do anything otherwise.

This is the unfortunate reality of the situation.  The incumbents aren’t offering much to voters.  Where are the hospitals or new schools?  No budget.  Where are the investments in new digital infrastructure?  Not on the plan.  We need manufacturing jobs today not knowledge jobs tomorrow!

As you can tell, I’m conflicted with the situation and I’m expecting that a lot of cities will pay a hefty price for the Action Plan, mainly in terms of ideological shift.

The ‘old boys’ will be back in town and Canada will take a shift to the right that will punish us all.

Progressive voices need to start shouting and not whispering if we’re going to survive these local elections.