Posts Tagged ‘apathy’

Polls Are Not Prophecy…Or Are They?

Yes, this just in. Another poll has been taken by 400+ people. Undecided has been polling in the 20 to 25% range and I think they will be the key to this election. After all a lead in a poll is just that.

If polls are so statistically telling why is it that less than 40% actually vote? Am I supposed to judge whom I vote for based on the opinion of 40% of 400 people when 40% of them will likely go to the ballot box. Hmmm, 64 people out of 600,000+ that typically vote. The most important poll is when the other 99.99% get off their butts and go to the polls. This long running election campaign is proof that ranked ballots or other type of election reform is long overdue. In my opinion ranked ballots (1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice) are the way to go. There is a clearer mandate for the winner. There is no run off election required and the tally would immediately show who the majority doesn’t want to win. I can only dream at this moment, we are stuck with the status quo for now.

As much as the front runners bawk and jockey for position the large number of undecided voters is telling. In my opinion it tells of a public nervous and uneasy with the list of “front runners” shoved in front of them. Is it the quality of their platforms, the substance of their character, the apathy that was broken by a 40 day garbage strike coupled with fear? It may be any number of those or a combination.

It is interesting that all “front runners” platforms present tax increases. Yes, I know that sounds crazy when many are talking about cutting spending but paying essentially the same amount of taxes and receiving less services is also a tax increase. It’s like paying for a large coffee and getting a medium or small one instead. One of the majors is actually saying they will increase taxes at with some exemptions for low income individuals and seniors. As much as people seem to hate it, Torontoians will get only the services they pay for, contract or otherwise.

Frankly I’m distressed that when two of five the “front runners” dropped out of the Mayors race that two or more others were not bumped up from “fringe” status by the major media. After all Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson were not the only ones to put up their $200 fee and vying for the job of Mayor of Toronto. Actually there are 38 candidates to choose from (after Rossi and Thomson dropped out). I would have loved to see coverage of other “fringe” candidates like Himy Syed, Tibor Steinberger , or any of the other 36 people brave enough to put their names on the ballot. Ah, but how many people will just skip over the list of candidates like the Classified Ads.

The reality is that the Mayor of Toronto is but one voice out of 45 (well or only 22 under one candidate’s platform). At the end of the day consensus not conflict will get the city’s work done. That is why if you are truly at a loss as to who should be Mayor you should at least vote for council. We need as many competent people at the table voicing the needs of Toronto’s citizens as possible. To achieve that tall task, we may need more than 4 or every 10 eligible voters going out and voting on October 25th, 2010. Dave Meslin said it well, vote with your heart!

City of Toronto Elections

Just glimpse of the some of 100 debates over this year…
CBC Debates
CP24 Debate
BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Debate

Closing Comments of Habitat for Humanity Debate

The Garbage Blame Game

The stalemate has yet to lift and we are nearly 2 weeks into the garbage strike. Many Canada Day celebrations were cancelled. We were lucky after 1 million people enjoyed the Pride Parade that it had its own private clean up crew to help clean up. We are still on the hook for the garbage we create during the strike that’s for sure.

I find it amazing that there has been little talk of conservation or limiting of our garbage. People want to continue business as usual and expect different results despite the lack of garbage service. In this “economic environment” it shouldn’t be difficult to cut out on take out or drive thru restaurants. Waste less and you’ll have more money in your pocket and less garbage to throw out.

Toronto’s efforts to reduce garbage going to landfill by 70% are valiant. Many municipalities have bragged of diversion rates of 60% over the last 5 years so this is not an unattainable goal. Mayor Miller has been reluctant to implement incineration and has focused more on reduction and recycling in an effort to limit garbage going to Michigan.

In this aim to reduce landfill Toronto has implemented a Green Bin program less strict than several Municipalities hoping for higher compliance rates. Toronto allows green waste to be placed in plastic bags, “disposable” diapers, and pet waste like kitty litter. This makes it harder to sort and turn our green waste into compost though. Shortcuts revealed by a Toronto Star shows that our service providers are skimping on their implementation of Toronto’s plan with much of the green waste still ending up in landfill or incinerated. As noted in today’s follow up article, city councillors are right to call for an audit of the services Toronto is paying for. If the city is paying a company to safely and efficiently deal with our garbage and green waste it should be accountable for it. The Ministry regulates these service providers and should wield a heavier hand.

At the end of the day it’s our tax dollars and our garbage. Reducing the amount of taxes need to clean up the mess and reducing the pile of waste starts at home not in Ottawa, Queen’s Park, or Mayor Miller’s office.

Hard Times, Cold Stares and Frozen Zombies

A would be bike thief strolls casually Sunday afternoon along College & Beverly wielding a handsome hacksaw and a brown windbreaker and yellow shirt.

A would be bike thief strolls casually at about 6pm Sunday at College & Beverley wielding a handsome hacksaw and a brown windbreaker and yellow shirt.

Yes, the recession is hitting hard. Bad news is abounds but Spring has finally sprung. I’ve been trying to enjoy the extra hours of daylight and walking whenever possible. Cabin fever no more!

Still the winter chill and ominous market conditions have frozen hearts. I was in disbelief yesterday night on my stroll along College. I heard an odd sound and noticed a man wielding a huge hacksaw and making his way through a big U-lock. Umm, I’m I the only one noticing that someone is trying to liberate what looks to be a nice mountain bike from in front of U of T?

No… but no one cares. Not the people coming off the street car, the woman walking her dog. Weird. I didn’t have my SLR with me but I decided to “spook” the perpetrator by taking his picture (with my crappy cell phone). It worked the dude moved on an scurried up the street. Yeah, one less bike in Toronto stolen. The funny thing was that when I started heading South the local thief had doubled back. The guy was off to find his next bike and was again walking in front of me on the other side of the street. As before the dude paused and was about to try his luck on another bike. I lingered a bit and then took my own detour after he moved on from victim two. I didn’t want to be hacksaw victim three so I did some scurrying myself.

Not only amazed that people are “forced” to steal but how many people didn’t care to report or discourage the would be thief. These are hard times and now more than ever we need a cure for apathy. Well, if you parked your bike on the North side of College East of the Second Cup your U-Lock lasted long enough for one person to care that your bike wasn’t stolen.

Candidate Drops Out of Toronto Centre Race

The riding of Toronto Centre has been a turbulent one for the Conservatives. Mark Warner, an international trade lawyer, was rejected by the party as a candidate in 2007. Over the objections of the Toronto Centre riding association, Mr. Warner was removed by the Party’s National Campaign Manager, Doug Finley and Don Plett president of National Council of the Conservative Party. It appears that Mr. Warner’s support of local issues and those important to his constituients like education, affordable housing and HIV/AIDS issues were “off message”. Warner’s bid to fight for Bill Graham’s old seat came to a halt and Bob Rae easily won it.

Fast forward to today, Chris Reid was to be the Conservative party’s candidate in Toronto Centre, but has “voluntarily dropped out” of the election race today. Yesterday’s comments by a Liberal blog, BIGCITYLIB, could not have helped Chris Reid’s chances either way. BigCityLib pointed to Reid’s posts on “Political Thoughts From A Gay Conservative”. Reid criticized the passengers and bus driver of the Greyhound bus tragedy and Reid’s “answer” for their “inaction” was no handguns aboard. What?! Forget for a minute the bravery of those aboard that helped evacuate and then held the killer trapped inside the bus. How dangerous would a bus trip be if everyone had weapons? For Reid to say

“we need concealed-carry handgun legislation in this country, so we can defend one another and deter horrible events such as this” – from Chris Reid’s “Political Thoughts From A Gay Conservative” blog

is just plain ridiculous. Reid’s controversial blog is no longer available (but can be read in cache – the internet tends not to forget…)

Chris Reid - Conservative Blog

Chris Reid - Conservative Blog

The Conservatives have reacted quickly, as they have with apologies to Jim Davis, related to jokes made by Gerry Ritz while working on the listeriosis crisis file, and to aboriginal peoples following comments to members of their community. So Chris Reid has been replaced, the new Conservative Candidate in Toronto is David Gentili. Gentili is reported to have worked recently in PM Harper’s office.

In Toronto Centre Riding your list of candidates (for NOW…)

Johan Boyden (Communist Party of Canada)
Philip Fernandez (Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada)
David Gentili (Conservative Party of Canada)
Ellen Michelson (Green Party of Canada)
Bob Rae (Liberal Party of Canada)
Liz White (Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada)

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