Sunday, October 24, 2010

Away

It's not just a little frustrating to follow the Mayor election in Toronto from far away.

Toronto has become cheap and is becoming obsessed about taxes. Since when don't proud Canadians want to pay their dues and pay taxes. It's not rocket science...if you want wonderful city services and care taken we need to pay taxes. Only rich and upper middle class people bitch about paying taxes and it's so unbecoming.

The rest of us just pay our taxes and we use our parks, and waste management systems and enjoy the way the city feels and works.

I am completely disgusted by Rob Ford's mayor platform. This guy has some of the most backward and ridiculously insulting ideas for Toronto. One of his main platforms is "subways not streetcars" It's spectacular how stupid that slogan is...riding the College Strteet streetcar is one of life's biggest pleasures and it is so comfortable and easy to work your way across the city. The same goes for Queen St, Spadina and St. Clair. These streetcar lines are fantastic!

Smithereen says he's going to freeze property taxes. What is this some kind of monkeycrack statement? Freeze taxes on property? What a dickhead idea. And anyone who owns property and wants their taxes frozen should be ashamed of themselves for not having community oriented morals.

Taxes protect us from crime (do you really want to be mugged...welfare is so much better han being robbed). Taxes provide public benches for visiting each other outside. Taxes provide waste bins so the sidewalks don't get filthy. Taxes fix roads and potholes and bridges. Taxes pay for libraries. And emergency services. And firefighters. And retirement homes. And hospitals.

I'm afraid for Toronto. Ford and Smitereen seem just like that former selfish Mel Lastman. Instead...fingers crossed...

it's not rocket science...

Vote for libraries, EMS, TTC, service workers.

In other words, use your common sense, vote for taxes.

Related Links:

1) Denmark payes some of the highest taxes, believing in welfare.
2) Quality of Life index and Here
3) Small tax increase in Vegas credited with reducing some crime and creating more jobs:Gillespie said his department has added about 585 positions because of a quarter-cent sales tax increase in 2005 that was meant to hire new officers among the county's police departments. Henderson added 117 new positions while North Las Vegas added 73 positions because of the tax. The tax -- actually a half-cent when put before voters -- was split into two parts and Gillespie said he is going to lobby the Legislature next year to implement the second quarter-cent.
4) In Canada, "The municipal level of government is funded largely by property taxes on residential, industrial and commercial properties."
5) "Sweden, Turkey, France and Poland impose the biggest tax burdens on families, but in most of those countries families get added social services, such as secure pensions and health care.

Citizens in these other countries are paying more money, but they are getting more back, in terms of social programs, said Christopher Heady, head of tax policy for the Paris-based think tank Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. Its a choice the electorate makes. "

2 comments:

mister anchovy said...

No doubt, they're a grim bunch. As Utah Phillips said, if god wanted us to vote he would have given us candidates. We're starting to take a good look at the fringe candidates.

I'd like to point out though that I can think of several of life's biggest pleasures that I would rank above riding our streetcars. Our transit system in fact needs a lot of work, a serious influx of cash, some ongoing maintenance, not to mention a dose of thoughtful expansion. A lot of the campaign discussion has been around how to go about that and how to pay for it. Rossi and Thomson presented some ideas about that, but nobody was interested.

Where I live, we are connected to downtown by three transit options. One of them is the streetcar, another is the Go train and the third is the subway, which we can access by connecting from a north/south bus. The streetcar is pleasant enough if you have some time on your hands and want to jostle along reading a good book. If you actually need to get somewhere, though, it's barely worth considering (not bad within the neighbourhood, but not so hot for going across town). The Go train only runs hourly, but it's fast. The bus and subway combo aren't a bad option. Under pressure from commuters a fourth option, an express (extra fare) bus has been put into place for commuters looking for another fairly quick way to get downtown. I'm not sure how well its working.

The reality is that either Ford or Smitherman will get elected Mayor. Mostly people either love Ford or are afraid of what will happen if he gets elected. There is a large group of reluctant Smitherman supporters, the "anyone but Ford" camp.

It's not a stretch to say that the last municipal administration created the environment from which the Godzilla Ford has emerged. It seems to me that there isn't really a backlash against paying taxes. I don't see that at all. I haven't had anyone tell me that want to find a candidate who will lower taxes. I think a lot of the Ford supporters feel that the previous Mayor and his executive council were too disconnected from the public. They are angry at what they perceive as a culture of entitlement and waste. There are lots of things that led to it, including the St. Clair right-of-way difficulties, the problems surrounding Giambrone, the garbage strike, the narrowing of Lansdown, not to mention the petulant and unprofessional behaviour of many of our councillors.

Ford has isolated that feeling among a lot of voters and named it The Gravy Train, and now he is calling Smitherman the conductor of the Gravy Train. It doesn't seem to matter that his numbers don't add up or really what else he says. He seems to be teflon. All people are hearing is gravy train gravy train gravy train. It's pretty scary.

Mr. Pantalone will never be elected mayor because even though everyone knows he is a good man with lots of sound ideas and experience, he is seen as an extension of Mr. Miller. Some of his supporters will hold the line, but I think some will move over to the Smitherman camp when push comes to shove. They will vote against Ford in the most effective way they can.

The only good thing in the mayoralty race is that the mayor only gets one vote. What really counts is the quality of the council and this time around there is going to be quite a bit of new blood. I don't know if I should be hopeful or not, but new blood has to be good. In our area, we have some interesting choices, but I am undecided and I may remain vexed right up to the last minute.

X. Dell said...

I'm wondering if there's a poisonous US influence. The wealthy gripe about taxes all the time, despite their taxes are lower than those of most of the industrialized world. And it is a wedge issue for other right-wing agendas.

Just thinking.