Friday, May 06, 2005

Mayors Off-Side

CTV news (link) says Toronto Mayor David Miller, and Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell "warn Harper not to kill proposed budget."

Put People Before Politics (apparently a group of social/union activists) says "if the budget dies, then so will programs that would help the homeless, improve urban infrastructure and public transit, and increase affordable child-care spaces".

Mayor Miller said the federal budget is important to all Canadians and that he won't stay quiet if it should be struck down. "If there is an early election, I for one will certainly be speaking out about what's been lost," said Miller.

So now Miller, who just by taking office cost the Canadian taxpayer $35,000,000 (link to story of money from Ottawa for cancelling the Island bridge deal approved by the previous city council.) Just this week, the Feds agreed to pay legal fees incurred by the city after Toronto faced a lawsuit for having reneged on the deal.

Miller makes no secret of the fact that he is an NDP supporter. His admonition to Harper that politicians should put 'people ahead of politics' seemed to fly out the window when he decided to take partisan advantage of the first ever NDP federal budget.

It is this sort of grandstanding that casts illusions of a sinister Stephen Harper stealing daycare spaces from hungry children.

Even if all was cool in parliament -- to pretend that passing this budget would make any difference to anyone's life is asinine. The budget from LAST year has yet to be implemented -- and Martin has made it clear that the NDP add-ons would only be a go if certain conditions were met -- It would take more than a year from the budget being passed and implemented to even determine whether those 'conditions' had been realized -- and that is months longer than the time frame Mr. Martin gave before he'd call an election.

Add to that -- the Federal government can't bypass the provincial in dealing with the cities. The transfers go the provinces, don't they? And can the Federal government dictate to which cities, how much and for what? All three levels of government are banking on the fact that most people have only a slim grasp on federal/provincial powers in these things.

The successor to politics will be propaganda. Propaganda, not in the sense of a message or ideology, but as the impact of the whole technology of the times. --Marshall McLuhan

Mass media has made it so that people have more access to information than ever in the history of the world -- and the spread of lies and propaganda travels faster than the flick of a TV remote, or connecting to a news server. Some people will look deeper than the headline, but most will just scan it and see: the Mayors are warning Harper, so Harper must be doing something wrong.

Miller, Martin, Layton et al. are creating a crisis where there is none. They talk as though if this budget doesn't happen, the government spigot will shut off and people will suffer grave harm.

By playing into peoples' fear and anger they can personify the devil and call him Stephen Harper.

If this does go to the polls, we're in for a bumpy ride.




905 Tory said...

So, Miller and Campbell -- a couple of grumpy old socialists -- whine and complain and all of the sudden it's "news" everywhere?

Head to head, I think the Conservatives could beat the Liberals anyday, but the media is a foe big and terrible.

Canadi-anna said...

Too true. There has to be a way in this day and age to get the message out without the professional media.

The Mayor said...

The good thing for the Conservatives is that its base is energized. There are many red Tories who will get out and vote Conservative also, unlike last year.

It will be hard for a lot of Liberals to get out and vote this year, they know their party is corrupt and they know they would be wrong voting for them. Plenty of Libs will stay home on election night, most Conservatives will vote.

Krydor said...


Well, our ride would be less bumpy if you or someone like you had a hand in communicating the message to the public. There's one word for the communications wing of the party: "inept".

It's going to be ugly. It may be even uglier, should that wretched budget pass.

Canadi-anna said...

If they'd invite me, I would go. Otherwise they're stuck with the professionals -- the problem with professionals is they've forgotten what it's like to be real people.
Even if this budget passes, it's just a sham. It's all PR to get people worked up against the Conservatives for its death.
People get very angry when they think they are being denied something.