Toronto is your city! Get out and vote!
Canada is one of the world’s great democracies. Democracy is something that you do! Democracy is not something you watch! To put it another way:
Democracy is NOT a spectator sport!
You must get out and vote!
The voter turnout in the 2006 elections was not just low – but abysmally low. In Toronto Ward 29 approximately 12,000 people voted. That’s 12,000 out of a possible 33,705. That’s a very low percentage turnout – marginally more than 33%. Toronto’s City Councillors are the representatives of only those who took the time to vote. The winner in our Ward – Ward 29 – received less than half of those 12,000 votes. Therefore he was the choice of at most 17% of eligible voters.
The residents of Toronto have come to expect and been forced to tolerate:
– garbage strikes – see how Toronto’s Councillor’s voted
– a substandard TTC that creates conflicts with its riders
– A city council which allowed councillors a pay raise in the midst of a recession
– A city council that may favor the interests of special groups over taxpayers
– A city council that will finance a city councillor to launch a lawsuit against a taxpayer
– A city council that spends your money without lawful authority
– A dysfunctional property tax system
– A property tax system that discriminates again tenants who live in buildings with more than seven apartments
That’s what you get if you don’t get out and vote.
My name is John Richardson. I have been your neighbour in Ward 29 since 1984. I would like to serve you as your city councillor in Ward 29. I look forward to meeting as many of you as can from now until October 25, 2010.
Toronto’s “tenant tax”
Toronto Tenants Pay High Rents Because of Discriminatory Tax on Tenants
“It is assumed that because rental housing is a business, that higher rates of taxation can be charged, even though those levies are passed on dollar-for-dollar to the tenants under landlord and tenant laws, and even though the majority of tenants are renters because they have lower incomes and can not afford to be homeowners. Of course, since the tax levies are ultimately paid by tenants as part of our rents, most tenants unaware of the real source of any increased taxes, nor that over 20% of our rents are in fact due to municipal property taxes.”
You can see the difference in the tax rates here.
I am amazed that that few people seem interested in this issue. If you are a Toronto tenant or landlord you need to make your voice heard…
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The last few days have have full of discussion about the rise in Jack Layton’s popularity. Hard to understand – Jack Layton is a man who has made a career demonizing corporations and confusing a desirable state of affairs with a just state of affairs. In any case, if the polls are to be believed (and the they may become a self-fulfilling prophecy), Jack Layton’s popularity will bring the NDP to heights not seen since the days of Ed Broadbent. What does this mean for the outcome of the election on May 2?
My predication is that it means a Conservative Majority!
Look at it this way:
– Mr. Layton’s increased popularity in Quebec will amount to nothing in relation to the Conservatives (the NDP will just take seats from the Bloc). It could however mean something in terms of who will be the Opposition Leader. The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Ignatieff will continue to be the Opposition Leader. That is far from certain.
– in the rest of Canada Mr. Layton’s popularity will be primarily at the expense of the Liberals. The leaking of Liberal support to the NDP gives the Conservatives an excellent opportunity to win some of the closer ridings. Interestingly, the Conservatives could actually get fewer votes but win more seats.
– The relevancy of the Green Party will be a casualty of an increase of NDP popularity.
So, the moral of the story is:
If you want a Harper Majority then Vote NDP!
Here is an interesting article written in June 2010 from a respected commentator which suggest some of the same things:
Hébert: Jack Layton’s surge great news for Stephen Harper
June 02, 2010
Once in a blue moon, the political stars align in such a way as to give the federal NDP a bit of an edge over their Liberal rivals. Continue reading
On Sunday April 9, 2011 History Television began a mini-series about the Kennedy’s. The first instalment focused on John Kennedy’s rise to the presidency of the United States. Kennedy’s first foray into Federal politics was when he ran for Congress in Boston. In any case, (whether this is true of not), according to the show, in Kennedy’s first campaign he was running against two Joseph Russos – the name Joseph Russo appeared twice on the ballot. (Presumably there was another Joseph Russo in that district.) This meant that those who wanted to vote for their Joseph Russo did not know how to indicate that their vote was for their preferred Joseph Russo. The Joseph Russo vote was split and the name John Kennedy (if not the man himself) received the largest number of votes. Because of the second Joesph Russo, John Kennedy was “victorious”. This incident is also described in an excellent article by the journalist Seymour Hirsch. Continue reading
This car was there for a minimum of 45 minutes:
– parked illegally
– parking officer nowhere to be found
– car was there for a minimum of 45 minutes
Let’s compare the violations in Toronto to the St. Louis Parking Violations.
When it comes to |Toronto parking officers, sometimes they are:
– waiting to be found – Toronto Parking Police will wait to ticket you; and
– nowhere to be found.
Here is another Toronto blog with examples of Toronto Parking Police officers parking illegally.
Democracy, The Appointment of Judges and the Charter of Rights
We are in the middle of a Federal Election. Respect for the democratic process has been an issue in this campaign. The conservative government has been the most heavily criticized of the main parties.
The grounds of criticism include:
– overriding the wishes of local riding associations in selecting candidates;
– being held in “contempt of parliament”
– renaming Canada’s parliamentary democracy “Harper Government”
– the “in and out” financing of the 2006 election
– the fact that Harper has prorogued parliament rather than face parliament
All of these allegations are deserving of investigation. That said, there is another area – which is potentially far more damaging – where Mr. Harper has exhibited a clear “contempt” for democracy. Continue reading
Strategic Voting – To Avoid Splitting The Vote
The Green Party and Green Party supporters have the potential to make a big difference in the May 2 election. The Green Party is on a growth trajectory and may become a victim of its own success. Although the Greens are unlikely to win many seats (if any), they are likely to have an influence on the outcome of this election. Green Party supporters are most likely to take support from the Liberals and NDP – increasing the chance of a Conservative being elected – and potentially giving the Conservatives their coveted majority. The Conservatives, could get the same number percentage of votes as in 2008 and win a majority. To put it simply:
As goes the Green Party, So go the Conservatives! Continue reading
Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who is well connected and knowledgeable about Federal politics. The thoughts immediately turned to election prognostications. This election has a strange feel to it – kind of like people feel that they should be interested in it – even if they aren’t. Welcome to my series of thoughts on Federal Election 2011.
Why are we having this election at all? The answer is simple:
This election is NOT about the well being of the country. This election IS about the well being of the parties and the party leaders. To put it simply we are having this election because:
– Harper wants a Conservative majority government
– Ignatieff wants to be Prime Minister
– Layton wants to matter to something beyond the NDP
Political parties are private organizations whose activities are largely funded by Canadian taxpayers. Consider this:
– the election of 2011 is an activity orchestrated by The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP which will cost Canadian taxpayers in excess of 300 million dollars (Query Mr. Layton – should this 300 million not have gone to the poor instead?)
– political parties receive $1.95 from the taxpayers for each vote their party receives Continue reading