ideology of spite

So, you consider yourself a ‘fiscal conservative’ EH?

Ok, to be clear — you believe that we should not be spending money we don’t have, which means finding wasteful things to cut and paying off debt with the end goal of a balanced budget.

Those are great personal principles. That’s actually how I plan my own finances and  also believe that living below my means is a great way to live (though not necessarily a great way to govern. More on that another time).

Some  people think that the best way to balance a  budget is to find more revenue ie.  investing. And that’s the (grossly simplified) difference between the left and right ideology (very, terribly absolutely simplified, but for the purpose of this post)

I currently live in a  liberal city lead by a (supposedly) Conservative mayor. But I’m not seeing conservatism, or even policy based on conservative ideology.Everything that comes out of a city council meeting seems to be tabled out of spite towards certain groups of people READ: most groups of people, or as a way of acting contrary to the former ‘pinko’ mayor.

Last week the Mayor voted to remove bike lanes on an artery road, voted against accepting 2 public health nurses for community outreach paid by the province and was the sole vote against grant funding for multitude of community groups  such as those that help to alleviate HIV/AIDs.

This stuff aint gravy, this is the beans and rice of our city. So, why the backlash?

There’s a deep seated myth of reverse victimization  in this city which, despite being  untrue, is a great campaign tactic to run with. If you can convince people that there is such a thing as reverse- racism, reverse-sexism, or more tangibly in the city of T.O: a war on the car; a war on the tax payer or a war on the average joe, then you can narrow and channel that anger into a protest vote allowing you 4 years of finding and eliminating the ‘gravy train’ READ: eliminating anything you want including 53K city jobs, city infrastructure and community groups.

In one of the world’s most multicultural cities, with a growing population of new immigrants looking to transfer their skills, increasing homelessness and lack of affordable housing, Toronto’s victims are car driving suburban folk  and Mayor Ford is ready to proclaim their rage from the tops of the mountains through irrational voting during council meetings and unexamined policies. Focus has shifted from city building to pandering the self entitlement of the few who live outside the city limits.

Don’t get me wrong. Anger can be a powerful and useful tool in mobilizing the disenfranchised, but if your biggest fit of rage is about how bike lanes will make you 4 minutes late for your family dinner, (as per the stats) you cannot count yourself among the suffering.

White people problems

In Ford’s Toronto no one wins and that’s because he doesn’t choose to see how interdependent we all are. We rely on city workers for services. As we realized a few years ago during the garbage strike and as we realize every winter during those huge down falls of snow- we are not prepared to deal with our own mess. We rely on good paying stable jobs to pay into the tax base (revenue!) and so people will have enough money to buy what ever silly thing you’re selling on Etsy instead of going to Walmart. We rely on people riding bikes so that we can breathe, and that there is less gridlock for those who have to drive.

I could go on and on.  The point is, yes, saving money is good; wasting money is bad, however you can never be too sure how the spending (or cutting the spending) will effect you and your community; some ‘waste’ is investment. There will always be some who take advantage of the system- hear me- ALWAYS! but there are a lot more people who benefit from city spending and give back in return.

By constantly and mindlessly cutting spending, instead of trying to generate more revenue, what will this city look like in 4  years? Well, one thing we can be sure of: There will be a lot less graffiti.

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About Ashley Drake
Don't cha wish your girlfriend could blog like me

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