Thursday, October 19, 2006

Politics is back

After a long summer dedicated to work and family outings, the world of politics is creeping back into my consciousness.
There were a couple of new polls out yesterday. Federally the Liberals have pulled even with the Conservatives, leaving the NDP at its usual 17%, which is disappointing. The Liberals are a mess. If there were ever a time for the NDP to take over as the real alternative to Harper, it would be now. My sister has a bumper sticker on her car that says "Jack Layton's NDP-The REAL Opposition." That might be the case in the HofC, but the message sure isn't filtering down to Joe Sixpack.
Maybe it's the stagnant polls, or Jack & Olivia's annoying meddling in Toronto municipal politics, but personally I'm becoming more shy about saying I'm an NDPer. I certainly wouldn't advertise it on my car-but good for you sis for being bolder than me.
In Ontario, the NDP has made gains putting them at 18% or so. Still, we will need to crack 20 to make a real breakthrough. I'm sick of the NDP celebrating not being annhialated.
There is talk today of ousted MP Garth Turner joining the Greens. Jack did his usual routine about crossing the floor being ungroovy, but I'd like to see it happen. I don't much like the Greens as I think they are just in the way, but I do have a soft spot for Turner and it would certainly make things interesting.
Locally, I've been wrestling with who to vote for for City Councillour here in Davenport. Incumbent Adam Giambrone has been annoying-repeatedly failing to address people's concerns on a variety of issues, including some controversial building developments and a ridiculous outhouse project that the granola munching set wants to build for the kids in the park. Do I hold my nose and be a good NDPer and vote for Giambrone again, or go for Simon Wookey, who is a lot more appealing even though he has the support of (ugh) Mario Silva. In the end, his campaign slogan put me over the top. "Let the Wookey Win". (If you don't get the reference, you need to watch Star Wars again.)
I declined to participate in the recent by-election over in Parkdale as well as the current Municipal race (where I'd be inclined to work for Adam Vaughan if anyone). Politics seems to be more of a spectator sport these days.
Lots of good shows ahead.


Anonymous said...

Used to vote N'dipper.Ed B was probably one of the best leaders we have had.Not this time around though.The greasy tag team of Jack & Olivia are real turn-offs for me.Opportunistic silk curtain sh@t disturbers is how I find the pair.No real convictions at all.

Chelle Mama said...

Hi ya. I see you are a parent with a young kid. I was wondering what you knew of the composting toilet project a Dufferin Grove. I am a mom to a 4y/o and am thrilled about all aspects of the project. I am so happy a community solution has been created: offering the kids an alternative to peeing on the trees; the diversion of solid waste from sewage treatment to landfill; and am thrilled about the community art project/building aspect. I am deeply concerned about Wookey's stance on the project and his use of it as political capital. I am really interested in dialogue about this issue, as a volunteer, I have been working to connect with opponents to the project (unsuccessfully, they don't want to talk) since it's inception.

Anonymous said...

I'm NDP at heart but I can't possibly vote for Adam Giambrone again. He is only worried about his own "ascension" and his own pet projects, which have done nothing for this ward.
I'm definitely voting for "The Wookey" even though he has the support of Silva. In the end I guess I'd rather vote for somebody who's just SUPPORTED by someone uselss rather than actually vote for someone who is useless!

Chelle Mama said...

Just checking back to see if there was a response to my question about your thoughts on the composting toilet.

I was at the All Candidates Meeting tonight. Overall I found it very interesting. The best question was asked by a young black woman, who asked candidates to drop the 'sugar coated' promises and give realistic statements about their plans within the limits of thier juristiction. Nhe La (sp?) was the most honest, and said more than once "I could not do anything about that." Jim McMillan offered some 'out there' solutions that I think would not be acceptable under our Charter of Rights (e.g. forcing all civil servents and local police to live within the boundaries of the city and take the TTC.) Wookey offered solutions that I found unrealistic as well (i.e. the city siezing a building in the ward, without thought to what to do with the tenants and the building after that). I know Jim Rawlings personally, and sympathized strongly with his goal of reversing the mega city decision, but don't think it can be tackled by one councillor, that would take a far more concerted effort from city citizens. I was surprised and pleased by Adam Giambrone's answers, they gave me insight into the time period in which it takes to affect change in city politics. I said afterwards that I would never leave my activist role for politics, it sounds like a continually frustrating enterprise. Until dedicating myself to be informed in this election, I was against the increase in terms for coucillors (from 3 to 4 years), now I am far more comfortable with it.

I think I am in the surprising situation of supporting Adam Giambrone, even after Wookey said he unilaterally supports the composting toilet. I have also left with a feeling that something is missing, that citizens are very ready to blame their governments for a great many things. I am starting to feel strongly about citizens engaging themselves in the process rather than blaming authority figures and elected officials for not engaging them. To be realistic, it is not up to officials or bureaucrats to define our communities for us. I realize it is a two way street, between communities and the city, however I think we are expecting more of a consumer experience (i.e. I pay taxes so I deserve ______) than a citizen experience.

Well... I will check back. I still want dialogue about the toilet.

Owin said...

I'm not a big fan of the composting toilet. It just seems unnecessary with a perfectly good bathroom facility already in place just across the way. Also, even though I am the parent to a little kid, I think there is plenty of park space already dedicated to the kids, and it's a pretty nice little spot that's being given over to an outhouse. I don't feel strongly enough to make a fuss over it, but I suspect in a couple years the composting toilet will be history.
I was at that meeting too, and was pretty surprised to be more impressed with Giambrone than I have previously been. Still, I'm voting for Wookey. I think Miller needs some people who will give him some challenge and that ain't Adam. (Still, I suspect Adam's seat is pretty safe.)