Thursday, September 7, 2006

The biggest non-news in the London Free Press since, well, yesterday


In most elections, reluctant Londoners weigh lesser evils against greater ones and hold their breaths or noses in anticipation of one or the other being elected. Londoners, however, are to be spared even that small consolation this November. According to the London Free Press, Joe Fontana is going to resign his seat as Liberal MP for London North-Centre and announce his candidacy for mayor of London tomorrow.


It is true that some Londoners of the twittering classes may be excited by the idea of elaborating on imaginary and imperceptible differences in talent between the two in a local political version of American Idol, but the rest of us the "race" has only expanded from a ceremonial re-coronation of one self-serving, arrogant, pragmatically unprincipled and partisan Liberal to a pyrrhic choice between two of them. Astute readers are invited to pass on any sightings of substantial or even cosmetic difference between DeCicco and Fontana during the next couple of months, but even cosmetically I suspect that there will be none except that DeCicco looks a little prettier from a distance, which as much could be said for our local politics. Fontana's electoral call card so far is supposedly putting "London on the map that guides bureaucrat decisions up in Ottawa and over at Queen’s Park," which means extracting the same kind of massive subsidies for uncontrolled spending that Toronto has enjoyed the past couple of years, as if subsidies from Ottawa and Queen's Park don't come in the long run from the same taxpayer pockets as local revenues. Hey, Joe… can I call you Joe? Instead of putting London on the map for the same political favours that every other municipality and its mother are demanding in the merry-go-round of jurisdictional redistribution, why not put London on the map for self-reliant people? Not that begging for tax-funded subsidies for runaway spending would be unique to Fontana — Anne Marie DeCicco has been doing the same for years except without as much of the "drumroll, please."

Free Press reporters at least will find their prospects for self-amusement enlivened by pretending that they are reporting on a "real" mayoral race with more than one candidate, which prior to Fontana's appearance as the season's debutante readers of the Free Press would have been justified to assume. Outside the semi-official confines of Free Press reporting, however, there are more than one or two candidates for mayor and if the substantial differences between them don't suit the attention span of Free Press remedial civic lessons, they might interest the voters who have to pay for them. Arthur Majoor, candidate for mayor in the upcoming election isn't only idly cosmetically different that DeCicco or Fontana but very and purposefully substantially so:
Economic manipulation to support prestige projects supports the agenda of city politicians and bureaucrats, not the people and communities which make up the city of London. Rather than promoting a broad based and sustainable economic environment, this sets up a battle for control of the tax resources of the city, for the benefit of the best-organized or most persuasive special interest group to capture the attention of council. Even then, the priority, timing and scale and scope of a project no longer belongs to the community or group which initiated it, but with City Hall.

I believe there is a better way. Rather than depend on an inconsistent “feast or famine” environment that randomly commits large blocks of funding to projects of sometimes-questionable worth, a broad based property tax cut that I will implement provides a continuing flow of private investment into all sectors of the economy and all parts of the city. The priority, timing and scale and scope of projects and developments is in the hands of the individuals and communities where they are initiated, and they are anchored in the communities they are intended to serve, not the agenda of a city politician or bureaucrat.

6 comments:

Joe Molnar said...

As a subscriber for the London Free Press here in Woodstock,
(mainly for the Region Obituaries) I would hope that Arthur Majoor would not let Londoners forget that Liberal Joe Fontana was part and parcel of one of the most corrupt Liberal federal regimes in decades.
For Joe to put himself forward and the public to accept him as the glowing saviour of London, defies meaningful sane logical thought.
As for motormouth Anne Marie, I won't comment further.
I don't know Majoor, but London could use a non Liberal at city hall , especially now that four years is the term.

Craig said...

I take solace in the fact that one of these self-serving, career politicians will be finished polically come November. If Stephen Harper has any smarts, he should call a by-election the the same day as the municipal election to ensure that whichever one loses can't seek re-election in London North-Centre. I have a feeling Joe will try to pull a Sheila Copps ploy by further waste taxpayers money running as a liberal again if he looses the mayor's race.

MapMaster said...

With any luck, the self-serving, arrogant, pragmatically unprincipled and partisan Liberal vote will be split in London now. I doubt that Fontana has the union and progressive catchet to pull a Sheila Copps should he lose — especially should he lose — in the municipal election, so a Fontana defeat would end the career of at least one career politician. Interestingly, though, another Free Press article speculated that DeCicco herself might seek nomination for the Liberals in the upcoming byelection should she lose! Quite conceivably the two might end up swapping positions and perks, egad!

EclectEcon said...

I'm so glad I no longer live in London!

(as if small-town politics is any better!)

basil said...

It's official.
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/09/08/fontana-mayor.html
I cant' decide which is more depressing; Fontana as mayor or Anne Marie Toinette as MP.

Anonymous said...

As one of the other candidates, I find it amusing (although somewhat sad)that the reporters covering this fail to ask any substansial questions whatsoever of either of these two candidates. Both have long standing histories and in the mayor's case there are a lot of interesting metrics which need explaining.

In a way I am getting equal treatment there since the reporters are not asking me any questions either, and I suppose my fellow candiates might be feeling the same right about now.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you have questions I invite you to contact me directly via www.buildingcommunitieslondon.ca (click on contact), and urge you to do the same to for the other candidates. If you don't know what we stand for, how do you make a choice?

Arthur Majoor
Candidate for Mayor