"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday 31 January 2013

Time To Turn Around

Comparatively speaking, this blog is read by a few.
 I have allowed free rein on  commentary on the  Liberal  Riiding Executive.
I am cutting it off now.  The chatter has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The Liberal Riding Association has exercised the democratic right to  organise and elect an executive.
The names may or may not have an influence on how the vote goes in the next provincial election. I doubt it. 
But  it's not going to happen with the support of this blog.
Kathleen Wynn  has been given an opportunity to show in the next few weeks what, if anything, she can do to  overcome tremendous obstacles and move the Province forward. 
Never mind whose fault it was
Lord knows, for our sake, she needs all the good will and support we can  muster. 
Our  affairs are in bad order. We need to be pulling together. .      

Assinine Argument

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No Blog In The Sixties ,,,by Golly":

WHAT??? How can The Auroran (a paper that seems to be the gold standard for Evelyn's Buckaroos) miss the mark by having Stephen Somerville write for them?

His column is an "EDITORIAL". He is expressing an opinion - his opinion.

Who are you to say that his opinion is a waste a paper? Perhaps your opinion here on this blog is a waste of electrons.

As far as Ms Buck contention that Pirri cannot speak to taxation issues I say pish-posh. Anyone in this Country that pays income taxes ultimately pays taxes to the Town through the way higher levels flow down revenue, so your argument that he does not pay taxes is without merit.

I think wards in Aurora is a good idea and I also think that term limits is a good idea. We need to evolve and without term limits there is no evolution.

I do not contend  a Councillor cannot speak to issues at the Council table. 
Aurora voters gave full  authority for Councillor Pirri  to do so. 
I do not " argue"  the Councillor does not pay property tax. The fact speaks for  itself.
If  Councillor Pirri wishes to  argue  payment of income tax  on a Council salary is equal to the average of $300. a month in property taxes, why does he not  do so?
Why does  an anonymous person argue the point ? 
Is the issue too sensitive?
Local government has evolved substantially
Time was only a property owner had the right to vote on a money issue.
And  a time before "universal suffrage" when  those  without property could not vote at all.
Time  continued still longer, when women could not vote .
And a time in the sixties, when the right to vote in  municipal elections was reduced to eighteen from twenty-one. 
For  every evolution , a price was paid,  so that future  generations could have the rights we  take for granted to-day. .
The  idea of term limits and ward system, in this small urban node,   actually erodes  rights  hard fought and won. 
By the way, The English dismissive  is Pish-tosh, not pish-posh  
Silly Billy!!!         

Flo Murray

So my small friend  Flo Murray has taken her leave. Quietly and without notice.
I didn't know until the day of the memorial service. Even then. I understood it to be visitation and expected  I would have the opportunity to attend the final tribute
The news story of her passing  referred to the last quarter of her life. When she occupied herself with various voluntary projects with the same energy she had lived her life.
It was noted she had been married to James Murray, a town Councillor. 
It didn't note  he died before his time. leaving Flo to raise the children alone in a very different  age. .
A time when women were not expected to be  principal  family providers.When few opportunities presented. A woman's
ability was seldom acknowledged.
No pay equity then.  
No health care  available. Hospitals billed their patients.
Flo worked for the Children's Aid Society likely when it was still a voluntary organisation dependent on fund-raisng.
Probably a Mayor or County Councillor put her in the way of the job. Taking care of widows and children was not  much of a government obligation 
Raising  her own and carrying the  knowledge of abused and neglected children in the community would have been a heavy burden to carry  with no-one to share
I only knew Flo  after  her children were raised and she was long retired from employment. 
I knew her as a woman of strong opinions who didn't suffer fools gladly.
But she gave credit where credit was due. Nigel Keane was much appreciated for the support he gave the seniors for fund-raising  at the Farmers Market 
Flo  had much to give and gave it freely.
She  was more, far more ,than the intrepid volunteer featured in the newspaper tribute. 
Flo  would have said, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. 
In ninety-five years of living, she did it right.       

Buckshot Was Diffeent

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No Blog In The Sixties ,,,by Golly":

But, you had a venue with your "Buckshot" column in the Banner. What couldn't you say in it?

Oh My Dear.....the difference is like chalk to cheese.
In the firstplace, Buckshot  was subject to editorial authority.
 After the Mayor agreed to write a Mayor's report, Buckshot  was  directed  away from   political affairs.
It wasn't a hardship. I received  an opportunity to learn and the benefit of an excellent  instructor.
The most important difference is the actual business of a weekly newspaper.
It is not  news.
It is advertising. 
Advertisers are the clients. 
Readers are the bait.
As in  any business, good will is currency.
Writers need to be aware of limitations at all  times .
A newspaper is not like other business.
Since the product is advertising and the publication cannot guarantee the success of any ad, accounts must be current at all times.  
A unique aspect  of politics is how much one learns of  business and professional service provided throughout the community. 
There is no university that provides or could provide   enlightenment more than  service as an elected  representative. 
But  a Councillor has to be open to  learning and have the ability. 
It's like living a long life. The more one learns the more one understands how much there is to learn.
The ridiculousness of having someone  a fraction of  one's age ,advising  "how things have changed" has to be experienced. 
Why would someone a quarter of one's life span presume to imagine, he, it's almost always he, is  in a position to  publicly advise of change in times,sixty years previous to his own life span.
How would he understand the extent of change and how much remains the same, which  he has not lived. 
It's so ridiculous , it's comical. 
When it become irritating, it's  time to pin his  ears  to his head and keep them pinned until he learns the  lesson.          

A Place To Vent

There are still raw feelings about the SLAPP law suit against  citizens, using  their  taxes for the purpose. .
Outrage will not vanish any time soon. 
I'm not sure comments published in this blog will reach any of the 
Liberal executive whose names we've read. 
Or  make a  difference if it does. 
Resentment and rage at the injustice still swirls like a whirlpool in a river running at full spate. 
The cost has been far more than money.  
It's good  to have a place to vent. .    

No Blog In The Sixties ,,,by Golly

Stephen Somerville has a column in The Auroran this week about  a ward system.
Councillor  Pirri has given  notice of a motion to create wards and reduce the  size of Council as well. 
Somerville is in support,. He has something  to add. Term limits for Ontario's municipal Councillors. Like American Presidents. 
Incumbents shouldn't be able to get re-elected just because their names are familiar.
In a previous term, Somerville  had a personal interview and wrote a column on all members of  Council with the exception of myself.
A person notices stuff  like that.
I thought it signified a  pre-occupation with  his own callow years.
I couldn't have said that in the sixties. Didn't have a blog.  
Timing of the motion is interesting. 
Usually it comes up closer to an election. 
Usually by new candidates who want elections to be easier.
They don't want to have to  put in the work or the finances or compete against incumbents with reputations and experience.
Aurora  is no more than the size and population of a city ward. Considerable chunks of it lie in the Oak Ridges Moraine, Flood Plain , wood lots , land under control  of Ontario Heritage and other  lands under  control of  Oak Ridges Moraine Trust.
We have seven golf courses. 
Estate lot areas with an average of one house on a minimum of two acres . Some are four acres. 
We are a small urban node with vast unpopulated areas  which are never going to be populated.
But none of that matters to the boyos. They argue voter choice  should  be  restricted.
It should be limited to one two at most, for a  third slice  of the municipality.
It's an interesting concept. 
To make it easier for new candidates to displace incumbents by  relieving the voter of the burden of making a wider choice.
What a burden that is having the freedom to choose? 
It sort of resembles comments in response to my factual observation in a blog that Coincillor Pirri might  find it easier to  make decisions on spending because he  doesn' pay  property tax.
The Councillor's furious anonymous defenders recommended  more Coucillors like himself and less of those  like  me ,who want to keep town business  in the sixties and have never been liked by any Councillor in any previous term served. 
Talk about a two-year old, in a temper tantrum. screaming and  kicking his heels on the floor, because Mum won't give him a popsicle before dinner.
In the sixties, there would have been  no venue for  me to say things like that.  Blogs did not exist
But they do now.     

Wednesday 30 January 2013

T..O. ...P.O.

As near as I can figure, there are fourteen  provincial ridings in Toronto.
It means fourteen riding associations battle for votes in a provincial election. 
The NDP holds three  seats. Conservatives have a couple. The rest are Liberal.
Imagine the numbers. 
Toronto's Mayor has to be elected at large over an area and a population , multiplied fourteen times that of a provincial M.P.P.
or the Premier himself.
George Smitherman was the only candidate likely to give Rob Ford a run for the money in the last Mayoralty contest.
The key has to be organisation, money and  campaign platform. 
Smitherman had the Liberal machine for sure. 
Did Rob Ford have the Conservative machine? I don't know. But my guess would be yes.
Not even the Prime Minister of Canada has to win  his seat in a riding the size of Toronto- at- large.
So, as  we listen to various parties like  Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carrol castigate the Mayor for  lack of leadership while  indicating their own interest in the Mayor's chair, the reality behind the braggadocio is nowhere near so simple.
Smitherman with the Liberal machine, in a mostly Liberal holding, couldn't do it. 
John Tory, an outstanding personality and a Conservative couldn't take it from David Miller. 
John Tory won the Conservative leadership since. A member in a safe riding stepped aside to create a vacancy for him to  have a seat.
He lost a safe seat for the Conservatives.
riding voters  made decision about whether they could be used that way by city slickers.
I digress.
Olivia Choy could be a formidable candidate against Ford.
She would have the N.D.P. machine.Maybe. 
NDP stronghold is in three inner city ridings. 
Thomas Mulchair needs her. The N.D.P. are the official opposition. 
Ottawa  must be a cold and empty place for her now.
She is a veteran of Toronto politics. 
But definitely left-leaning. 
She would be a valid rival for Ford. 
It would make the fight interesting.
But by no means, a foregone conclusion.              

Lamebrains are the problem.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "NITTY GRITTY":
2:11 PM

I think their money obscures the facts and their ability to think.

If they feel they know what is best for everyone, how is it that the average elected representative, at any level, is such a lamebrain
 I'm not telling you what to think mind but I think the  average elected representative spends  his time trying to guess what the average voter thinks. Then that's what he says. 

Because he wants to be  elected or re-electe

In my opinion, The average voter is  vastly underestimated.

The media doesn't even contemplate an impact from voter votes. .

When an election is over, the media  usually discuss  mistakes and masterpieces of the candidates , their strategists.their advertising,  their endorsements.
How much money they raised for the campaign.
As if the masses have no minds. 
As if the mindless masses don't count
There are of course mindless masses.
They don't vote.
They stay at home and parrot  ....What's the point? 
Then they are counted as the ones who didn't vote for this candidate or that. 
While the fact, is they didn't vote for any.candidate at all.          

Tuesday 29 January 2013

What's It All About...Georgie

If history was made at  last week's Liberal convention, Toronto media has recorded it as "first openly gay premier" elected ?
The "openly gay" moniker comes first every time.  
Kathleen  tried to set  it straight. In obvious concern, she stated   "I'm not a gay activist"
But she couldn't win on that tack.
Kathleen Wynne won.. But the win had to be attributed to being "openly gay" 
It  keeps being repeated over and over.
Toronto media  does seem to have a hang-up.
When George Smitherman was brought forward, primped and polished, as candidate for Mayor  against Rob Ford and others, much was made of his gayness.(The noun is gaiety but even language has to be changed) 
Mr. Smitherman, a former minister in the former cabinet of the former premier, made a dramatic announcement  to appreciative applause of his marriage to his diminutive partner Timothy.
On one occasion, the couple were photographed by media walking hand- in- hand towards City Hall. 
On another, the candidate confided  difficulty  finding a baby-sitter 
for his newly adopted child, so that he could attend an all-candidate meeting.
The question of attendance at a Gay Pride Parade was slotted into  a political  debate. 
Rob Ford was  harried and harassed about why he did not attend
and would not commit to attend. Red-faced but determined, he stated his preference  to spend  time with his kids at the  family cottage on the parade week-end.
Like he shouldn't be allowed his preference
Now we have our first woman premier.
Her personal life experience is shared by most women.
She has children and grandchildren and obviously had a heterosexual marriage. 
Yet Toronto media  persists in tagging  the  election  as first   "openly gay" Premier
What does the term mean anyway ? 
Doing it in front of the horses?


Someone asked if I knew  how a riding organisation functions.
Except for snippets from the past, I am not up to date.
Time was , the riding organisation was the flame that kept the fire alive  between elections.
The people who  kept the group to-gether and sussed out a candidate to carry the party banner. Often, depending on party  fortunes, one of their number. If it's a winnable riding it's not like that any more.  

For  leadership conferences, they choose delegates. Sometimes they are told how to vote. But it's a secret ballot.

At the week-end, I  heard  Newmarket-Aurora  Liberal executive is about twenty strong.They have a web site.
Whitehouse, Ballard, Susan Walmer, Catherine Marshall and a couple of others, familiar to all of us are part of it. 
I did not know that. It explains a  few things.
I never understood why Councillor Ballard would want to carry another person's baggage.
It still doesn't make sense.  But  party connection  offers an explanation of sorts.
Voters' lists. party organisation .All that stuff. 
It makes the last election results that much more impressive.
Attending a leadership conference can incur  considerable expense. 
Depending on how flush  the riding's coffers,  delegates chosen , might just be those  who can afford to pay their own way.