The Saturday Morning Funnies
I like writing a BLOG on municipal politics. It is, after all, the level of government that is closest to the people and we can see exactly what the impact on us is when our City Government takes action or does not take action on certain matters.
I'll tell you one thing that is not funny. People are angry in this City. All that you need to do is to take a look at the comments that are posted on Blogsites or read the Windsor Star forums. Our Mayor and Council are quite fortunate that the Premier increased the length of their term by one year but it did not include a right of recall. If he had, I would expect that there would be a number of petitions out right now asking for new municipal elections.
I have a very extensive database of information that I draw upon on when I do my research before writing a BLOG. What is interesting is going back into the past and seeing what a politician said before and what that same politician says now. The classic is what the Mayor said with respect to a new arena in downtown designed to be a public-private partnership but which instead turned into a municipally owned East End arena. That kind of stuff makes it so easy.
However sometimes is not necessary to do a lot of work in order to write one of these BLOGs. This weekend was one of those times. Stuff I read in the Saturday Star was so ridiculous that the BLOG almost wrote itself.
Take the Mayor's comment on Greenlink and the survey that supposedly shows wide spread support for the project. If this is the basis of what Eddie is trying to show DRIC then is he ever in trouble. For all of the thousands of dollars spent in media advertisements he barely got over 1% of the population of Windsor supporting his proposal. Using the word "tremendous" or "overwhelming" many times in the Star story doesn't make it so.
Honestly I almost couldn't stop laughing when the Mayor said this knee-slapper
- Francis said the survey was scientific because callers had to be at least 18 to vote and could vote only once."
He can't be serious. If made this comment in a University Statistics exam, there is no doubt he would have failed. This is about as unscientific a survey as one can imagine. It was easily beatable and could have been stacked very easily. I've also heard certain stories about people calling the City and arguing with the operator when they wanted to vote no.
Here's something I found very quickly about scientific and scientific surveys:
- "The unscientific surveys are less well known, if quite widespread. There are 900-number call-in polls, man-on-the-street surveys, shopping mall polls, and even the classic toilet tissue poll featuring pictures of the candidates on each sheet.
The major distinguishing difference between scientific and unscientific polls is who picks the respondents for the survey. In a scientific poll, the pollster identifies and seeks out the people to be interviewed. In an unscientific poll, the respondents usually "volunteer" their opinions, selecting themselves for the poll.
The results of the well-conducted scientific poll can provide a reliable guide to the opinions of many people in addition to those interviewed -- even the opinions of all Americans. The results of an unscientific poll tell you nothing more than simply what those respondents say."
Then I read in another story that the Mayor of claims that our woes are merely cyclical and that it is up to realtors, and I guess the rest of us, "to 'sell' the city one deal at a time." Is that like putting your pants on one leg at a time too?
I must admit I haven't got the faintest idea what that phrase means but it must be something meaningful or else the Mayor would not have said it. But do you really believe that even he believes that our crisis is the same as those in the past. Good thing he gave his speech before he read the front page of the Saturday Star with the headline "Pacifica gone, plant shifts into lower gear."
I know he won't go to see him but Dennis DesRosiers is speaking this week in Windsor. I think Dennis might be able to educate him about whether or not this is the same kind of cyclical problems that the auto companies had in the past.
Here's what scares me. If Eddie believes what he says, then this City is in serious trouble. He said
- "Typically, as a region, we've been through these challenges before. It's nothing new."
But surely everyone in the city must know that what worked in the past is not going to work now. The auto companies, the Big Three, are not coming back the way they did before. This is not a part of the previous kinds of cycles. This is a part of a significant restructuring of the global automobile industry. If the Mayor does not understand that, then no wonder his economic policies just don't work.
Hallelujah we're going to have a new convention centre according to the Mayor and streetscaping and the casino's expansion. Too bad with the border being the way it is, and the Mayor doing nothing about it, we won't have any tourists to come and visit us. The Star wrote on Saturday about the mess at the border on Black Friday. Do you really think any Americans are coming over with those kind of horror stories being plastered all over the media? For heaven sakes, even the Casino is letting people go right now.
I didn't see anything in his speech saying that he is going to help the University with its expansion even if it does not go into the downtown. Wasn't he the one who threatened that he would not give any money to the University unless it went where HE said it should go. Now he takes credit for what Dennis DesRosiers has been arguing should be done in Windsor for years and years and years and which advice Eddie ignored.
Then came the Gord Henderson column. Another classic. A column built on sources, anonymous government officials and provincial government insiders.
I really loved this column. Oodles of ink wasted on Brian Masse. Did you notice that he did not come out and support Greenlink. He knows it's not going to fly and he does not want to be tarnished by it when it fails.
Brian Masse has the nerve to talk about the border and what should be done. Where was he when his party held the balance of power to do something for us? He failed in getting through most of the amendments he said he wanted on Bill C-3, a Bill which does not help Windsor in the least little bit.
The column really was designed to put pressure on our Provincial Cabinet Ministers and Gord decided to use Brian to do so. Heck we learned that there were meetings in New York recently so obviously someone wants to keep the pressure up on the Senior Levels.
I guess that Brian is starting to run for the next federal election and is attacking the Provincial Liberals. He must have read my recent BLOG and is afraid about whom the Federal Liberals are going to run against him given his sorry record on the border.
There is one statement that interested me since I thought it was accurate. The Province in its last budget did not identify any money for the new road to the border. However to say that the Feds are "on board, ready and waiting to write a cheque" is absolutely incorrect. The Feds put up $400 million in its last budget, an amount that won't even pay for the DRIC road.
I found it amusing that Gord had to tell us that Duncan was not available for comment. He still does not seem to be available for a Greenlink comment even after he was supposed to have met with Eddie on November 9. All we get are excuses that he is away. Being Minister of Finance means that Dwight has learned that he has to keep his mouth shut.
There you have it, dear reader. That's how the BLOG virtually wrote itself. It was really that simple.