POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MARCUS GEE IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL
A cheeseburger-eating dullard from Etobicoke who likes driving his car every day into the city, often while illegally using his cellphone, fires an experienced expert in transit.
And this is transportation policy?
“Rob Ford clearly campaigned and won on a platform of subways. The bureaucrats are there to serve the government of the day.”
A mayoral candidate may campaign on any issue he or she likes, but being elected does not mean, in our system, that your campaign issue becomes law.
The Council – the genuine political authority for the city, just as Parliament is the genuine national political authority – has voted, and Ford lost.
We’ve had that happen, many times.
Just because Miller was elected, we did not close down the Island Airport, and that is a good thing.
Ford simply does not know what he is talking about. What kind of city do you build on the basis of ignorance?
Toronto is a city of narrow streets for the most part, and it has almost no grand avenues going its length or width to permit the flow of cars.
It absolutely must think in terms other than the car for the future.
And subways are terribly expensive.
The world’s great subway systems – like London or Paris or New York – were mostly built when labor was extremely cheap: you could not reproduce one of them today unless you had a hundred billion dollars available.
When you ask the general public a question in which either they are not competent or that is loaded with emotional baggage, you can often get just the answer you want: polls and marketers do that all the time.
So asking people in general about subways – without their having any hint of knowledge about technical or financial realities – borders on meaningless fantasy.
Claiming campaign slogans as representing the voice of the people is simply unthinking nonsense, much like giving weight to a candidate’s asking people if they’d all like free passes to an expensive restaurant.