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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Calgary > Calgary Issues, Business, Politics & the Economy

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  #61  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wild wild west View Post
Hmmm, being as objective as I can here, I actually consider McIver the best of his particular voting block...he at least has a brain, the rest of those guys (Chabot, Connelly, etc.) just go along with whatever he says. If any of you have had the chance to meet Ald. Chabot - well, let's just say he proves that you don't have to be smart to get elected.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:50 PM
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Korzym - I guess that is a far cry from the many mciver backers that call Druh Farrell "druh the shrew" or "duh" or the part of the "flaky four" or all the other insulting names they can think of.

Pot calling kettle black.
     
     
  #63  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 8:03 PM
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I wouldn't say it's the younger demographic here that makes people liberal in their views.

I'd say more that we have a fairly high contingent of well-educated people, which does tend to correlate strongly with liberalism. Hell, we have university professors as forum regulars. Not exactly people who don't think about issues, unlike most of the folks who vote on web polls - they're trivially led by rephrasing the question to get an emotional response.
     
     
  #64  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 8:04 PM
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Korzym - how many of the current members of Council have you even met? I have met all of these people, and know some of them fairly well. Although I find it amusing that you would call me a "liberal", since my federal and provincial voting record would suggest otherwise. That people like me don't buy into the BS of the "fearless four" or whatever Rick Bell calls them suggests not everyone is buying into their message. Although being honest I would prefer if ideology were left out of municipal politics since it is used selectively to obscure and distort the issues.
     
     
  #65  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 8:14 PM
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I prefer to identify myself and pragmatic, or probably more accurately a poly-partisan. I really don't like ideological grounds for any decision making, which unfortnately council seems to be heading toward. Ideology, truly does blind people to making the decision based on its true merit to practically solve a problem or improve people's quality of life. PGIB (McIver) and their ilk want to try and institutionalize this split on council and I really, really hate that idea. I find this 'we will fight for low taxes no matter what' mantra, while superficially attractive really bankrupt of any meaningful ideas or vision for how to actually advance Calgary as a big city, or improve its citizen's lives.
     
     
  #66  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 8:20 PM
wild wild west wild wild west is offline
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Agree fully, Wooster. What is most troubling with these same Aldermen who are allegedly fighting to keep taxes low is that these are the same guys who are relentlessly pushing for increased sprawl at the City's edge, which is far greater a contribution to the City's budget challenges than a bloody pedestrian bridge is.

Also, I find it bewildering that people get more upset over a $10 per month increase to their property tax bill of perhaps $1800 a year than they do over the fact that most of us pay tens of thousands of dollars in income taxes every year to higher levels of government. If there is any one level of government which I feel delivers real value for our tax dollars, it is municipal.
     
     
  #67  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 9:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Wooster View Post
I really don't like ideological grounds for any decision making, which unfortnately council seems to be heading toward. Ideology, truly does blind people to making the decision based on its true merit to practically solve a problem or improve people's quality of life.
Which is why I used a small "l" when saying liberal, as opposed to Liberal, the idealogical swear-word. Can't believe open-mindedness is considered a defect, but as you say, ideology (and tribalism) blinds people.


Quote:
PGIB (McIver) and their ilk want to try and institutionalize this split on council and I really, really hate that idea.
Welcome to Bush's legacy. EVERYTHING is "us vs them", "you're with us or against us". We can't possibly have rational discourse, it's all about splitting people on emotional lines and forcing everyone to stand on one side or the other.

As is clearly evidenced by the combined epithet "liberal/socialist". Makes me wonder how many people are incapable of simply parroting some talking point they've heard from someone on "their side" - as opposed to actually understanding anything about what they're talking about.

Ah well, such is the current state of politic.
     
     
  #68  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 10:34 PM
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We can't possibly have rational discourse, it's all about splitting people on emotional lines and forcing everyone to stand on one side or the other.
This sums it up. The political spectrum is just that: a spectrum. It seems that anyone who even approaches the centre (or dips a toe on the "left" side) is immediately labelled a socialist, bleeding heart, communist, etc.

The whole report card, IMO, is simply short-sighted. The criteria was picked by several interest groups to reach a desired conclusion. The media picked it up just as they were supposed to and ran with it. As others have already mentioned, penalizing all spending without analyzing the related savings/benefits, both direct and indirect, is not telling the whole story.

That's not left, right, or centre. That's just looking past the headlines. And I'm quite moderate on the spectrum - whatever that means these days.
     
     
  #69  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 10:52 PM
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korzym- you're right, the electorate is packed with selfish, xenophobic short-sighted people with NIMBY suburban (in the worst sense) values. The fact that McIver panders to them and provides no vision of this city and no ideas aside from "give me MINE MINE MINE" and shits on anything urban or urbanist makes him a filthy politician. It makes him electable, you're right, a disgusting example of a populist POLITICIAN.

This doesn't make him a good alderman.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 1:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Stang View Post
This sums it up. The political spectrum is just that: a spectrum. It seems that anyone who even approaches the centre (or dips a toe on the "left" side) is immediately labelled a socialist, bleeding heart, communist, etc.
I would respectfully disagree. I think the idea of a spectrum is antiquated. It is a simplification of a very complex set of ideas. While a simple left-right dichotomy is the worst possible interpretation of any value system (I guess a right-wrong dichotomy is worse), a spectrum isn't really much better. I believe issues are much too complex to be able to fit them on a spectrum. Grade 10 social studies this ain't.

My self personally, I would describe myself as someone who is a little bit of both. But not "in the middle." I am extremely leftist when it comes to some issues, or extremely right when it comes to others. On some social issues, I am pretty left, on others I am pretty right. On other issues I take positions that neither side really appears to have. In terms of economics, I both hate libertarians and adopt their position.

And this is why I hate politics and politicians (well, most of them). The idea that any decision can be boiled down to two camps is ridiculous.
     
     
  #71  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:30 AM
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I agree the idea of "left" and "right" is confusing, to say the least. I tend to only be concerned if society drifts far in either direction, as the extremes on either end definitely don't fit my views.

I kind of like the Pournelle chart. You sit on a two dimensional spectrum of :

...........Reason
............../\
..............|
State is - - - - State
evil ........|....is great
..............|
..............\/
.........Irrational

Where "Reason" = society's problems can be solved with reason, and "Irrational" = We can't solve any of society's problems due to it being irrational. I tend to be high on reason, middle on State. I find that ijdits in web polls tend to be State evil / Irrational.
     
     
  #72  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:58 AM
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Originally Posted by furrycanuck View Post
korzym- you're right, the electorate is packed with selfish, xenophobic short-sighted people with NIMBY suburban (in the worst sense) values. The fact that McIver panders to them and provides no vision of this city and no ideas aside from "give me MINE MINE MINE" and shits on anything urban or urbanist makes him a filthy politician. It makes him electable, you're right, a disgusting example of a populist POLITICIAN.

This doesn't make him a good alderman.
Meh. I'd say Hillhurst-Sunnyside is the biggest NIMBY community in the whole city. And Panorama is the most ethnically diverse (53% visible minorities versus 9.8% for, say, Sunnyside.)
     
     
  #73  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 3:29 AM
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I would respectfully disagree. I think the idea of a spectrum is antiquated. It is a simplification of a very complex set of ideas. While a simple left-right dichotomy is the worst possible interpretation of any value system (I guess a right-wrong dichotomy is worse), a spectrum isn't really much better. I believe issues are much too complex to be able to fit them on a spectrum. Grade 10 social studies this ain't.
I think that we're essentially arguing the same point, except you've articulated it better. The following will either clarify or further confuse my point.

By spectrum, and I'm sure that there are better models, etc., I simply mean that there's two extremes and an endless number of positions in between. I see it as more fluid and variable than perhaps others do. Certainly more than just left and right. I'll agree that it is a rigid, outdated way of describing political ideologies, and that's the problem. Being rigidly right-wing or left-wing is difficult, as with many people it will vary depending on the issue, etc. That's why I laugh when I hear these labels being thrown around instead of actually sitting back and having a look at the issues at hand and moving forward with some logic. Not "what should a liberal do" and "what should a conservative do".

Absolutely - it is an oversimplification of a complex concept, but an even greater oversimplification is believing that one position fits for all situations. And that's the tone that the civic election seems to be taking. Spending (even smart/necessary spending) = lefty = socialist = bad.

Which, in essence, is what the "report card" is doing - polarizing the issues into left vs. right, us vs. them, etc. and that will only make city council more dysfunctional than it already is. "That involves spending, so I must vote it down because I'm conservative." Even if the spending has benefits and might save the city money, resources, etc.
     
     
  #74  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 4:51 AM
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^ Calgarians get pretty good services for the money. If there were efficiencies to be found, they would be implemented. Realistically, to save money, you have to cut stuff. I have yet to see any proposals from anyone on council to constrain our operational budget which is supported by property taxes. They claim there is all this waste and programs to cut, but never name them. Claim that zero based budgeting would lead to saving, but you only save money using zero base by identifying things to cut.

Calgary City services are pretty basic compared to most cities. Many operational services are pay for service on a cost recovery basis, unlike in many other cities (this is why Heritage Park for example costs $20 for an adult, much like the Zoo)

The biggest cost centres for the city are transit, roads, and emergency services. I don't believe any members of council really oppose funding those things. (Efforts to decrease the tax increase by fiscal conservatives in fact created the budget need for the dreaded park and ride fee, and other parking fee increases, but still there was no effort to cut the services this funding supported)
     
     
  #75  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Sir. Humphrey.Appleby

I realize that we comperatively pay lower property taxes then people in other cities. However, my issue with regards to efficiencies is waste. Good example would be the work that was done on a stretch of Crowchild Trail between 53rd and Sarcee. It was done and redone about 5 times. That wonderful gauntlet of Shagannapie and Crowchild where you must go through 3 sets of lights which are not synchronized to move traffic quickly. I also am aware that our huge tax hike was do in large part to the Al do nothing Doer and his lack of leadership. This I think was the biggest failure of Calgary. At that time a lot of the projects we are now awaiting would have cost a lot less .

Is there a reason why the city can not issue municipal bonds in this low interest environment for large scale projects such as putting the LRT line underground? Are Calgary's hand tied when it comes to better or more innovative ways of financing? After all we all(or most of us) have borrowed for the next 25 or 30 years.....
     
     
  #76  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 1:10 PM
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Oh and some good news Global news was stating that the Crowfoot LRT project came in 20 million under budget....on a sour note, project was late by almost a year
     
     
  #77  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 1:24 PM
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and note when you bash someone, its best to state reasons rather than express emotional angst, such as smok and www, there's more people that made similar posts, but too sensationalist and profane to mention them.
Wow Korzym, you have the nerve to write this and then send that PM to SmokWawelski? Dissapointing is the only word that comes to mind...

Good on ya for sticking around with us SmokWawelski!

As for where I may fall on all this political spectrum talk. Despite other posters "theories" about all of us since we are on this forum I fall on the quite conservative side of things. Although like some others my recent voting history on the provincial side of things would not indicate that.

I see the need to invest money in areas and things that will better the quality of life in our city. Be that transit, parks, pathways, policing, and yes even pedestrian bridges and traffic overpasses. The fiscally conservative person in me also has no problem seeing parking fees implemented for the LRT lots.

I don't take an "us versus them" stand on pretty much every issue in the city. When a topic comes up at work or out and about with someone with a differing view I have no problem engaging them in a healthy dialogue about it. Usually over the course of this one discovers that a lot of the negative sentiment in this city (not all of it however) is nothing more than that negative viewpoint just rattling off the headlines from our media. Once you start to talk to them about more than that, and the actual meat of a subject you find that they may actually see more than what the Sun, Herald, Global, and CTV tell them.

We as citizens of Calgary are all in this together, there is no line in the sand here. Dare I say the majority of us love this city and want to see it become even better.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 1:24 PM
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re: Government waste - I'd be all over this issue if the supposedly fearless four were actually able to find concrete examples of waste in municipal government. Last budget they kicked up a stink over (admittedly very large) tax hikes, even though they themselves had approved this spending, and Council sat down as a group and went through the budget, supposedly line-by-line. The result was that these same aldermen were reluctant to do much actual chopping, lest it impact their popularity. All they did was try to cast the blame on the Mayor, Gord Lowe and others while dodging any responsibility. Sound strategy from a political standpoint, but if you really look at it from a taxpayer point of view - the whole exercise was just a waste of time.

Even on the Park-and-ride fee, one of the issues I do agree with McIver and the gang on - they dropped the ball. Most of these guys voted in favour of it, then once it was implemented, realized how unpopular it was and only then tried to revisit the decision.

Last edited by wild wild west; Jun 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM.
     
     
  #79  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 3:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SmokWawelski View Post
Sir. Humphrey.Appleby

I realize that we comperatively pay lower property taxes then people in other cities. However, my issue with regards to efficiencies is waste. Good example would be the work that was done on a stretch of Crowchild Trail between 53rd and Sarcee. It was done and redone about 5 times. That wonderful gauntlet of Shagannapie and Crowchild where you must go through 3 sets of lights which are not synchronized to move traffic quickly. I also am aware that our huge tax hike was do in large part to the Al do nothing Doer and his lack of leadership. This I think was the biggest failure of Calgary. At that time a lot of the projects we are now awaiting would have cost a lot less .

Is there a reason why the city can not issue municipal bonds in this low interest environment for large scale projects such as putting the LRT line underground? Are Calgary's hand tied when it comes to better or more innovative ways of financing? After all we all(or most of us) have borrowed for the next 25 or 30 years.....
Yes, the city can only borrow money through the province's Alberta Municipal Financing Corporation. It is also the law to only allow loan servicing costs comprise 25% of a municipal budget. Innovative financing still costs money, and remember, you are talking about the capital side while the operational side is almost exclusively the only impact on city taxes.

They could also have only dug up the road once, but I am sure the people that used those lanes in the mean time appreciated the lanes being open. Paving is pretty cheap. Those lights are likely there to make sure the Shag interchange does not create a bottleneck by allowing to many cars onto the road.
     
     
  #80  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 4:04 PM
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Lets tame down the personal insults in here or the thread can be shut down.
     
     
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