Saturday, September 22, 2012

On single issues

Apparently today is Stadium Cheerleading Day in the Leader-Post. But in correctly noting that this fall's election will be decisive in determining whether a stadium goes ahead, Bruce Johnstone seems to me to give away the real choice voters face:
Of course, this doesn't mean that the stadium is the only issue in the coming municipal election. But it's the biggest single issue to face this council and this city in a generation.

Who isn't in favour of building a new water treatment plant, or fixing the roads or broken watermains, or recycling, or keeping taxes down? The stadium project is the big wedge issue in this campaign that very quickly divides voters into one camp or the other.
Now, it's probably true that few candidates want to admit they couldn't care less about such obvious needs as infrastructure and city services. 

But it's also obvious that the council incumbents mouthing their interest in those subjects have done nothing during their time in office to address them. Which makes for a stark contrast against how the current council has closed ranks and agreed to a long-term tax increase - just as long as it's directed toward the circus rather than bread, water or housing. 

So the question facing voters isn't merely whether to approve of a stadium, but whether to endorse a council which sees no other priorities as worth anywhere near the same level of time and effort. And I'll argue that anybody who can't see more important problems facing the city which deserve more attention can be dismissed as a viable candidate on that basis alone.

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