Gang of five at Toronto City Hall

I’m talking here about five CIty of Toronto Councillors.

What do these people have in common? They are all sitting on the fence when it comes to representing their constituents and opposing Rob Ford’s steamrolling of our City.
Each of these people are too afraid of a bully to use their brains and stand up for their constituents.

They are:
Josh Matlow–Ward 22: St Paul’s councillor_matlow@toronto.ca @JoshMatlow
Josh Colle–Ward 15: Eglinton-Lawrence Colle–councillor_colle@toronto.ca  @JoshColle
Lee Chin–Ward 41: Scarborough-Rouge councillor_lee@toronto.ca
Mary-Margaret McMahon: Ward 32: Beaches-East York councillor_mcmahon@toronto.ca
Ana Bailao: Ward 18: Davenport councillor_bailao@toronto.ca

The point here isn’t that these people swing vote. It’s the disingenuous nature of their votes.
Councillors like Mammoliti or Minnan-Wong are known troglodytes. We expect them to shit where the Ford family directs them to. If they were told to drops their pants in council they would do it.

No, the councillors I have pointed out are guilty of pretending to know better but being too afraid to do what’s right. These are the Councillors who I would hope still have some semblance of a couscience that could possibly be moved.

As I see it, and as has been pointed out elsewhere (http://mobile.torontoist.com/2011/07/ford_thing.php), Robdoug are not approachable. Neither of these guys are ever going to change their minds on any issues. They are, quite frankly, fanatics who, according to them, take their marching orders ‘directly from the taxpayer’. This would be the ‘taxpayer’ that speaks directly to them, and them only, directly inside their own heads.

The only way we can expect reason to come forward at City Hall is to reach those ‘independent’ Councillors who like to pretend they are the thoughtful centre but often support Robdoug’s agenda. Take a Josh Matlow. Here is a guy who claims to be of ‘the centre’ but when Robdoug blusters he votes with him as often as not.

Robdoug have removed sources of revenue from the City by canceling some taxes.

They have spent millions on consultants to look for areas of savings. They cancelled the deal with the Province on light rail that incurred a penalty of millions of dollars. They have decided to proceed with subways that we cannot afford. In other words, they have spent like drunken sailors…on nothing that actually provides any benefits to residents.

Having created a fiscal crisis they now insist the City services must be gutted. Some people think this was their plan from the beginning: create a crisis and use that as an excuse to slash government.

Having proceeded with their agenda, they refuse to listen to reason. Council is run as a private club for only their supporters. Questioning of the powers that now run the City are ruled out of order. Debate is stifled when it is allowed at all.

Council is split fairly evenly between Right and Left. The Right leaning Councillors are determined to do anything Robdoug asks of them in order to remain at the public teat.

Only the 5 or so Councillors in the ‘middle’ can tip the balance back to a more reasoned and democratic Council. That doesn’t mean always voting with the Left. But it does mean standing up for and supporting a clear airing of ideas and a meaningful public debate. Yet, much of the time, these five Councillors refuse to see their role in a democracy and whether because of fear of the bully, self interest or simple stupidity they allow themselves to get caught up in the whirlwind of irrationality that is now City Hall.

We need to make clear to the Josh Matlows (and other such Councillors) that there are political consequences to their obsequious behaviour. We need to make clear to them that we are watching. And when the next election comes along we will inform the people just what their Councillors have been up to.

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