Friday, October 27, 2006

City Elections means little to Workers

Working people in Toronto have been offered little this year, despite having seen at least two, and in some areas three elections this year.

This fall, 44 new Councillors and a new Mayor will be elected for City Hall.

The prospect of any change is minimal, as the main opponents to David Miller are disorganized and have little base of support other than small pockets of people who want to see even more cops on the street, homeless people in jail and privatized social housing.

The likes of Jane Pitfield, Cesar Palacio, Peter Lipreti and others have spent most of their time pushing for these things and other policies that keep pressure on working people.

However, it is becoming increasingly evident, even inside Miller’s campaign that 3 years of a Miller lead City Hall has left a lot to be desired in the minds and wallets of Toronto workers.

Miller’s City Hall has made some positive steps in addressing some environmental concerns, but it has also put more money to Police at a time when police brutality and corruption are being exposed more than ever in this City. It has also increased user fees on services such as the TTC, made little or no progress on issues of addressing affordable housing, and moved to ban homeless people from sleeping in City Hall.

City Hall for its part, like every other level of government, blames another level of government. And while other levels of government are also to blame, the sentiments of Toronto workers is undeniable – Miller’s priorities are out of whack.

Faced with no mayoral race and very little discussion of actual issues, it is likely that voter turnout will not increase beyond last elections 35%.

Nonetheless, people can still raise awareness about issues such as affordable housing and social services, and a real answer to the difficulties faced by working people and families.