Municipal Election 2006

Is History About to Repeat?

By Jason Leach
Published November 10, 2006

Election day is nearly upon us, and thirty-five percent of Hamiltonians will go to the polls to elect a council to "guide" us through the next four years.

I see many re-election signs posted on boarded-up buildings along Barton, King and Cannon streets in Hamilton.

The irony of this is fascinating. For decades these streets have remained as nothing more than empty highways for suburban traffic to rip through town, yet people actually post re-election signs on these buildings in the hopes that the folks who have overseen this constant decay will remain in power?

Call me crazy, but I find that quite scary.

Every election we see new candidates who promote positive ideas such as urban revitalization over sprawl and a cleaner, more prosperous city instead of the same old filth and corruption.

Yet we trudge off to the polls and re-elect the same bunch and then sit around complaining about Barton Street and sky-high taxes for four more years.

We need a council that will stop stealing tax dollars from the inner city to subsidize sprawl and one that will not allow developers to do what they please, but will instead give them opportunities to make money while rebuilding our city, instead of destroying it from the inside out.

Unfortunately, if history repeats itself, we'll vote for the status quo again and ensure that those boarded up buildings on Barton are still nice and empty in four years so we can hang our re-election signs on them yet again.

Way to go Hamilton.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By markwhittle (registered) - website | Posted November 10, 2006 at 14:55:24

Here in Hamilton, apathy reigns supreme. This is my fifth municipal election using my own money. I have been doing the spade work for ten years, helping ward seven residents solve problems when city hall would not. I did this because I have faith in democracy that apathy will wither and die if I stuck at it instead of disappearing after the last municipal election, or the one before that. Given the double-talk flying around the ward with eight candidates it’s easy to get drowned out by the noise and fury union and developer money bring. You can always tell which candidate has the money, slick, colorful coreplast election signs with a nice picture of the candidate. Planted row upon row along the streets like they always are, the status quo writ large. It can be quite depressing when you know those candidate are recruits of provincial or federal political parties hoping to get some political leverage on council. Apathy and a lack of political will is killing ward sevens democracy, allowing political parties like the NDP to foist in their selected candidate so more misguided blame assessment can be fostered upon the residents.

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