Comment 105513

By ItJustIs (registered) | Posted October 22, 2014 at 09:13:12

“I am not willing to become a participant in the fashionable discussion surrounding LRT. Until the money is officially presented to the City of Hamilton, we have absolutely no guarantee that it will in fact be handed to us. No matter what anyone in this conversation might want us all to believe. Therefore, I believe that to devote any time to talking about LRT is not only pointless, but irresponsible, because not only does it rob other issues of valuable ‘air-time’, it also does nothing to help improve our abilities as Hamiltonians to talk about substantive issues.”

Mayoral Candidate on Another Timeline Entirely

I’ve come to believe that LRT should never have become an election issue. Even understanding that it’s a topic that energizes many in Hamilton, it remains one that is predicated on hypotheticals.

So we’ve been having these non-discussions about something that in fact, regardless of what motions have been passed by Council over the years, regardless of which research you want to laud, isn’t a sufficiently solid topic.

I’ll confess that my gobsmackedness has increased over the recent weeks because LRT has been more and more a core plank in everyone’s platform.

Nobody can guarantee that transit funds will actually be allocated to communities as have been laid out. It may well be that the billions of dollars ‘promised’ are simply not in the Provincial kitty.

Further, whoever is elected Mayor will possess no real power. He will not be equipped to alter the course of What Happens Next. He won’t have a veto. Nor will he have the ability to make it all happen. And yet so much importance has been placed on 'Where Do You Stand on LRT?’

Attached to this is the sad conversation about who would benefit most from the proposed B-Line project. We have inner-city adherents declaring zealously that our very future is predicated on getting LRT. We have those in peripheral communities sniping about how LRT has nothing to do with them, that they need transit improvements, period. And so not only has the LRT conversation between Mayoral candidates been superfluous to the campaign, it’s become (to whatever degree you’re inclined to perceive) a divisive one amongst Hamiltonians in the main. And for what?

I’m trying to imagine what other issue might be capable of creating such a damaging shit-storm, one that’s based purely on hypotheticals. Can anyone?

I think what bothers me the most isn’t this perversion of the discourse, it’s that our misunderstanding of municipal politics has been amplified. I do not believe that the average resident grasps how things work at 71 Main Street West. For some, this is because of the distrust, the rage they feel towards City Hall. For others, it’s because they’re so wrapped up in their philosophical beliefs, so attached to how they believe things must unfold given the right white knight that they’re unwilling to examine logic that they cannot consider any other view than their own.

Comment edited by ItJustIs on 2014-10-22 09:13:27

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