Comment 106250

By ItJustIs (registered) | Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:34:14 in reply to Comment 106248

"That is the unfortunate reality despite the well-reasoned arguments made by the enlightened informed enthusiasts. How do you deal with this real-politik?"

Well, there are a few elements at play here. the first, and maybe the most important, is that the average person has not been sold the merits of LRT. Despite the claims that there was 'substantial' outreach by the City (am I mis-remembering '1600'residents?), the truth is that the average Hamiltonian does not have a grasp on the information, pro- or con-. I saw this during the election campaign. (More disturbing was that candidates were often incredibly ill-informed, and therefore unable to take part in the discussion.) And the reason why is that there has never been wide-spread discussion across the city. So, as suggested this summer, the average Hamiltonian's default setting when discussing such a major investment is 'No'. Not because they're uniformly against LRT, but because they've never been part of the discussion, never had it sold to them properly. (For the record, this is not the role of Council.)

Secondly, because no candidate could unreservedly say 'Hamiltonians want LRT!' (and this includes Mr. McHattie), there has been reluctance to go 'all-in' on their parts. (Please see point one.) Politicians by-and-large are not chance-takers. There's too much at risk. During the campaign, I had suggested to one candidate to not get caught up in the LRT discussion, and instead make it clear that he was not going to comment on LRT, period. This leads to point three...

Until the the cheque's been cut, until it's determined just how much money it's going to cost the taxpayers of Hamilton to make LRT happen (beyond the promised capital costs), all conversations are moot. It doesn't matter how eloquently the case for LRT is made, it wouldn't matter if God called out from Heaven that She's a supporter of LRT, if the money's not in the kitty, then there's going to be no cheque cashed. In today's fiscal climate, to blindly believe that 'the money's going to be distributed, so if we say 'No' to our share, then it's only going to go elsewhere' is folly. Well-intentioned, enthusiastic folly, but folly nonetheless.

As a post-script, what I say here is opinion. I am not caught up in numbers, in facts, in ideology. The thoughts I've presented here comprise my opinion, nothing more. I'm just sayin'...

Comment edited by ItJustIs on 2014-11-17 10:36:03

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