The Divided City: my Chinese immigrant parents will vote for Ford—as long as he doesn’t raise their taxes
Remember that time Rob Ford claimed “the Oriental people” were taking over because they worked like dogs? My parents thought that was awesome.
They immigrated to Toronto from Hong Kong in 1984. My dad, Sze-Ming, started his own import-export company, and my mom, Teresa, stayed home and took care of my two brothers and me. Along the way they learned just enough English to know that, although the word “Oriental” may be a bit old-fashioned, it’s a compliment when someone says you work hard.
Their diligence has resulted in a comfortable retirement; they meticulously tend to their Bayview Village bungalow and spoil their grandkids with Thomas the Tank Engine toys. My folks are practical, even when it comes to municipal politics. Their litmus test is simple: “Who do I trust with my money?”
They trusted David Miller in 2006, then felt betrayed by increased taxes and a garbage strike. No wonder Rob Ford was a salve for my parents when he showed up in 2010, preaching respect for taxpayers. In the halcyon days of Ford’s mayoralty, when his scandals involved fried chicken instead of crack cocaine, I could understand my parents’ rationale for supporting him, even if I didn’t agree with them.
Ford’s clarion call was that the city was poorly run, and who could argue? Never mind that Ford only vaguely alluded to solutions; my parents saw a guy willing to point out the obvious problems, in the simplest terms, and that was enough. Not charging them $120 a year to register their two cars seemed as good a place as any to start.
Last May, when reports began circulating of a video showing the mayor smoking crack, my parents found the story implausible. Ford gave his infamous press conference denying he was an addict, and my parents believed him. When he said he couldn’t comment on a video he had “never seen or does not exist,” they believed that, too. I wasn’t surprised. After all, my parents also believed the mayor when he said he would find private funding to build subways. Their unwavering support for Ford was eroding my respect for them.
“I don’t feel the same way about this city that you do,” my dad explained plainly. “I just want to live peacefully and pay less in taxes.” My parents could stand to be more informed about Rob Ford, but they don’t care. When the police announced they had the long-rumoured video in their possession, I asked my dad if he still planned to vote for Ford again. “Maybe,” he said. “Justin Trudeau smoked pot, so what’s the difference?”
“What about all the other things in that police report?” I pushed. “What about the history of lying, the allegations of drinking on the job, drugs, extortion and the pattern of reckless behaviour?”
He had no idea what I was talking about; those details weren’t in Toronto’s Chinese news. He also didn’t seem to care, even after I told him.
“He peed in a parking lot,” my wife, Cammie, chirped.
At that, my mother’s face twisted in disgust, and I had a revelation: they weren’t choosing to take Ford at face value. Face value was all they knew.
Even when provided with all the facts, what my parents lacked was the ability to parse the social subtext of that information. They didn’t understand that I and many others judged Rob Ford morally unfit for office. Cultural nuance isn’t something people learn on the news—it’s knowledge that comes with deeply integrating oneself into a society. In 30 years of living here, my parents, I realized, had never fully done that.
They might hold their noses and vote for Ford again if no alternative populist fiscal conservatives arise. Peeing in public is bad, but raising taxes is worse. Stranger still, they would also be open to voting for Olivia Chow, if she runs. They don’t like her politics, but she’s Chinese, and that may be enough.
24 thoughts on “The Divided City: my Chinese immigrant parents will vote for Ford—as long as he doesn’t raise their taxes”
And they would be right. The only thing that matters is how much taxes are raised and what is done with the money. Crack smoking, drunkenness, public urination of Rob Ford doesn’t affect me at all.
Except that Ford has not been fiscally responsible. His absenteeism on the job is a direct slap in the face of taxpayers. WE pay his salary and he spent his days coaching football. In any company that would be grounds for dismissal. Not to mention that his cancelling of the LRT and going with a subway will cost almost 1 billion dollars if not more. Just consider the cost of cancelling those LRT contracts.
Where is the money going to come from to fix the Gardener? It’ll cost 1billion or near enough to fix it…Another 30 year tax hike of 1/2% perhaps?
Where is he Billion PLUS going to come to fix Toronto waters backlog of infrastructure work? Another 30 year hike?
How about Toronto housing’s backlog that has ballooned by over 300million while this man has been elected? Another 30 year hike?
TAXES NEED TO GO UP to pay for these things!
I cannot fathom how people will vote for this man over a $70/yr tax increase.
Exactly! Taxs going up doesn’t automatically mean gravy. The city is facing serious infrastructure problems and it’s time we tackle the backlog.
You’re missing the point. When immigrants work for barely the mininum wage but they see public servants receive 65 -80k salaries, benefits, and a cushy pension. They are going to question why they need to raise taxes. Yes, it would be nice if EVERYONE received that kind of salary, but the reality is that we can’t have that (yes, there was even inequality in China at the height of communism). So if you could position yourself in someone’s shoes, making 35k and working 60 hrs and how that impacts their opinion of property taxes…
Oh really? i’m missing the point? I need to put myself in the shoes of people making 35k a year? THEYRE MAKING MORE THAN ME.
I quit a fantastic cushy local 79 job because of how bored i was and how angry i was at the greed of my fellow employees especially after the garbage strike.
5 Years later and I run my own business and i’m finally at the point i can pay MYSELF a salary. Combined with my wife’s salary we bring home less than 50k/yr.
Don’t give me that nonsense.
How many of these same people own homes in Toronto? Because if you’re making 35K a year you can’t afford a home in the city, not when the average home costs over 500k. Chances are most are renters and property tax hikes don’t really effect rental rates, especially because the yearly increase is capped.
If the people you’re taking about own anything at all it’s a condo. Guess what, the biggest part of their yearly bill isn’t property taxes it’s condo fees.
If there is anything wrong with this society is that people live outside there means. They barely scrape by because they make poor choices. Our cities should not suffer because people make poor choices.
These things needs to be fixed. The bills aren’t going to go down and the rest of Canada for damn sure isn’t going to bail Toronto out of a multi-billion dollar infrastructure backlog
Canada was founded and built by Whites. Non-Whites added to it.
Multi-culturalism is a PC word for a multi-racial society.
That being said, one must ask oneself a few important questions:
1. Is every race capable of building/maintaining a 1st world society?
2. Do non-Whites flock to White majority nations because Whites build the most desirable societies?
3. If we should be tolerant, Why are Whites tolerating their own ethnic displacement? (And funding and celebrating it at the same time! ) This is lunacy.
4. Will minorities reciprocate the altruism, tolerance and compassion that Whites have displayed?
5. Why does social trust decrease the more diverse a society becomes?
6. Will Canada be as desirable once Whites become a minority?
7. Are different races suited to being governed by different laws that reflect their own cultures and genetic uniqueness?
8. Why is it mostly only White majority nations embracing diversity?
Multiculturalism is a presser cooker waiting to explode. Birds of a feather flock together. People are tribal by nature. Canada is becoming a nation of nations. All races understand their race is their nation. Whites are playing catch-up.
Found the white supremacist!
“but the reality is that we can’t have that”
Yes, we can. We did, from the 1940s to the 1970s. In fact today’s wages are LESS in real (adjusted for inflation) terms than they were back then. You know what changed? Executive salaries, perks, etc. Corporate taxes. Do some research on income inequality in Canada – the info is all there.
The problem is not the public employee making $70K with benefits and a pension (which doesn’t go far in this city). The problem is the CEO making $1M and keeping a larger percentage of it than the $70K worker.
Before I put/pull my support for/from you, where do you categorize a greek guy…hehehe
I’ll help you out with those questions:
1. Yes – see Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore
2. Yes, in the sense that many ‘White majority nations’ have financial opportunities, physical space, and views that are not as xenophobic as your own, thereby making them desirable places to live.
3. Because ‘White’ isn’t an ethnicity. Its a colour. A French Canadian is not the same ethnicity as Russian Canadian or a Spanish Canadian, even if you think they look more similar than the French Canadian and a Pakistani Canadian.
4. Yes, to those that demonstrate altruism, tolerance and compassion. Probably not as much to those who play the ‘us vs them’ game that you subscribe to.
5. While increasing diversity decreases social trust in the short term, it has been shown that young individuals growing up in diverse environments where everyone is treated equally actually demonstrate more social trust. This probably does not hold true to young people in diverse environments who barricade themselves behind labels of ‘white’ and ‘non-white’ though.
6. So long as Canadians (White and non-White) see each other as equals rather than competitors, Canada will always be more desirable than countries that do not take this view.
7. The genetic uniqueness of races has been debunked for quite some time.
8. Because White nations have been more stable financially and politically, allowing them to open their borders. Also probably because centuries of colonialism by these same nations in many other parts of the world have affected their view of what diversity can bring. Note however that closing off borders has not made those countries any more successful than the ‘White majority’ nations of which you speak
That’s just a soundlyte. Have you done the math? Take the head of RBC, making something like 12.6M? Take that away and split it between the 60,000+ employees they have.. how much does that net? I’m NOT a proponent of overpaying our CEOs, but the numbers don’t support your sound byte.
Sorry to break it to you, but at one point, my parents made that much and in the 90’s yes, you could afford to buy condos in scarborough – ask a realtor to check your prices between mid 90’s to 2000’s. I’m not justifying that the electorate may be wrong, but trying to show you the flip side. When they are counting their pennies and dimes, and you have articles of banking sick days, the optics is not good. Until politicians acknowledge this, they will continue to be baffled by Ford’s popularity. As they say, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge.
If diversity is a strength, why does China have self-autonomous regions?
1. Japan, HK annd Singapore have a high average IQ population (106), so technically can build 1st world nations, (with the help of White technology and inventions) but not as desirable as White nations. That’s why they flock to White nations.
2. What is it about Whites genetically that allows them to build more desirable societies?
3. Whites are a race, divided into different ethnicities. Science 101.
4. Whites usually build more desirable societies, because they are high trust societies, unlike low trust East Asian societies. This has a genetic basis.
5. Diversity permanently decreases trust and happiness levels. Birds of a feather…
6. So long as Canadians see each other as equal… theey don’t. And they never will. People are not equal. Get over it. Different races have different IQ’s, temperaments etc. E.x. Blacks have lower average IQ’s and higher testosterone levels. This makes them more violent.
7. Debunked by whom? Read IQ and wealth of nations, and Rushton’s Race, evolution, and behavior.
8. White nations are usually more stable politically and financially because Whites are genetically more compassionate and altruistic.
Found the Leftist – communist!
The truth is racist.
Yeah, eh? I was >this< close to responding to each point, but what the fuck for, I hate wasting my time with people like that.
Yeah, I recognized his mindset right off of the bat. Years ago I spoke with a guy who was proud to call himself a racist. He spouted off the same kind of crap we’re seeing with this guy. Not worth anyone’s time, really.
White Dragon: I think most of your arguments are weak, and you’re reasoning based on your supporting preexisting position rather than looking objectively at the facts. But I wholeheartedly support your right to hold your views and engage with others about them.
I don’t have time to make long lists of arguments so I’m just going to challenge the most egregious of your arguments. If blacks are so inferior (on average), how does a black-majority country like Barbados consistently outrank white-majority countries like Portugal and Poland on development indicators like GDP per person?
By your reasoning, that should be impossible. Yet it’s the reality we live in every day.
1. A small minority makes a lot of money basically acting as money laundering and tax evasion specialists for foreigners, the rest of the country is low income employed in sugar cane farming and tourism. Its a small island with a small population, with a unique economic niche. Its model couldn’t be replicated on a wide scale.
2. How many Barbados’s are there?
3. Look at Detroit
4. Look at most of Africa
White Dragon: I think you’re misleading and cherry-picking with your facts.
Barbados’s Gini coefficient of income inequality – the standard measure – is similar to New York’s and Massachusetts’s. So the facts don’t support your claim that “a small minority makes a lot of money”. Barbados has a pretty standard mixed economy – over the last 30 years its made the transition from agriculture to tourism, manufacturing and advanced services. They’ve created a favourable environment for financial services but it’s not an egregious tax haven. Maybe you’re confusing it with Bermuda?
We can talk about your other points later but for now, let’s stay focused on the question I raised. If what you’ve said is true:
“Blacks have lower average IQ’s and higher testosterone levels. This makes them more violent.”
How is it possible that a black-ruled country like Barbados, which only gained independence in 1966, is outperforming a country like Portugal that’s been white-ruled since *1139*? We’re not talking about a small group of outliers, we’re talking about the aggregated behaviour of hundreds of thousands to millions of people. If race is destiny, then by your reasoning the black brutes should have turned Barbados into Zimbabwe by now! But they haven’t.
I await your explanation.
Barbados, pop. 277,000.
Tourism and large injection of foreign cash reserves, as well as a British parliamentary system (a White creation) help. I can’t fully explain the whole ‘success’ picture, but…
… a better question would be, why is it most Black nations cannot mimic Barbados with regards to economic success?
Here’s a link to prove the HUGE genetic differences:
Also, “IQ and wealth of nations” offers strong explanations, (all with peer reviewed evidence), to help genetic/science newbies understand the enormous importance DNA and IQ play in creating wealthy, low crime societies.
muliculturalism and immigration keeps wages low and stagnate for the
middle class and bonuses high for the white corporate elite who then in
turn support the political parties which keep the door open. They aren’t
riding the subways everyday. They are in the rosedale/muskoka bubble
and don’t have to deal with the mess they’ve created.
Any taxes that go up doesn’t mean infrastructure is fixed,just look at the record of the Ontario Liberals and how they have raised taxes for years with no redeeming social value,of course they run a kleptocracy. it just means more tax money that goes to government is used to line their pockets and not fix anything.
It’s not just a soundbyte. Research backs it up. The CCPA has tons of info on it. You can get started here.
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