Rob Ford’s talking points discovered! Toronto’s slide towards political parties continues apace
Nice catch by OpenFile here: a copy of the talking points that the mayor’s office has been sending to all its allies on council. As Jonathan Goldsbie notes, these sorts of talking points aren’t new; David Miller passed around talking points to council as well. The difference here is that Miller’s talking points were (mostly) distributed to the whole council, while Ford’s talking points are only getting circulated to his allies. After the jump, a quick summary of the ways in which Rob Ford’s city budget is awesome, courtesy of Rob Ford.
Eliminating the “priority centre” program (which gave free access to community centres) is “fair” because some people who might have been able to afford to pay might have been freeloading, maybe.
The 2012 budget? Sure, city council may have literally been forbidden from discussing it, but the mayor’s office wants to assure voters that they’ll “leave no stone unturned” in finding efficiencies. Which will be easier with the $3 million they’re spending on outside consultants.
While a political rival might say exacerbating the city’s parlous fiscal state would be a “bad thing,” the mayor’s office believes that burning through the city’s savings was responsible: “we unmasked the true financial condition for all to see.”
During the election, Ford told The Informer that he was opposed to political parties at city hall, but between a ferociously loyal cohort of allies on council (Giorgio Mammoliti can be seen in the Toronto Star this morning taking a gratuitous shot at Raymond Cho for his speech on Wednesday) and message discipline like this—not to mention a general policy towards the press corps that we’d call Harper-inspired—this is all looking quite caucus-y.
The slide towards implicit political parties at city hall didn’t start under Ford: Rocco Rossi joked last year that city hall already had an organized political party, but just one—the NDP. David Miller’s opponents on council formed their own group that went nowhere. That Responsible Government Group does make for a decent shortlist of conservatives who now make up the Ford caucus in council. Somehow, we suspect they’re also the people who are on Ford’s mailing list. Just don’t call it a political party.