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Mendalla

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The Ford government's "reform" of Toronto's wards was discussed in the Municipal Elections thread but it probably deserves its own.

Short version to date: Short after taking power, Premier Doug Ford announced the province was going to unilaterally cut the number of wards in Toronto from 47 to 25, matching the number of federal/provincial ridings in the city. He made the announcement on the day municipal nominations closed, setting off a firestorm given that many candidates had filed papers and starting campaigning based on the old wards. The Premier recalled the legislature and used his majority to ram the bill through. The city quite quickly got its legal department into action, seeking to overturn the new law in court.

Well, today the decision came down.

Ontario premier says he'll use notwithstanding clause to chop number of Toronto city councillors | CBC News

So, a judge ruled against the law but Ford immediately swung back, launching an appeal and a plan to invoke the constitution's notwithstanding clause.

To be clear, the judge didn't say the province couldn't change Toronto's electoral boundaries. His ruling was that the timing was what made it unconstitutional and if Ford had simply let this election happen with the wards as is and then done the reform for the 2022 municipal elections, it would have been okay.
 

Carolla

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The Globe provides a pretty clear explanation re the judge's decision - Behind the judge’s decision that stopped Ontario’s reduction of Toronto city council

Listened to Ford's comments today in response to the ruling. His main point seemed to be that he was elected & the judge was appointed (which he repeated several times), therefore his own opinion counted more - his own limited understanding of the law notwithstanding (sorry couldn't resist using the word :confused:).

Moving to interfere again with this current election seems a poor decision based on a wound to his ego I think. Would be much smarter to work in large scale consultation (which he touts as important when it comes to education policies) once this election is over - at least IMHO.
 

Mendalla

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Listened to Ford's comments today in response to the ruling. His main point seemed to be that he was elected & the judge was appointed (which he repeated several times), therefore his own opinion counted more - his own limited understanding of the law notwithstanding (sorry couldn't resist using the word :confused:).

This largely reflects the attitude of the populist crowd on both the left and right, even more moderate ones like Ford (moderate relative to, say, Bannon or even Trump). It's appeal to the power of the people and a general attitude that it should be unchecked by things like courts and other non-elected institutions.

The problem is that the unchecked power of the people can be disastrous. That's why Canada, the US, and other modern democracies use a representative system rather than direct, universal democracy (a la Athens) and have written constitutions that constrain the power of those representatives. It's the justification for things like the Charter of Rights and the US Electoral College.

I am, sad to say, suspicious of the idea of direct democracy. Athens is the only real example we have from history and they pulled real some boners (voting to execute their admirals because a storm wiped out their fleet).

The people are NOT always right and events of recent years are only making me more sure of that. Democracy is fine, but there needs to be some ground rules, else it becomes tyranny of the majority (of those who bother to vote, not of society) very quickly.
 

Lastpointe

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A most bizarre decision by a nut job premiere

I can only hope that MPPs will vote against this. It I know they won’t. They won’t want to fall under the wrath of the boss for the next four years.
 

Mendalla

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A most bizarre decision by a nut job premiere

I can only hope that MPPs will vote against this. It I know they won’t. They won’t want to fall under the wrath of the boss for the next four years.

Hey, he said it's a free vote.:rolleyes:

An editorial from the Globe that about sums up my feelings. Of course, I have never been fond of the notwithstanding clause to start with.

Doug Ford is challenging the rule of law itself
 

revjohn

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Doug Ford is a bully. And worse, he is an incredibly petty bully who nurses grudges and plots revenge.

But Ontarians who read a paper or watch the news or listen to a radio where news is discussed already knew that. They had the four years of the Rob Ford Mayoralty in Toronto to get taught that lesson over and over and over and over and over again.

The ONPC's having to make a choice between an uncouth, thug of a male and several articulate females decided that the way to stand out among party leaders was to have someone with a penis. So Ford knuckle-dragged himself to the top of the ONPC heap. Where, thanks to a very tired Liberal leadership he simply needed to keep his mouth shut and his assinine views to himself.

It was a tough job that he didn't handle perfectly but at the very least he managed what Tory and Hudak couldn't. Stayed ahead.

He didn't ruin it by producing a platform.

And many Ontarians didn't care. They probably thought that the ONPC Caucus would function as some kind of restraint, the way Toronto City Council effectively did the sons of dunder. They might get around to it eventually, currently, they appear to approve of Ford's thuggery.

Leading from spite, as is Doug's want, should get tiring very quickly.

I expect he'll be going after the jihadis with Autism soon.
 

Luce NDs

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Bullishness, Canan, and flaming idiom that burns holes ids really admired by lost souls ... like Mithraism and sun worship ... if one gets too close to the flame the entire narrative may self destruct ... like Roman burning of mythic minds some 2000 years ago ... stunned a whole race ... all that's left is a dark abstract! Virtue of the unseen angels? Keep you head down and laid out as a smear none will acknowledge ... this soul stripping thoughts ... be the death of me and mine self ...

Oscillating drifts? Dance of bones ... core 've the stories?
 

Mendalla

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They probably thought that the ONPC Caucus would function as some kind of restraint, the way Toronto City Council effectively did the sons of dunder. They might get around to it eventually, currently, they appear to approve of Ford's thuggery.

The problem is a difference between municipal and provincial politics. The mayor is just the most senior member of Council. He doesn't have goodies to hand out like Cabinet portfolios and parliamentary secretariats. He can't get you kicked out of caucus or relegated to the back bench if you don't play nice. IOW, a mayor doesn't have any many carrots or sticks. Relying on a premier's own caucus to keep the premier in line simply doesn't work normally because they don't want to lose access to the goody bag. IOW, it's more about the premier keeping the caucus in line, not the other way around. Only if you can get enough caucus members together to potentially turf the bastard does caucus get that kind of power, which seems to happen more in Australia (who've had several PMs turfed that way in the past decade or two) and the UK (e.g. Thatcher) than it does here.
 

Luce NDs

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The problem is a difference between municipal and provincial politics. The mayor is just the most senior member of Council. He doesn't have goodies to hand out like Cabinet portfolios and parliamentary secretariats. He can't get you kicked out of caucus or relegated to the back bench if you don't play nice. IOW, a mayor doesn't have any many carrots or sticks. Relying on a premier's own caucus to keep the premier in line simply doesn't work normally because they don't want to lose access to the goody bag. IOW, it's more about the premier keeping the caucus in line, not the other way around. Only if you can get enough caucus members together to potentially turf the bastard does caucus get that kind of power, which seems to happen more in Australia (who've had several PMs turfed that way in the past decade or two) and the UK (e.g. Thatcher) than it does here.


You make the premier person sound like virtual fecundity ... that farce Ide of the narrative ... ultimate ... or you wouldn't go that far?
 

revsdd

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To be clear, I actually disagree with the court ruling. Which means very little, since I'm not a lawyer, but still I've read summaries of the judge's ruing and I do think he expanded the notion of "rights" in the Charter beyond anything reasonable. I think the province had the right to enact this legislation and I don't think doing so really violated any "right." It may have been unwise, unfair, etc. - but not a violation of rights. That's my opinion.

But that in itself doesn't justify the use of the Notwithstanding Clause. It justifies an appeal of the ruling - but there's no clear and compelling issue that should justify the Notwithstanding Clause being dusted off. This isn't an issue of national or even provincial importance. It's an issue affecting Toronto only. The issue of whether Toronto should have 25 or 47 Councillors isn't of compelling importance to anyone other than the people of Toronto, and I think an argument can be made either way - although it's my personal opinion that municipalities, just because of the types of issues they deal with and the type of representation needed, do require more municipal representatives that federal or provincial representatives. But that's an opinion, and as I said I'm not set on that. But what's going on here is not that there's any fundamental principle at stake. Even if you take a very "conservative" perspective on the role of the courts, the judge in this case didn't "make" law - he ruled a law unconstitutional. That's different than courts legislating that same sex marriage must be legal, for example - which I know sticks in the craw of a lot of people on the right. What's going on here is simply that Doug Ford didn't get his way, and he's going to use the Notwithstanding Clause to force the issue. More chilling, he clearly said that he'll use it again and again and again - presumably any time a court tells him that he can't have his way. That is a clear abuse of what most believe to have been the purpose of the Notwithstanding Clause. I don't see any way to interpret this other than that - as @revjohn said - it's Doug Ford being a bully and trying to look tough.

I find it sad what Conservatives have morphed into in recent years. People may have agreed or disagreed with specific policies, or thought they were good or bad leaders, but I think that fundamentally people like John Diefenbaker and Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney were decent enough people. Or, provincially, I think of someone like Bill Davis. I read this morning that when he was premier, after a court ruling against his government, even Mike Harris said that no government should ever use the Notwithstanding Clause. But Conservatives have become like bulls in china shops in recent years who sometimes use the powers of the state to try to settle personal grievances and to impose personal agendas even without a clear mandate or any public consultation (and this issue was never even once mentioned in the last election campaign) rather than simply to legislate. And in our system of government, with a majority premier having virtually unlimited power (especially if that premier is willing to make use of the Notwithstanding Clause) that is a very dangerous thing.
 

Luce NDs

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Even Mithras appeared to wish dumping people into pits and cauldrons ... the power of the Bull and Canan ...

Power trips ... fundamental sills ... base stones?
 

Mendalla

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It justifies an appeal of the ruling - but there's no clear and compelling issue that should justify the Notwithstanding Clause being dusted off.

This. If they start using the notwithstanding clause for every little Constitutional ruling that goes against them, it is being abused much as those of us who dislike its very existence have long worried. An appeal is the appropriate route and hopefully saner heads, like Caroline Mulroney his AG, are trying to convince him of that in the background.
 

BetteTheRed

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What the Court basically said was that the timing of the change was unconstitutional, because the municipal election process had already started.

His subsequent decisions/behaviour make it very clear that this is completely a personal vendetta against John Tory. Totally unprofessional, misguided, idiotic, demented, words fail me...
 

GordW

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What the Court basically said was that the timing of the change was unconstitutional, because the municipal election process had already started.

His subsequent decisions/behaviour make it very clear that this is completely a personal vendetta against John Tory. Totally unprofessional, misguided, idiotic, demented, words fail me...
THat is the worst part. Ford thinks he was told NO when he was told "Not Now". Even my 8 year old (on a good day) can tell the difference between those answers.


He could still make it happen for the 2022 elections. But to push it through mid-campaign, weeks after the nominations closed?
 

Luce NDs

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THat is the worst part. Ford thinks he was told NO when he was told "Not Now". Even my 8 year old (on a good day) can tell the difference between those answers.


He could still make it happen for the 2022 elections. But to push it through mid-campaign, weeks after the nominations closed?

More example of the power of corruption and the bringing down of the hole that is earth? Life is the pits to more than 80 % of the inhabitants ... for what reason? Dantean loss ...
 

Mendalla

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THat is the worst part. Ford thinks he was told NO when he was told "Not Now". Even my 8 year old (on a good day) can tell the difference between those answers.


He could still make it happen for the 2022 elections. But to push it through mid-campaign, weeks after the nominations closed?

The problem is that populists tend to be impatient. They want to deliver and deliver fast, maybe to show how strong they are or something. Putting it off until 2022 puts it off until after the next provincial election which means he might not even see the fruits of it if he loses in 2022. I agree that leaving it alone this election cycle and dealing with it before the 2022 cycle is the way to do it, but I see why he's taking the approach he is.

To be honest, I think there's also the element of "revenge" there that some others have noted. It's Ford's chance to rub Tory's and Toronto's nose in the fact that he's now premier after they didn't elect him as mayor. Waiting until 2022 doesn't fit that agenda. Of course, it may all blow up in his face if opponents of the plan dominate the new Toronto Council, regardless of whether there's 25 or 47 seats, leading to him spending his entire mandate battling with the province's largest city.
 

Luce NDs

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The problem is that populists tend to be impatient. They want to deliver and deliver fast, maybe to show how strong they are or something. Putting it off until 2022 puts it off until after the next provincial election which means he might not even see the fruits of it if he loses in 2022. I agree that leaving it alone this election cycle and dealing with it before the 2022 cycle is the way to do it, but I see why he's taking the approach he is.

To be honest, I think there's also the element of "revenge" there that some others have noted. It's Ford's chance to rub Tory's and Toronto's nose in the fact that he's now premier after they didn't elect him as mayor. Waiting until 2022 doesn't fit that agenda. Of course, it may all blow up in his face if opponents of the plan dominate the new Toronto Council, regardless of whether there's 25 or 47 seats, leading to him spending his entire mandate battling with the province's largest city.

Knows hite as impulsive ...
 

Luce NDs

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Can you believe the chite that flies in polity and political encirclements? ... Cervantes ... serve it well as it went on before (ante) and thus continues ... why?

Guess why this is served up ...

Because we do not tolerate alterations ... we don't wish learning on anyone!
 

Mendalla

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So, our politicians are going to work all night on a weekend to get this through.

Glad to see them actually working hard and putting in some hours.

Not so glad that it's on something that only matters to one city and could have been dealt with in a normal session if Ford wasn't so f-king stuck on getting it for this election cycle. There are so many issues more deserving of this kind of attention.
 
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