Save our cities: Sign the register!

05.16.04

As a current resident of the former limits of the city of Montreal, my signature on the register this week will probably be pointless. But if you’re living in the former municipalities of DDO, Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Pointe-Claire, TMR, Westmount, Montreal-West, Kirkland, Beaconsfield, Baie d’Urfé, or any other municipality that was forcibly merged into the Montreal megacity disaster, then this is your one and only chance to right the wrong and restore democratic principles.

I’ve ranted about the mergers before. I know the deck is stacked against the demerger. Biased studies making it seem like the demerger will be more costly are funded by the supposedly-neutral referendum committeee. The lists for each municipality include names of people who have been dead for ten years. The lack of door-to-door registration means that people who are immobile can’t come out and sign. The 10% requirement is going to be a tough nut. Though early reports are encouraging for some municipalities, others are still missing a lot of signatures before a referendum will even be able to be held.

But I think that people are angry enough, and committed enough, that they may just pull it off despite all that. So if you’re reading this and you are eligible, make it your business to sign the register in your local city hall or designated location by Thursday. It’s a small action but it could mean a lot.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 josh 05.17.04 at 6:22 PM

It’s interesting watching this issue play out. In Mtl on business and I get to see this up close. Just don’t know where to begin.
People are so quick to ridicule Israel about its politics, banana republic progress, bureaucracy, etc… and this ‘demerger’ thing is just a typical example of how you should first look at the rotten in your pantry before checking out what your neighbour’s having for dinner.

I like the ingenious idea about this ‘register’ for the referendum. Instead of just having a referendum, you have to have a referendum to the referendum. On top of that, in the ultimate salute to apathy, the ingenious politicians decided that couch potato citzens have the default vote. How’s about that for western democracy – make it a hassle to exercise your rights and use the rate of voter turnout percentages at your whim.
Why didn’t they just have Gallup polls? They cost less and only need to inconvenience a representative 1201people with a accuracy rate of +/- 4%
So sa

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2 dj 05.18.04 at 2:11 AM

Well there shouldn’t be a demerger vote in the first place, the only reason its happening is because Liberals stupidly promised it in the election…

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3 Albert Law 05.18.04 at 12:14 PM

Segac,

Your opposition to the mergers seems to be that it’s only a small number of people at the top who made the decision and the general population was not consulted directly on the question.

You don’t see anything wrong with that when it come to gay marriage. You have no problem with a few people at the to making a decision without consulting the general population.

Unless I misunderstood your opposition to mergers, there seems to be a contradiction. what did I get wrong?

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4 Knave 05.18.04 at 2:53 PM

Unless I misunderstood your opposition to mergers, there seems to be a contradiction. what did I get wrong?

Well, I’m a merger fan myself, but I don’t think that you can compare a human right with a civic reorganization. Human rights can be dictated from the top down, even if everyone disagrees with letting blacks vote, they still have that right. The mergers though are not really about human rights.

Of course, I don’t think that suburbs have the right to exist in the first place, especially since they spent their time screwing over the downtown core.

But, to get back to my point, while Segacs is wrong, I see no contradiction in her stances.

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5 Albert Law 05.19.04 at 1:42 AM

Knave,

“even if everyone disagrees with letting blacks vote, they still have that right. The mergers though are not really about human rights.”

Does this only apply to human rights?

If everyone disagreed with civic reorganisation, could it still be right?

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6 Knave 05.19.04 at 2:12 AM

Of course it could Albert. You’ll never hear me defending the asinine decisions of the masses…

However, I think it is reasonable to ask that politicians ignore the masses on issues of human rights, while they listen to the masses for less weighty issues. Frankly, I think the masses should be ignored on the merger issue, but I can accept the argument that they should be listened to.

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7 segacs 05.19.04 at 4:19 AM

Knave, why exactly do you think the masses should be ignored on the merger issue?

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8 Knave 05.19.04 at 7:29 AM

The masses should be ignored when they are wrong 🙂

Imagine one suburb that consists of two neigborhoods, a rich ‘hood and a poor ‘hood. The rich people don’t really like funding services for all those poor people, so they agitate to separate. After all, let the poor people build their own damn library…

Should we listen to those rich folks?

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9 segacs 05.19.04 at 2:44 PM

So if you have $50 in your bank account and your neighbour has $10, should you be obliged to give him $20 by an act of law? Should we move to a communist system where no person is allowed to have more than any other person?

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10 Knave 05.19.04 at 6:32 PM

Well, therein lies the balance. Rich people would prefer that there were no taxes and that everyone funded everything themselves.

Poor people would prefer that taxes approach 100% so that they can get all the good things in life while the rich people pay.

The trick is to soak the rich people while still maintaning the incentive to succeed. Its a fine balance.

Offhand, balancing cash between rich and poor would fall under the “removing incentives” banner, while keeping the rich people in the same municipality as the poor people would be substantially more reasonable…

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11 segacs 05.19.04 at 7:46 PM

Removing incentive isn’t the only problem with the Communist model, although admittedly it’s a big one. The other thing is that the more socialist one area’s economic policy is, the more incentive the rich people will have to move elsewhere and do their business and investment elsewhere. Thereby ensuring a vicious cycle, where more people are feeding off the state than paying taxes into it… and that majority then constantly votes in more governments who will raise taxes on “the rich” even more. But if all the rich have left, whose money exactly will be financing everything?

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12 Albert Law 05.19.04 at 9:11 PM

Segac,

So does this mean you’re against redistribution in principle? Knave talked about a balance but you attacked a strawman ( either what you want or Communism ).

If you are against taxing the rich more, does this mean you’re in favour of a head tax?

I’m not sure I should actually expect you to respond. Curious: What in my arguments is so unreasonnable that it’s not worth bothering?

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