Friday, November 03, 2006

Democracy soaked in BioDiesel - got fire?

Ah, the city of the future. It will be lovely when it's finished.
But you never finish, unless there's a disaster.

Photo by D.W. is of installed artwork by Jason Van Horne, 2005.
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So Global Warming no longer has to go in open quotes. Yay.
Thanks to Tony Blair's sudden desire for a wiser legacy, we have the (disgraced) leader of the Euro country with the highest autombobile use per capita, despite the best attempts of the French to ruin their landscape. Mr. Blair announced the hiring of Al Gore - which sounds like a punchline to a joke I didn't hear the start of. Perhaps Tipper can have a word or two with those ASBO Hooligans (, or have parental warnings printed on hoodies?

Speaking of Leaders, I received a question about a metaphor: the answer is that for David Miller, he may or may not survive the election in a political sense. As for Edi Rama, he is trying to attain the highest office in Albania, which ratchets up the danger he may find himself in, given the resistance to anyone who, like Rama, has spoken and moved against corrupt practices, sexism, and holding onto Soviet bureaucracy. In short, he stands a good chance of being assassinated. I admire Mr. Rama for many things - personal courage is just another, but I wish both men the best of fortunes, as both this city and Albania need more effective means to take charge of their respective courses.

The Typically Twin-Headed Eagle (Albanian Flag Pictured), found on so many Euro Flags. Surely there's no evolutionary advantage - maybe it's a metaphor.

Albania's population, last time I read figures, was roughly similar to that of the GTA (with a plus or minus of 750,000) alone, and we have much greater ethnic diversity to account for in our demographic. By account, I mean be responsible for and to the citizens, without unwarranted discriminations made in the protection of human rights.
Albania is trying to get to a stage we might take for granted - I think we'd be beyond shocked at the idea of a political assassination here. I certainly hope so. I respect Mr. Miller's patience over his first term at confronting unmotivated counsellors on dragging their feet or favoring lobbyism over transparent practices.
In the matter of driving more nails into the coffin of backroom deals and lobbyists with undue influence (And how are you today, Mr.Domi?), I hope for greater results.
To summarize his time so far poses the inevitable comparison with the most embarrassing figure ever to hold the office, his immediate predecessor, Mel Lastman. Perhaps I felt the embarrassment too keenly, but the dignity and intelligence that Miller consistently applies to his daily conduct has erased much of the unintentionally comic about the Mayor's office. I think that any person who thinks and acts with a conscience for the diverse constituency he or she serves is owed a fair hearing, but I also give the benefit of the doubt to people who have shown opportunistic habits.
That said, I cannot see any way which mayoral contender Jane Pitfield can improve or even match his people skills, respect for process and fairness and lastly, vision that grows Toronto as a cultural playground for citzens and visitors alike. I have looked openly at her platform, and find nothing to recommend her over the incumbent.

I think the greater number will quietly confirm Mayor Miller, this time hopefully equipping him with more co-operative members of city council. In the Parkdale/High Park, we've already had federal and provincial shake-ups - they seem to indicate a progressive and sustainable grasp of city living by the local electorate. Again, one hopes it's a sign of what's next, I'm looking very hard at the council candidates, as should everyone who bothers to vote. Think voting doesn't matter? Try facing the basic dispossession of those who can't vote for lack of fixed address, mental health or incarceration. Still think voting isn't an aspect of priviledge and responsibility?

Votes are like snowflakes - you ignore their weight at your peril
like litter - you discard it and mar the sidewalk
like friends - you discount individuals worth and harm the group.

Votes bloody well matter, otherwise no-one would try to rig an election.
No-one would lie to gain votes.
You could use crayon, fill in any name, vote for Ronald McDonald for school trustee.

Votes are tiny, yes. So's sand. So's rain. Is this metaphor belaboured yet? I spoke with someone today who posed as jaded, politically disenegaged, you might say. So part of my tone definitely speaks to that issue. If you're voting, good. None of us should be thanked for doing the very least expected of us, but it's good to acknowledge common ground with each other, like wanting clean air or a clean election. The election costs the same whether you vote or not, they always print more ballots than are used. That's tax money, non? C'est tous notre argent!

Your Vote. You own it.

My Ballot. It's vital that I feel invested in Democracy as an artist.


Blogger John said...

I don't think that's a metaphor - those are two of the normal meanings of "survive".

1:32 AM  
Blogger alienvoord said...

Pitfield has specifically made "cleaning up graffiti" as one of her aims, but Miller is in favour of hiring graf artists to create murals.

11:40 AM  
Blogger D.W. said...

John - I got lazy and googled it. It's not like metaphors suffer from great fixity, more from great utility: Metaphor - An idea or image that stands for something else.
In this case, th' relative comfort politicians have in our nation.
The corrected version would read:"In Rama's case, that's not a figure of speech". Thanks for not letting me off with being lazy ;)

11:58 PM  

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