Squad Could Be a Political Party
By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – Some local city hall watchers are having sleepless nights and they aren’t even in Seattle. Their minds are just too busy as they try to calculate what is happening with the Eddie Bad Forever Squad (EBFS). Some are even thinking that the elusive squad is behind a public meeting in Old Sandwich Town Tuesday July 10, 2012, 7 pm in the basement of Bedford United Church.
Said to be organized by concerned citizens the meeting will have a lawyer tell homeowners how they can fight back, using the law, against a care-less city government. The citizens as concerned as they are also apparently know that they are in a battle royal given ward two, their ward, is ground zero in the mayor’s petty act of revenge against voters who didn’t vote for him in the last municipal election. Although the mayor lost in sections of other wards he went down to defeat in that ward.
There is no confirmation yet as to what the squad is doing. It is believed that Windsor Star vanity columnist Gord Henderson knows all about it and its leadership being he was the first journalist to report on its presence but has steadfastly refused to reveal much more, probably waiting to do a feature on its leader. Some think she is a grandmother who is quietly going about the city building support for a new mayor and council that will seek election under a single banner to make Windsor a better place.
Already there are city watchers who think they have heard this and that about the platform that the squad will use and that it might change its name to something like Citizens for a Better Windsor for All (CFABWFA). Henderson could be holding up his column on the leader in order to do a big welcome to the new political organization once it gets fully organized.
It is believed that the CFABWFA will become a significant force in the October 2014 election with a slate of candidates offering downtrodden taxpayers a choice against the inwards now in power.
Some of the planks CFABWFA is developing, aside from getting a more catchy name, are rumoured to include bringing back the Auditor General to do a full frontal forensic audit of Enwin and the Windsor Utilities Commission to explain why WUC is not seeking greater efficiencies to deal with declining water use in the city rather than raising rates.
There could even be the establishment of a blue ribbon economic development office staffed not with abecedarians but people in the community with the precise education and training needed to really start the heavy lifting to end the jobs crisis in which a staggering 28,000 have lost their jobs and the city’s youth are flocking away to find work elsewhere and to which the inwards do nothing.
Apparently the CFRABWFA is more than a little upset that Windsor is not enjoying the rebound in the auto industry, as reported by the Globe and Mail on June 27, 2012, “The Canadian auto industry is rebounding from the recession, turning 2009’s $1.5-billion loss into an expected $1.5-billion profit this year, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada.”
High on the list of priorities for the new municipal party will be roads and already there is talk that Kate Tapak, of the Smooth Roads organization, will be welcomed with open arms rather than the cold shoulder she received from the inwards.
There are those among the watchers who wonder if the effort, if there is one, of the CFRABWFA is only academic because the current municipal act forbids the formation of municipal political parties. Some watchers argue that the times they are a changing and with the city enduring a situation in which its citizens have basically lost political representation that there is much the CFRABWFA can do except possibly acknowledge itself as an out-and-out party.
Certainly these watchers sense that there is no law that says people sharing a mutual concern to make a city better cannot gather and take their message to the electorate. About the only option the city’s current council would have, hampered as it is by its selfish members, would be to run the CFRABWFA out of town, odd given that out-of-towners are said to currently control the city and council.
Many city workers do not live in the city and a group of mothers with kids who are elite swimmers, some living outside the city, forced the mayor to build his $80 million swimming canal.
The last point is interesting because the watchers remember the long line-up of mothers, fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers who wanted to be heard but were treated like a Kate Tapak when they turned up at a council meeting to voice their concerns about the mayor’s elitist pool. Some even think that that very night the group of concerned citizens attending that fateful meeting formed the squad right there and then.
They also hold the belief that much of the work of the squad, or the CFRABWFA, has to be done in secret because of the Municipal Act. While it may outlaw political parties the watchers think that it will be unable to stop political movements and that voters will have to decide if for the next four years they want to continue with the inwards or elect people dedicated to serving everyone not just the elites in the community.
Prevailing thought does favour the latter. James Milway of the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity And Jen Nelles of the University of Toronto may shed some light on this in a paper they wrote for Milway’s outfit back in 2003. They claimed that “City voters must be able to choose both the people and policies that will govern their cities. At its most fundamental level, the system must allow for residents to make their collective will known in areas of:
- The general direction of key city policies that affect the future of the city
- Specific decisions that need to be made
- The individuals who will carry out these policies and decisions and whose judgment will be decisive in most of the day-to-day questions facing the city.”
Given that the inwards have failed on all fronts, there just might be some political value to having the CFRABWFA proceed. The city certainly needs people who care.
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