Policy over Politics is my mantra for this upcoming municipal election. I've been asked numerous times "what does that mean?" A great question.
POLITICS: supporting or voting based on the belief it will offer a benefit to those who support you.
POLICY: supporting or voting based on the facts and well constructed plans that will benefit everyone.
As stated before, I am not a politician. I do not have the backing of any political party or special interest group. That means something! It means that the decisions I make and the issues that are important to me are MINE. My platform will be based on the feedback from the community. I will listen to everyone's opinion and allow each constituent to have a voice. It doesn't matter if you vote blue or red or orange, if you have an opinion I want to hear it. Will we agree on everything - no. Will I convince you of why a policy is right for Toronto, maybe. I will respect and incorporate your thoughts and ideas into my own perspective.
We can make this city the world-class city it can be. Toronto is on a precipice on several main issues that effects the well being of all Torontonians. Gridlock and its effect on our mental/physical/financial health needs to be a priority. Upgrades to transit and infrastructure are musts and there is no choice but to invest in our city. The way that such important key issues are resolved brings us back to the difference between POLICY over POLITICS.
Politicians will offer the world - a (insert length of time here) plan for transit that will include any and every benefit you could imagine. The plan will have catchy phrases like "subways, subways, subways" without much detail on how it will be funded. These plans will be debated, changed, re-debated, changed again and finally after several years they will remain dormant. They will become part of the next election's promises that will not be kept. Politics play to the inability to make a decision based on fact, consultation and compromise.
Policy will offer plans based on fact. Some of the bells and whistles cannot be given because they cannot be afforded. Experts that have been commissioned to do the research will report back and bring forth comprehensive and detailed long-term plans. There will be debates and compromises and with little fanfare - actions will be set in motion. The catchphrases will be non-existent and although the media coverage will not have reporters from other countries updating the world, important improvements will be done.
I am certain that once elected there will be politics that dictate the agenda of council. It is an inevitability despite the lack of a 'party government' to have those diametric differences. If we could just get the right group of city Councillors from all walks of life and from different political thinking to work together - you will be amazed what Toronto would look like in four years.
The citizens of Toronto need to demand more from their Councillors, they need to demand progress. Take the time to be informed, ask questions and get involved. The decisions at city hall will have a direct impact on each of us. Demand Policy over Politics.