Lame-duck mayor quacks while contenders preen

frankThere’s nothing like a lame duck mayor to bring the mice and a few rats out of the woodwork. In this case the duck has started to waddle limply a year too soon (or years too late in many estimations) and the city hall woodwork will be overrun with hopeful rodents. Already we have Giorgio Mammoliti in his year-round Halloween role as Mammo-the-Clown campaigning on the Whorehouse Ticket.Lame-duck

Legalize the exploitive sex trade, argues Mammo, and the crime will disappear. It’s the same argument for legalizing drugs to end drug crime, and there’s probably a better argument for that. But legalizing prostitution will institutionalize pimping and sex slavery which are major components of whoring in our city, abetted by pimp publications like Toronto Star’s parent corporation-owned Eye and the independent Now weekly entertainment tabloids that run lucrative advertising sections paid for by fleshmongers. That’s not to ignore Yellow Pages which also has a hefty ad category called “Escort Services.”

There’s no great incentive for law enforcement to make an all-out effort to quell sex exploitation. If you legalize paid sex, the demand and price will stay the same. And the victims are quiet to the point of being speechless. Legalize drugs, however and that drug trade dies since its profit lies in their scarcity because of illegality.

The big bucks that drug gangs make to buy SUVs and firearms would dry up. The cops could focus more attention rescuing those poor captive sex slaves from their pimps and madams.

Figure that Mammoliti, once he has marinated in the lemon-light of publicity from announcing his quixotic candidacy, will slip back into the luxury of the city hall woodwork where he has a job for life, like most city councillors.

Already Joe Pantalone has made it known that he is mulling a run at the post the former Mike Harris provincial government ensured would be in a dysfunctional city by creating the biggest political job in Canada. More people are eligible to vote for conglomerated Toronto’s mayor than any other office in the nation. Although an honourable candidate would run on the ticket of deamalgamating Toronto and making it a governable size once again, don’t expect any who’ll come from the woodwork to do that. There maybe a few wild mice from the surrounding woods who try, but they can’t attract the million dollars it takes to bullshit the public into voting for them.

Pantalone, should he answer the call in his head and of the power brokers he has become familiar with over 30 years on your payroll, will serve as a plebiscite on Miller’s term. After all, he is Mayor David Miller’s deputy and unlike his boss actually knows his way around city hall and its ruling bureaucrats.

Miller, it appears, was amazingly ignorant about how things worked at city hall and what he had to do to get things done. He demanded and got more power from Queen’s Park and with savvy Pantalone in his ear could steamroll common sense. (Considering the horrid Harris Tories appropriated that term like so many other Orwellian big lies they brandished, maybe “common sense” isn’t the best description of what Miller-Pantalone steamrolled. Make it “common good.”)

Miller has pledged to pack it in after another year of mugging the public for vigorish with monster parking fines and badge-crazed bylaw officers chasing down pup and pussycat owners for licence fees or nailing seniors walking in a public park. Meanwhile car-hating Miller continues paving our streets with concrete and streetcar rails that are even costlier than gold. He wants to blow a billion dollars knocking down the Gardiner perhaps hoping gridlock  forces those who absolutely have to be here to ride the rails. Or stay away and take their business elsewhere.

He has an assortment of like-minded councillors who love cars so long as they don’t have to drive them. It’s the next best thing to having a chauffeur and a limo. Kyle Rae, who wants to constrict traffic on Jarvis Street where he lives to a trickle, is council’s biggest user of cabs. Downtowner Pam McConnell isn’t far behind him. They’re not car haters. They hate driving. Rae defends his Jarvis plan and cites the “principle” of “traffic evaporation” that postulates if you make it impossible for cars to go anywhere, they’ll stay away. Let Mississauga, Vaughan and Oshawa have their pollution and business.

And let’s keep them away even on Saturday (like before Thanksgiving) when traffic was gridlocked for miles around Downtown by repair work to the Gardiner. Why do it on Sunday when you can frustrate traffic and hurt retailers with Saturday road work?

All this is coming at a time when there is a great push to make the automobile more energy efficient and less polluting. That move will succeed and no matter how many traffic-killing streetcars clog the roads, people will still need to drive. What makes more sense if one insists upon using electricity are the trolley buses that Toronto used to have and sold off to Latin America. Those make sense on our roads because, unlike streetcars, trolley buses can move in and out of lanes so that traffic isn’t brought to a halt every time they pick up or leave off a passenger. That avoids the ridiculous scene we see on our constricted arteries every day when streetcars are lined up behind each other, completely wrecking the schedule.

But the wastefulness of streetcars is most pronounced when you consider that every few years Toronto must dig up some steets to replace the concrete and rails and high cost.