Municipal Political Financing: A Question of Choice

August 16, 2013

Are you as tired as I am of listening to certain municipal politicians bemoan the current system where corporations pour millions of dollars into the coffers of their parties — and yet do absolutely nothing about it?  “Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” as that bald guy once wrote.

None of the municipal parties are obliged to accept the millions of dollars thrown at them by developers and others.  None of the municipal parties have to put themselves into the appearance of potential conflict of interest situations.

No. They choose to.

No doubt Vision Vancouver — though publicly bemoaning the current situation — would say they can’t take the lead on this because they couldn’t possibly compete in the next election against a corporate-funded NPA.  That is BS on so many levels:

a) Have you looked at the NPA lately?

b) It says that the electorate are so stupid that they will be swayed by advertizing rather than good policies.

c) It says their own supporters don’t have enough faith in them to donate what they need.

And so they accept millions of dollars from the same developers they will be doing business with and ruling on during their term. I’m not saying this is actually corrupt; but it sure looks like it could be.

This is a choice they have made.  A sad, lazy choice.  And it is Vancouverites who eventually pay the price, in bad governance and expensive unwanted condo towers.  Which makes their wailing and gnashing of teeth all the more distasteful.

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Density Is Good For You

August 16, 2013

That headline reads like something from the Ministry of Truth, and yet it is the message of Professor Michael Goldberg in his op-ed in today’s Vancouver Sun:

Current outcries against height and density at Broadway and Commercial Drive and Broadway and Main Street are badly misplaced, failing to understand the benefits and economics of height and density to preserve, not destroy, surrounding neighbourhoods

These benefits are apparently particularly great for single-family neighbourhoods. Therefore, I propose that they experiment with putting dense towers into Shaughnessy and Point Grey and let us see how that protects those SF neighbourhoods.  If it goes well there, I am sure we will be more willing to give it a try in Grandview.

 

By the way, where is the disclosure that Goldberg is a director of a major developer?  Has something happened to truth in publishing?