Monday, June 4, 2018

Doug Ford Wants "Strong Mayors"

Doug Ford once wrote that if he were in provincial politics, he’d revamp Ontario municipalities so mayors can have more power.

“If I ever get to the provincial level of politics, municipal affairs is the first thing I would want to change,” Ford wrote in his book, Ford Nation: Two brothers, One vision, before being PC leader. 

“I think mayors across the province deserve stronger powers. One person in charge, with veto power, similar to the strong mayoral systems in New York and Chicago and L.A.”

So far, during the campaign, Ford hasn’t mentioned the idea.

But it is an idea. Something fresh. One that will help streamline policy in large cities like Toronto, eliminating the ad-hoc chicken crap of the elected municipal councils. 

Others fear it will create despotic local governments. 

Of course, giving mayors more power doesn’t address the economic calculation problem. Despite Ford’s admiration for NYC or LA, those cities have all kinds of problems arising from statist management. 

And in smaller communities (e.g. pretty much every municipality outside of the GTA), mayors are part-time administrators. Municipalities really are the glorified custodians of democratic government. They run the roads, sewers, and shitty-ass public transit.

And there’s no need for it. Any of it. 

In the common-law tradition, after the divine right of the monarch, peaceful cooperation was a given. State force only entered once it was clear conflicts weren’t going to resolve themselves through mutual arbitration.

Canada (and most of the West) evolved out of this idea, but the democratic and socialist excesses of the last 100 years has undermined the traditional civil liberty of economic freedom.

When the city of Toronto has a problem, they don’t turn to the mayor. At least… they shouldn’t.

Ford should expand on these ideas and cook up an even better solution than “strong mayors.” 

I mean, as a businessperson, especially living in Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Ontario, he should be able to understand why removing red tape and cutting taxes is the verifiable path to prosperity. Labour needs the entrepreneurial spirit to create wealth.

All McGuinty-Wynne socialism has done is bankrupt a once wealthy province.

Laws underpinning a free, fair, and orderly society compel obedience, but words have a tendency to change meaning, and, legislation tends to be thick and plentiful, and so, administrative tasks don’t always reflect “peace, order and good government.”

Prioritizing mayoral authority isn’t necessarily reflective of the preferred social reality.

The City of Toronto is a complex, spontaneous order of human strangers. You can only realistically know so many people, but you can buy goods and services from people all over the world.

Cities work because peace is a prerequisite. Residents don’t steal and murder each other the first day of a police strike. They find other means of law enforcement.

Civilizations don’t decay when police forces aren’t large enough. Civilizations falter when strangers fail to exchange freely, when prohibitionary forces arbitrarily restrict them from buying and selling to each other.

Canada’s middle-class cannot sustain itself in an environment where the state subsidizes certain producers while subverting others, where the tax-regime disincentives production and wealth accumulation, where banking policies undermine the economic sustainability of the nation. 

Where are the principles of economic freedom that once defined a free society?

Having to choose between two socialist cunts and a loud-mouth malcontent posing as a conservative is a result of not questioning this 19th-century constitutional fiefdom.

An unwarranted persecution of free markets cannot be justified by appeals to emotion.

But that’s all we hear from governments and police. “You cannot do x, y, or z. You cannot provide a, b, or c. The state must monopolize d, e, and f.”

Or as Benito Mussolini would say, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

So what are our options? 

Easy: the local vote, that is, electing anti-democratic, pro-private property politicians to the local government. 

No need to revamp the mayoral process.

An anti-democratic city council could transfer ownership of government assets in their jurisdiction to local companies. These companies would be owned by taxpayers, with ownership of shares proportional to the burden the democratic state has placed upon each individual to that point.

Long-term residents get greater shares. Those who’ve lived off the government dole their entire lives get nothing.

Allowing private neighbourhood associations to regulate commerce within their borders, instead of delegating that power to local politicians, is a goal worth striving for. 

While not completely remedying our issues, it is a better tool for securing liberty than electing a PC government.

(And FYI, Ontario readers, there are Libertarian Party candidates running in all ridings. So either stay home and don’t vote, or go Libertarian. Why the fuck would you waste your time doing anything else?) 

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