Sample streetcars need more heritage

I went down to the Ex last Saturday to see a Toronto FC home game and after watching another painful loss, I wandered over to the National Trade Centre (Direct Energy Centre, my ass) to see the mock-up streetcars. I arrived late and had to convince the people from Siemens that it was worth staying open another 10 minutes so I could get a look around their car. The personnel at the Bombardier car (TTC employees??) were slower to close, so no negotiations were required. Both competitors offered small sections of their cars for people to examine as well as explanations about why the cars on display wouldn’t really be anything like the final product.

A lengthy review of both cars follows after the jump…

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It’s PR, stupid!

I never thought I would be so happy to see an article in the Globe, but:

I feel a little vindicated to hear of the rumblings that David Miller is putting together a group (at God know what expense, but we’ll get to that later) with the goal of selling the people of the city on his tax plan and his overall approach to the city’s finances.

I’ve been arguing with friends since the taxes were deferred that the fault of this lay solely with the Mayor, who spent too much time thinking he had a political problem and never figured out (until now it would seem) that this has always been a PR problem.

People HATE taxes…they always have and any time you want to levy another one, people are not going to like it…the importance of the taxes are completely irrelevant!! I know that’s tough to swallow, but no one wants to part with their money and NO ONE wants to part with their money involuntarily. That’s the PR problem…if the general public will never love a tax, how can you convince them?? That is likely the exact question that the Mayor was asking himself before the tax vote. The answer, so clearly presented now in retrospect, is that you have to sell the public on the sheer terror of the alternative.

Sure, you’re going to be accused of fear-mongering. But if you wait until afterwards, as the Mayor did, you get accused of fear-mongering AND petulance. This budget plan has clearly existed for quite a while and the alternatives, should the taxes be defeated have probably existed for as long. (Does anyone really believe they just made all this up in the last couple of weeks?) Regardless of what the people on this site know (If you’re here, you probably have your ear to the ground, eh?) the general public did not know, and still doesn’t know, the plight we are facing.

So, the Mayor f’d up and you can’t change that now. I’m glad he’s trying to get his camp together to go to the people and try to educate them about how bad things are now and could be very soon. I hope that this doesn’t cost and arm and a leg, because it would be really stupid for the Mayor to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Sure you have to spend money to make money, but when there isn’t any money sometimes you have to settle for photocopied flyers instead of bus shelter posters…I’m thinking of the “1 Cent Now” campaign.

I know there isn’t an election for a while, but if we think that getting the public’s support is only important at election time then we don’t have as strong a democracy as we should.

Is Toronto F’d? Is there no saviour in our midst?

Nothing like an old school council dogfight, eh? But I ask you, fellow bloggers, when will someone really throw down??

I’ve been fairly critical of the Mayor on issues of leadership leading up to, and following, the tax votes and I still consider him to be far too diplomatic. What I would really like is for the Mayor, or anyone, to throw down their hat and take each deferring councillor to task for every single cut proposed today. Or better yet, offer the deferrers a chance to balance the budget. Maybe Minnon-Wong has a really great idea that no one has thought of yet. Perhaps we can bottle his hot air and sell it to Goodyear for their blimp. (SNAP!!) It is in town this week, you know…

Where is the staunch opposition from our buddies on the left. And I’m not talking about opposition, I’m talking about major head-bashing. This is the kind of thing that Howard Moscoe used to master, but recently he’s been fairly reticent. Maybe he’s wishing he was still running this TTC…maybe not…

It’s always easy for the righties to take the louder position on any matter. Their brains are smaller and as a result they don’t have much bandwidth to spend on functions like vocal moderation when just speaking is such a challenge. (Now that’s a dig!!) Anyway, real “ham and eggers” (Another dig!!) like Minnon-Wong are always going to have something stupid to say about their vision of the city; a vision governed by their desire to ensure the city has a sufficient amount of things to complain about. (This is starting to get mean!) Who on our side will be there to slap them in the back of the head? Maybe someone is doing this now, if they are I would encourage them to slap harder, with an open palm, because I can’t hear the smacking sound.

The person that will do that is the person I would vote for…and vote for often. And you’d have to, because lefties are expected to be smart not smart and tough. So if you got a real lefty bulldog on council he probably wouldn’t last long. But then again, Howard did…