What’s left, right or centre?
In the last post I started using the political terms left, right, and centre to describe the mayoral candidates’ positions. It’s really hard to escape using these terms. They represent a deep core philosophical belief—not just for candidates—but as a way to describe our own beliefs too.
I hate to admit that while I’ve understood the ideological differences between federal Conservatives on one end and NDP on the other, I’ve only recently figured out which one of those is labelled left and which is right. I would like to hope that I’m in the minority, and that this post is pointless. If that’s the case feel free to move on. But based on people I know who have liked my Facebook page—some of whom are inexperienced or don’t really care about politics—this may be worth a read.
The most basic way to describe the difference between the left and the right is that the left believes in more government involvement, and the right believes in less government involvement. The left believes in supporting the community, and the right leaves things up to the individual.
There’s a chart here that I found being used on a couple different sites—if I’m using this unfairly, please let me know and I’ll recreate it. I have a couple minor gripes with it anyway.
Here’s what happens when you put four of the (probable) candidates on the chart above.
That’s Olivia Chow on the left, Soknacki to the right of centre, Stintz further right, and Ford all the way over. Realistically, there’s little difference between Stintz and Ford, but I couldn’t place them on top of each other. Hrm. Okay, that’s a lie. One more correction.
For the record, this is totally a Photoshop in case you were wondering. Again, all of this is based on my interpretation. I may be totally off-base with this. Please let me know if there’s any misinformation and I’ll do my best to fix it.
Real world: what does this mean?
If you put Chow and Stintz on opposing sides and compare, you will likely pay more in taxes with Chow, and less with Stintz. You’ll have better services and social systems with Chow, and less with Stintz. Unionized city employees will be happier with Chow, not so happy with Stintz. With Stintz, you may end up saving a bit of money—or at least having a lower tax increase than you would have under Chow.
The real-world impact of that hasn’t really been determined yet. I don’t see it making a big difference whichever route we take. For example, in the current budget debate, Ford and deputy mayor Kelly were at odds over whether to increase property taxes 1.75 or 2.25%. This would amount to $13 per year per household per year.
Where do I fit in?
That’s a good question, thanks for asking. I don’t think my personal views are as important as the views of the residents of this city. I do have some though! I’d gladly discuss my views as a citizen over a pint, but I’d rather listen to what you have to say. I want to find a consensus between both sides. I suppose if you want to view it that way, my goal is to be right in the absolute dead freaking middle. Halfway between both sides ideologically, and halfway between both sides of the city—downtown and the suburbs.
I feel like I’ve got a fairly balanced view. Not only have I voted for every major federal party at some point in my life, but I’ve spent huge parts of my life living in different parts of the city. I live for downtown, but my heart is still in Scarborough. I cross that suburban divide and live both sides every day. This is one city, and both sides need each other to survive. Basically.