Why are you running for Mayor?
I’m glad you asked that question, though I doubt my answer will win me many friends. I’m running because it has become painfully obvious to me that no one else in this city has the foggiest notion of what is actually wrong with our present system of governance (let alone how to fix it); no one else seems willing to admit that they are in any way responsible for the problems we face; and finally, no one else appears to view this election as anything more than a giant popularity contest, to be followed (inevitably) by recriminations and finger-pointing when they discover (as our neighbours to the south did) that hope rarely leads to change. As well, I believe that my online reputation (based on my social commentary, archived at https://josephfurtenbacher.wordpress.com/ , for anyone who cares more about honest government than watching television), combined with the Mayoral soapbox, could save lives worldwide.
What will be your top priority if you win this election?
Curing the bad case of bloat the majority of the people of Ottawa (including those employed at city hall) suffer from. A Princeton study (admittedly small) found that happiness is subject to diminishing returns above $20,000/year (I’m assuming that’s after taxes:) Having lived happily on $12,000/year myself for the last ten years, I’m more aware than most people that love of either comfort or status (or both) is just a subtle way of saying you have nothing more important to do with your time here on Earth; that a stubbed toe (or a status rail transit system) is indeed more important than an earthquake in China. Of course, half the battle involves helping those who are actually trying to make the world a better place. (I hope I’m not being too blunt, but I can’t help but feel that the time for diplomacy has long since passed.)
What do you propose to improve Ottawa’s transit system?
Ah, there it is. (I have so many reset buttons on my desk it’s beginning to get quite cluttered.) First, I would try to convince people (and I can be very convincing when I want to be…) to drop the insane notion that we either need or can afford the monstrosity of a tunnel currently being ‘debated’ (elsewhere I’ve referred to it as the Moneypit Flyer:). My system is based on existing track (where available and useful), and, more importantly, on existing right-of-way. Since I couldn’t begin to adequately describe it in the hundred or so words I have left, you’ll have to check my blog from time to time; I’ll have a map and the accompanying notes up shortly after I finish the multitude of other tasks with which I’m faced (such as answering questionaires like this:)
What do you propose to improve Lansdowne Park?
Hmm… I know it’s here somewhere… Okay, got it (pushes button expectantly). Let’s see, tear out any surplus concrete (including any RoughRidden stadiums that happen to be left lying around after our recently completed thirty-year binge), preserve all trees, historic buildings and outlying parks, and, though I’d be the last person to force my personal tastes on anyone, I’d like a simple Roman amphitheatre (dig a hole and pile the dirt and stone around the edges), with a stage at one end, and behind that an L-shaped seven-storey affordable housing/community space building, with healthier-than-usual commercial suspects on ground level, and a permanent (and expanded) farmer’s market, possibly staffed by city employees. And if there’s any room left (I’d like to have large amounts of grass and artfully located trees), we could do far worse than to put a nice new library there:) Discuss amongst yourselves.
How do you describe your policy on municipal taxes?
Well, I’ve never explicitly described it, but I have summed up my entire tax rationale in the following paragraph:
JF: progressive personal-exemption spacial and temporal taxes, levied in the coin of the realm, on the consumption (including the consumption of good money known as income) of unsustainable, unhealthy, or antisocial types or amounts of physical or mental goods or services, in order to guarantee the positive right to self-improvement worldwide through United Nations equalization payments, or, in laymen’s terms, from each according to his feast of wealth, to each according to his famine of health.
And, as I’ve indicated elsewhere, I will introduce progressive consumption taxes and subsidies through both commercial and residential property tax shifting and rebates, and including, incidentally, the consumption of unnecessary amounts or types of real estate.
Thank you for reading. I’m Joseph Furtenbacher, and you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org , (613) 237-6446 (intermittently; I’m on dialup), or by going to my blog, as mentioned, https://josephfurtenbacher.wordpress.com , which is the closest thing I’ll have to a webpage (and more than sufficient for my purposes) this campaign.
p.s. I hope I won’t be breaking any laws if I repost this there without permission…
p.p.s. I’m sending you two pics – they’re like night and day:)