A Feast Fit For A Front-running Mayoral Candidate

Neco Cockburn talked turkey(s),

A fairly tame mayoral debate Friday..

Things wouldn’t be so tame if any of the crackerbarrel cognoscenti would ever admit that they can run (for Mayor), but they can’t hide (from their civic duty to defend their positions against *all* challenges, not just the easy ones).

..ended a week in which the two front-runners in the campaign hit each other with some of the most personal accusations seen so far..

People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. – G. K. Chesterson

..Candidates Clive Doucet, Andy Haydon, Larry O’Brien and Jim Watson discussed..

or, as we say here in Ottawa, ‘debated’,

..issues such as transit, youth, labour negotiations and homelessness..

none of which, it turned out, they had personally experienced in years,

..in front of about 150 people at the Château Laurier..

All dressed up and no place (better) to go…

..at a debate organized by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa..

For those about to talk,

From: Joseph Furtenbacher

To: office@ottawakiwanis.org

Sent: Friday, September 24, 2010 1:31 PM

Subject: Hobnob Much?


Was just reading about your ‘mayoral’ ‘debate’ at the Chateau La-di-da. Nice to see how the other half ‘lives’.

For a description of my views on how to make the world a better place, please see


In particular, I would direct your attention to ‘Rationale’, which I spent twelve hours a day for the last five months writing, and which contains more good social justice ideas than are dreamed of in your philosophy, whatever that may be.



Joseph Furtenbacher
‘Mayoral Candidate’, Ottawa 2010

p.s. Sorry if I seem a bit sarcastic, but I feel the democratic process has been trampled on more than enough by people with more money than brains, and I never envisioned your organization in the role of enabler.

<rant app off>

..Perhaps the most interesting exchange occurred before the actual debate..

One of these things is not like the others:

– seating arrangements,

– ethics,

– the role of talk-radio station CFRA,

– an exchange between Watson and O’Brien earlier this week.

..The candidates’ microphones were left on as they ate lunch before the debate..

On the menu:  Tangerine-Glazed Breast of Chicken, Vegetables, Cappucino Mousse Coupe

..so anyone plugged into the sound board could hear a conversation between Doucet and Watson..

‘Beam me up, Jim!’

‘Which planet are you on?’

..They chatted about seating arrangements, ethics, the role of talk-radio station CFRA and an exchange between Watson and O’Brien earlier this week, although none of it was particularly surprising..

I found the use of the word ‘ethics’ a bit surprising, since it’s one of the pillars of my platform, along with competence, pragmatism, and vision, and I’m fairly sure they’re not ready to go there.

..(O’Brien and Haydon, who sat together on the other side of the table, didn’t seem to have much to say to each other, even though Haydon once worked in O’Brien’s office as an adviser.)..

`The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master – that’s all.’ – Lewis Carroll

..During the debate, not much was said that hasn’t been heard before..

It’s like déjà vu all over again, etc. But seriously, folks, if you want to hear anything that hasn’t been heard before, you’ll have to start listening to me. I talk about things like representatives working for the median income of their constituents, which here in Ottawa is forty thousand dollars (before taxes); subjecting myself to recall by one third of the people who voted; making myself available weekday evenings (upon request) for community consultation; ridding city hall of bloat and illegality (I believe that keeping residents informed of any city hall shenanigans is one of the central duties of the Mayor); taxing unsustainable, unhealthy, or antisocial consumption, and subsidizing its opposite through progressive property taxes, property tax shifting, and personal rebates; limiting government by acknowledging an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; reducing payments to the upper levels of government while increasing employment; promoting on-site fruit and vegetable production and affordable housing construction through property tax reductions; listening to people who know what they’re talking about and why it’s important, and lecturing those who don’t; returning to rural residents the rights and responsibilities they should have had all along; buying ecologically valuable land and refusing to sell utilized public property; reducing cycling injuries and fatalities through bylaw reform; reducing sewage overflows by subsidizing composting toilets; reducing waste by convincing volunteers to do some waste diversion instead of donor diversion; increasing our international status by being able to point to all the things we do right; etc.

..although Doucet said he’d hold a newcomers’ festival for new immigrants if he’s elected..

Sigh. What’s a guy gotta do to get a break in this town?

..Haydon, who’s building his campaign around his vision of a bus rapid-transit system, warned that the city won’t have money left for other programs if it goes ahead with its plan for a $2.1-billion light-rail transit line..

That argument would carry more weight if Mr. Haydon could explain how electing me could possibly fail to cure our Capital Tunnel Syndrome and Clogged Arterials:)

..None of the candidates would provide a firm commitment in response to recent calls from housing advocates for an annual fund of at least $15 million..

I must admit, I myself have a hard time committing to numbers ending in fives or zeros; I always have the sneaking suspicion that someone’s been counting on his fingers…

..comprised of money saved from provincial uploading of social-services costs, to be put into affordable housing..

Any particular rationale behind that move? Life is more than home alone.

Watson said he’ll release a housing strategy in the next couple of weeks..

It takes time to develop these things from scratch, and having to press so much flesh (a necessity if one plans on implementing anything at all) doesn’t really move the process along much.

..while O’Brien said it’s important for private-sector developers to incorporate homeless accommodations in larger accommodations..

Too bad he didn’t buy local, or he could have led the way by converting his $1.8 million “luxury liner moored on the shores of Brockville” into flats.

..Doucet said he’d start a land trust for social housing..

which started a veritable stampede, as reporters rushed out of the room to let the world know what had happened…

Gaia shrugged.


About josephfurtenbacher

World's Best Polymathic Macroethicist
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