;;

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

With Clr. Aidan Johnson- On LRT and Referendums

Enjoy our chat with Clr. Aidan Johnson

You were recently cited as saying that a referendum on LRT would not be effective as it could oversimplify complex issues and it would be expensive to administer. 


1. Notwithstanding, would this not be an opportunity to ascertain with a higher degree of assurance what the will of Hamiltonians is where LRT implementation is concerned, particularly in light of the low turn out in the 2016 municipal election? 


 A referendum would not necessarily be the opportunity you suggest, as a referendum necessarily requires people to vote on a narrow question, and does not give options for answers beyond “yes” and “no”. The true will of the public could thus well be obscured by a referendum, rather than clarified.

2. As this issue has and continues to breed controversy, would the cost of a referendum and the finality it would bring to the question of LRT support, not be worth the expense? 

I disagree. The huge cost of a referendum is a factor that we need to take very seriously. It is a key factor in my opposition to the idea. Council must respect taxpayers and the principle of fiscal responsibility.

3. While you appear to have a valid cautionary point with respect to the oversimplification that a referendum can bring, referendums have been used effectively to determine other complex matters. Why couldn’t it work in Hamilton on the LRT issue?

 Sometimes referenda serve democracy. In this case, the question of LRT and transit planning is too complex to be an appropriate set of questions for a referendum.

Thank-you Clr. Johnson for engaging with Hamiltonians on The Hamiltonian

20 comments:

  1. I would agree with Mr. Johnson that governance by referendum or plebiscite is generally not the way to go. No matter what we may think of council in general it is likely that the members of council are in a better position to make an informed decision on this and other matters than is the public as a whole (or whatever portion would actually cast a ballot). We elect politicians to lead and to govern. The degree to which we get either of these results is clearly debatable but we get what we get and now we have to let them do their jobs. I would much prefer to see us debate term limits for municipal, school board and other levels of government as this is more likely to result in good governance than does the current system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 19, 2016

      I agree with your comment about Term Limits. Counciloors who have served more than one term are embarrassing themselves.

      Delete
  2. AnonymousMay 18, 2016

    I agree with . Johnson for the most part. But it would be far more expensive to take on a white elephant than to spend the money on a referendum.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Either you want public engagement all the time or you dont really want public engagement. When a large number of people are screaming for a vote it seems that the public wants to be engaged but certain councillors want to block engagement. Are they so afraid of a vote that they really think its wise to question the intelligence of the people? Man thats arrogance at its highest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 19, 2016

      If there are any changes to be made to Hamilton’s ward boundaries, they should only be minor, says Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley… Conley was one of seven people who took part in the seventh of nine public meetings on ward boundaries Feb. 20 at the Stoney Creek Recreation Centre.… At the end of the day, says Conley, it will be council that decides whether or not to change the ward boundaries. “Nobody likes change, especially big change,” he said.

      Delete
  4. AnonymousMay 18, 2016

    Here's the question:

    The Provincial Government has commited 1 Billion dollars to Hamilton for the purpose of building a light rail system. The money will result in a light rail line that runs from ___ to ____, that can potentially be expanded. Do you want Hamilton to implement light rail, as described above?

    Yes No

    Easy peasy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. AnonymousMay 18, 2016

    lets compare the opposition to the lrt now and the red hill creek parkway then. comparison: when red hill was built, it services a very small part of what was then hamilton, yet it was paid for by all of hamilton. the lrt services a huge part of current hamilton and will service even larger part in the future so its paid for by all of hamilton. speaking of who pays. the rhp was paid for almost entirely by the municipal tax base, the lrt build is 100% paid for by provincial tax base. when the rhp was built, it was built to service a future hamilton, with promised tax revenue from new residential and commercial development. the lrt is built to service current AND future hamilton to build up areas of hamilton that need residential and commercial development for future tax revenue. so, back then, with the pros and cons to the rhp, there was support. just as today, there are pros and cons to lrt, so there is much support for it. regarding the "massive" opposition to lrt you hear about. where is iy other than the comment baords? with the rhp, there was support for it, but there was also MUCH opposition. that opposition took the form of THOUSANDS of people volunteering blood sweat and tears for decades. they organized, fundraised, lobbied and petitioned successive levels of government. THATS opposition. yet at the time the supporters of the rhp scoffed and mocked the very idea of a referendum. probably the very same people clamoring for a lrt referendum. so why hasnt there been ONE anti lrt volunteer group formed? why has there been no spokesperson? no organization? do the "massive" numbers of anti lrt's not no where city hall is? with all the business owners with sleepless nights and widows and orphans worried about being evicted youd thinl there would be ONE protest against lrt? you think one group of anti lrts would have been able to make it out ONCE these past ten years while this was publicly being planned. no, complete efforts of the anti lrts that think lrt will destroy hamilton is furious typing and calling talk radio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they are similar in at least one respect, you were on the losing side with RHVP, and you will be proven wrong once again with LRT. Your advocacy just seems to have that effect. We appreciate your efforts mikey.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 19, 2016

      Aerotropolis had no debate, no referendum and yet it is estimated to cost $500M in servicing, a burden entirely borne by the City.

      Where was the referendum on the City's $60.2M contribution to build an stadium for a billionaire's business venture?


      Delete
    3. AnonymousMay 24, 2016

      hey jim. sorry no time lately for pointless yet semi entertaining sparring with you. us grownups saw the kiddie table was acting up and interfering with our lrt. weve been too hard at work making sure lrt stay on track (pun intended) to pay attention to you. you will be happy to hear all is well with lrt despite the vote on council last week. turns out the anti lrt votes on council were just to pander to the tiny but loud (sound familiar jim?) anti lrt crowd in their wards. turns out conley whitehead and the rest just need cover come election time. they can spend your tax dollars and say they tried to stop it but couldnt. we will save you a spot on the inaugural trip.

      Delete
    4. the chance to meet up with you "face to face" is irresistible and I accept your gracious offer-it is also the only plausible reason I would have for taking a train ride to a liquor store at a traffic circle-your destination awaits you! You'll be easy to id sitting all alone in your "i love cats" (but hate cops)tee shirt. Looks like there may be a silver lining to all this after all.

      Delete
  6. AnonymousMay 19, 2016

    Why are some people so terrified of a referendum? Is it because they have been able to confine he LRT issue to a handful of activists? I hate to see city council cower to these LRT lifers. If my alderman votes for LRT, he won't begetting my vote next election. So, mr. Pasutas, think long and hard about it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 22, 2016

      Your "lost" vote will be made up by all the newcomers to your area who are for it. The old guard's had their day, move on, grandpa.

      Delete
  7. AnonymousMay 19, 2016

    As a matter of principle, Councillor Pasuta should recuse himself from voting on transit issues until such time as Ward 14 residents dissolve area rating for transit.

    ReplyDelete
  8. a referendum would serve to confirm what we already know to be true- certain politicians are corrupted by cash, it is the antidote to reason and responsibility. Never question a funding source, or those "gifts" will be redirected to less difficult neighbors." Do as we say or you will do without"
    Puppets.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AnonymousMay 25, 2016

    Please research the disaster of LRT that is occurring in Waterloo Region. Not much more to say.

    Why can't we simply use electric buses instead of spending so much on rail tracks? Hamilton used to have electric buses with all the overhead wires, that were removed. LRT requires the same overhead wires (although no images show them lol). I agree with improving public transit but don't believe that LRT is the solution. I'm all for a referendum but want to make sure that all sides are presented fairly. I think it is more affordable to roll on rubber as opposed to steel rails. Just my thought.

    ReplyDelete
  10. AnonymousMay 25, 2016

    Hear that folks, you so called leaders think you are all too stupid to answer a yes/no question.
    Do we need an election instead of a referendum?

    ReplyDelete
  11. and today Ms.Kathy reaffirms "it has never been LRT or nothing, I really want to hear what councils decision is" So why would the Mayor and most supporters of LRT frame the conversation in exactly that context? Misinformed or liars, take your pick.

    ReplyDelete
  12. AnonymousMay 26, 2016

    I agree with the person who wrote this question.
    The Provincial Government has commited 1 Billion dollars to Hamilton for the purpose of building a light rail system. The money will result in a light rail line that runs from ___ to ____, that can potentially be expanded. Do you want Hamilton to implement light rail, as described above?

    Why don't they just ask it with a referendum and then put the stop to this nonsense. Most Hamiltonians couldn't give a crap about LRT.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are welcome. Please abide by the blog's policy on posting. This blog facilitates discussion from all sides of issues. Opposite viewpoints, spirited discussion and even pointed comments are welcome, provided they are respectful. Name calling is not allowed and any posts that violate the policy, will simply not be authorized to appear. This blog also reserves the right to exclude comments that are off topic or are otherwise unprofessional. This blog does not assume any liability whatsoever for comments posted. People posting comments or providing information on interviews, do so at their own risk.


Comments posted on this blog, may be used as excerpts in whole or in part, in other media sources .
This blog believes in freedom of speech and operates in the context of a democratic society, which many have fought and died for.

Views expressed by commentators or in articles that appear here, cannot be assumed to be espoused by The Hamiltonian staff or its publisher.