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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Big Question

If Hamilton decides to proceed with holding a referendum on LRT, how do you think the referendum question should read? 

The question must require a Yes or No answer and must be stated using neutral language.



Want to take a crack at the wording? Post your take on it. 

15 comments:

  1. That's easy:

    The Ontario Government has allowed 1 Billion dollars to fund the cost of building a Light Rail Transit system in Hamilton. This money will result in a Light Rail Transit line built between ___ and ____ and between ___ and ____.

    Should Hamilton not proceed with LRT, it may re-apply for funding if an alternate transit method is chosen. An example of an alternate method is BRT (Bus Rapid Transit).

    Do you believe that Hamilton should proceed with LRT, as described above?

    Yes ____
    No ____

    You're welcome
    Sorce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The question should state "alternate rapid transit option" as conventional bus service is off the table.

      The question might also address the time factors accompanying reapplication, whether on the same route, and also on previously un-evaluated routes or options. (There's a popular misconception that this is a firehose of money that can simply be pointed anywhere and turned on at the drop of a hat.)

      Perspex

      Delete
    2. It should also explain that should funding for LRT be declined, Hamilton will be moved to the bottom of the list for alternate rapid transit options.

      ~ #YesLRT from the mountain

      Delete
  2. Hamilton has been offered full funding for rapid transit that could be LRT or BRT on any route provided it connects to the James Street Go Station. The route chosen by Metrolinx runs from McMaster to the Queenstown traffic circle as dedicated LRT running through downtown on King Street with a spur line operating as a mixed traffic streetcar on James Street from the Go Station to King Street. Do you approve of this plan.
    Yes
    No

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the language needs to be very simple and avoid jargon or words that we do not use in everyday language. So for example, spur line can be a "connector line" or something like that. I think the version I posted is fairly dumbed down and could work.

    I don't think people need to care about Metro linx. They need to know that there is 1 billion set aside. the question is whether we want to use it for LRT or re-apply for something else.
    Sorce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The notion that $1B has been earmarked for Hamilton, on LRT or whatever else we can dream up, is incorrect. Voters need to be disabused of that misconception. If not used for the purpose to which it is presently assigned, it would remain in the Moving Ontario Forward funding pool. We could reapply, absolutely. But there are already projects awaiting funding that would be eligible to tap into that funding before we got the chance to take another swing.

      Perspex

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    2. you appear more concerned with determining others frame of reference in formation of a hypothetical question than in presenting your own proposal. Why is that?

      Delete
    3. Will refusing $1B in rapid transit infrastructure that the City has lobbied for since 2006, and which its council has supported in votes 45 times since 2006, impair its ability to have its funding requests taken seriously by senior government?

      __ Yes

      __ No

      Perspex ;)

      Delete
  4. I think the trick will also be to provide people with resources to go to, prior to voting. I personally believe a site such as The hamiltonian who has proven that they are allowing all views to be heard (Higgins, Whitehead, Skelly, McGreal and all others for example)- would be an excellent resource for people to refer to.
    Sorce

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe we need to explain the route and let people choose independent of suggestions in the question. Any suggestion of resources one can use to decide is too easily proven to show bias. Just my opinion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. It's not important that this be an informed vote, just generate a result that council can look at. Fodder for more study and discussion. 90% of Hamiltonians don't use transit so it should be adequately salted with bias anyway.

      Grant

      Delete
  6. Should the City of Hamilton accept $1B in LRT infrastructure from the province?

    __ Yes
    __ No


    No need to make it complicated.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12122349/This-is-what-the-ballot-paper-for-the-EU-referendum-vote-will-look-like.html

    Educating the electorate through a ballot is future. That has to take place through the broader public information campaign leading up to the referendum, and since the hypothetical referendum coincides with an election, candidates will have ample opportunity to clearly articulate their positions — and offer credible alternatives — as well.

    Edward St. John

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is light rail your priority for this infrastructure investment? _ Yes, _ No

    Should alternatives be presented and considered?
    _Yes, _ No

    I see where Mr. Merulla is now referring to Rust D'Eye as his "guru" and that there are "no and's, if's, or but's" respecting his legal opinion on a referendum. Whitehead says it is "an opinion, not a ruling."
    This is a long way from finished and is going to get even more interesting before it is resolved.

    Sammy's got a guru.

    ReplyDelete
  8. “There have been no binding referendums in Canada; however, there have been three that were non-binding. In 1898, a national vote was conducted on the prohibition of alcohol sales, an issue that had become controversial and not easily resolvable. The 1942 vote on conscription, whose results and debates have been well documented, was even more controversial. It is significant that on both occasions, Quebec and English Canada voted on opposite sides. The conscription issue, in particular, divided the "two solitudes," while the outcome of the vote confirmed and even exacerbated the division.

    The latest national referendum, held on 26 October 1992, dealt with a number of proposed constitutional amendments commonly referred to as the Charlottetown Accord. The Accord was defeated in all but four provinces…

    In Canada, it seems that the main reason to use populist instruments would be to bring the political system more into line with the political culture. Certainly, such a change would require a set of explicit rules governing the use of populist instruments. Otherwise, they could bring about simplification while taking away essential motivating factors, such as responsibility, from elected representatives.”

    http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/researchpublications/bp328-e.htm

    Hansard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Plebiscites are more a part of the democratic infrastructure of our country than many people would believe. We've had two plebiscites at the national level (prohibition of liquor on September 29, 1898, and conscription for overseas military service on April 27, 1942). Over 40 plebiscites have been held at the provincial level, starting with liquor prohibition in a Prince Edward Island vote in 1878, down to the present times with the vote on independence in Quebec in May 1980, and the N.W.T. plebiscite on territorial division in April 1982. Apart from prohibition issues, province-wide plebiscites have dealt with such questions as women's suffrage, public health insurance, daylight saving time, ownership of power companies and marketing of coarse grains. At the municipal level, several thousand plebiscites and referendums have occurred in this century, on issues ranging from bond issues, building projects, local option prohibition, local franchises, and forms of municipal government…

      Legally, of course, a distinction should be draw between a plebiscite, which is a formalized expression of public opinion through the ballot box, and a referendum, which is the same thing, except its results are a binding verdict of the people which must be reflected in a law.”

      http://www.revparl.ca/english/issue.asp?art=789&param=127

      Groo

      Delete

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