Friday, June 29, 2018

Chaos Theory: For Doug Ford disruption will be the plan

On his first day in office in 2010 newly elected Toronto Mayor Rob Ford strode out before assembled reporters and proclaimed “Ladies and gentlemen, the war on the car stops today . . . Transit City is over".

Years of planning and securing funding were gone, just like that. LRT routes that would be helping countless communities today in 2018 or in the relatively near future simply vanished in the blink of an eye.

That there was no "war on the car" and that greater transit infrastructure helps ease congestion as one of it secondary benefits was irrelevant. That cancelling the project cost $65 million in penalties was irrelevant. That Ford almost certainly did not have the authority to cancel Transit City was irrelevant. That Ford's fantasy fiction that he would build two complete subway lines which would be completed by the 2015 Pan Am Games in the city almost immediately began to unravel (it of course never happened and would never have been possible to achieve) was irrelevant.

Ford's objective was secured. Disruption. The appearance of "doing what he said he would do" and "taking action" when in fact what he was doing was tearing down what government was going to do and accomplish. A fake crisis, "the war on the car" was used to justify the true goal, which was to destroy.

Never underestimate the damage that can be done by simply cancelling or disrupting plans and then miring governance in self-created perpetual chaos. 

Similarly with his brother Doug now whose "platform" during the election was pure contradiction and incoherence yet who circumstance has delivered to power.

Ford, who will be sworn in today as Ontario's Premier, seems to lack a basic understanding of what the provincial government can or cannot do and how it functions, though that will likely be helpful to him given his underlying end game. He talks of finding billions of dollars in "efficiencies" and promises fiscal prudence while also claiming no jobs will be cut, no services gutted, and muses about things like building expensive subways to places that don't need them like Pickering.

A Pickering subway will never happen, needless to say, but that is not the point.

Like his late brother, Ford will almost certainly start by stopping. After a great show of "looking at the books" plans that were being rolled out or proposed by the previous government will be cancelled outright, scaled back dramatically or delayed indefinitely.

The years long farce and fiasco of the Scarborough subway looks to coming back into play as well with Ford saying he wants the three stop option, presumably planning to overrule the city's one-stop plan (both plans are expensive white elephant alternatives to an original proposed LRT that could have already been well on its way to completion).

Will the three stop option ever be built? Who knows, but by pushing the city to go back to the drawing board yet again, zero gets built and Ford can claim to be championing local Scarborough residents while, in fact, ensuring that they get nothing anytime soon. Neat trick that. Just one example of many to come.

This chaos theory of governance sets the stage for what will be the almost seemingly surreptitious introduction of deep, vicious austerity. As plans are cancelled, crazy new ideas floated, invented crises "averted", "efficiencies" introduced that are really cuts to necessary and important government spending, departments and infrastructure, the perpetual disruption provides a backdrop against which attacks on workers, women, people living in poverty and marginalized and racialized communities can be woven almost seamlessly into a constant barrage of boondoggles. 

What exactly will be targeted and when remains to be seen, but now that it is about to be unleashed the Ford proverbial bull in the china shop will attempt to leave a path of total devastation in its wake over the next four years and -- for all of the times it will appear aimless or mindless -- this will have been its overarching ideological objective.

See also: For Ford fact and policy free is the way to go

See also: End Game -- The Ontario Election and Doug Ford

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