Add politicians' robocalls to my 'Do Not Call' list
We're entering the 400-metre sprint portion of the half-marathon that is this year’s municipal elections. I say half-marathon, because my feeling is that too many Torontonians across the political spectrum aren’t feeling full civically, and haven’t fully bought into what longtime incumbents and lifetime politicians (who are phoning it in for re-election, because they can) are peddling.
My politically astute allies are feeling half-baked, like Chappelle, totally spent from the bollocks emanating from some of the local neighbourhood political posturing.
The incumbents in my 'hood who are launching less aggressive campaigns, already feeling a sense of entitlement, thinking they might be getting their contracts handed back to them, are now doing the annual show-up-once-a-year-on-my-neighbourhood-doorstep thing. They're kissing babies, dusting off their lone kente cloth for the black community celebrations they must attend. For this one time every four years they become honorary African-Canadians, how thrilling!
In my ward there’s an interesting mix of seasoned politicos and newcomers taking a go at it (there are Rob Davis and Shimmy Posen signs and literature popping up everywhere!). Or as one of the parents at my son's school calls it "Shimmy versus St. Clair Streetcar budget overruns".
As far as incumbents go, is there a way to come off looking like they actually care about community local area residents without coming off so disingenuous and insincere?
Case in point: I haven’t gotten many calls as of late from a few of my good friends because they have been busy with work, child-rearing responsibilities and career switcheroo strategies. But my unsolicited political candidate homies have been lighting up my Bell phone like we go way back.
I’ve been getting calls from one of the leading mayoralty candidates at my house while I’m having dinner with my wife and kids, imploring the Bell-Higgins family to “stop Rob Ford”.
And he just lost my vote as a result (I don't like these actions that reek of desperation).
Another time while I was unearthing some vinyl records from my dusty crates - Gil Scott Heron, anyone?- the local area MPP left me a message wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.
Man, it’s strange to field these "audio equivalent of a rubberstamp" calls, when my wife hasn't received any returned calls from this same elected official's office about eco and electronic disposal fees on bills.
And while looking for info in relation to my fourth book (Fatherhood 4.0) being released next month, I got no response to my e-mail or phone call queries of many months ago.
Is this what politics has become?
The time spent recording these messages, might be better spent coming up with a way to actually return the phone calls and e-mail correspondences of their constituents. And are there any privacy measures in place for citizens of Toronto, when it comes to having all of these calls coming to my house? Is there some kind of collusion between telemarketers and politicians?