We want cuts, says Mayor Ford of Toronto and his alies. You can't have them, say the left wing and centrist city councillors. Yay, say protesters.
Now while Dalton is probably having a good chuckle at Ford's expense right now, he should remember that in a few months, he's going to have to do the same thing. Bring down an unpopular budget, likely Drummond Lite, and have to justify it to Ontarians. Maybe even a few juicy concessions to us, or more likely to the NDP, to ensure it passes.
But it won't matter. Because the elected representatives of city council voted yesterday for effectively no spending cuts. And who are we to say that their constituents wouldn't have lost their collective minds if there had been the tiniest of tiny, inadequate reductions in the amount of money available? What indications have people given that they are prepared to accept any kind of spending cuts?
We sure aren't getting that message from the Premiers (of which Dalton is one) complaining about Harper's health accord. We didn't get that message from mayors across the province who quailed at the notion that a PC government under Tim Hudak would take a look at the balance sheet before uploading more than a billion dollars from municipalities. And we certainly aren't getting that message from any country, anywhere, who has tried to get spending under control.
So how is Dalton- one of the Premiers who at the moment is fighting Harper for more health care money, remember- going to extricate himself from this mess? How is he going to avoid sharing Ford's fate as he tries to cut his own spending while simultaneously demanding more from Harper and being squeezed by the PC's and the NDP?
I actually can't wait to see how and if he pulls this off.