Marcel Danesi, a semiotics professor at the University of Toronto who's spent a lifetime studying symbols' meanings, thinks the tone of so many local signs might reflect an increasingly secular world.
"This was the stuff of the priests who populated my childhood and adolescence, but now it's the politicians and those people out there who try to impose," he says. "That official level ... has taken over from God, hasn't it?" (
There is so much wrong with Toronto that I could write endless paragraphs detailing where Eggleton started our derailment, how Premier Mike Harris spread it to other boroughs, and why Miller continues that legacy, but it's depressing. I used to love living here, feeling all puffed up about how the world tracked to our door to learn from us. No longer. Now it's a burden, requiring much help to navigate the rules, making me want to curl up in a chair and ignore the nightmare outside. Something has to change.
I agree with Christopher Hume: we need term limits for both mayor and councillors. Perhaps two terms for a total of 8 years. Twelve is just a bit too long. And perhaps we should also elect alternating sets of 22 councillors every 2 years so that the council becomes a balance of fresh and experienced (heard this idea on CFRB). The problem of councillors becoming moribund in their seats stems from the fact that citizens lack the knowledge, motivation, and imagination to kick the familiar out and try the new. There are rare exceptions to the long-term politician being incapable of action and pro-human ideas -- Hurricane Hazel being one, who continues to look to how to improve Mississauga for her constituents even challenging her own assumptions from the past -- but most politicians get stale and slow, the bureaucracy mimics that, and so NO-YOU-CAN'T signs multiply like cockroaches while the old ones remain unamalgamated. Only term limits can force out the self-righteous and do-nothings and bring in fresh faces with challenging ideas who will reinvigorate Toronto. We need politicians who love Toronto more than ideology. We will never get that while the fat asses of smug councillors and mayor remain glued in their council seats. We need term limits.