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The Rubber Stamp Division

So what is the Rubber Stamp Division anyway?

In Edmonton we have this thing I call the "Rubber Stamp Division". Some people mistakenly call it "City Council". In other cities, that term may well apply. But here in Edmonton the phrase "city council" is both misleading and meaningless.

For all practical purposes, in Edmonton, there is no concept of "city" nor is there a concept of "council". Rather, the physical area known as the Edmonton area is mostly just a feeding ground for politically connected parasites. Most of whom don't even live here. As such they don't care one whit about the quality of life here nor do they care about the harmful effects they have on the people who do actually live here.

And there is no effective council here that represents the interests of the people here. Instead, there is just this rubber stamp division whose purpose is to approve the aforementioned parasitic activity. It's sort of a "legal cover for money" department as far as I can tell.

How does it work?

First, not just any old parasites are allowed a feeding permit in Edmonton. A hopeful parasite must apply to the rubber stamp division for a parasiting permit. Usually this is done by giving the councillors money, typically in the form of a campaign contribution. And like every other business transaction in this world, the more you pay, the more you get.

Then once the councillors get enough money, they take out the rubber stamp. Afterwards the parasites are free to feed off whatever the public and private assets they desire.

LRT's for example gobble up massive amounts of public and private land including parks, sidewalks, homes and businesses. These trains and their associated slum towers also consume obscene amounts of tax money and public services. And most of the time, do they not only get it for free, but they usually manage to get massively overpaid by the city for doing it.

Case in point: How much exactly is the software for the Metro line anyway? And how come it still doesn't work? And why is that useless thing still even running anyway?

Well, apparently it's all there and it's all legal because it's all being done according to the conditions of the permit. It's "a contract" if you will. And it must be legal because the Rubber Stamp Division was paid to say it was legal.

So the system works.

And if anyone tries to stop harmful parasites from ruining their city with LRT's for example, well, that's what the city police and all those lawyers are for. Somebody has to enforce the permit system right?

Define graft then

Now, one might think that this parasite permit thing is too simple. I mean, all it really involves is abusing campaign finance laws to get a permit that allows you to collect free services from the city. And if you word your permit the right way, you can also get free land from the city and even get billions in cold hard cash from the city too.

And other than that you can basically do whatever you want. Steal roads. Steal parks. Dump ugly concrete blocks and high voltage power lines all over the place. And with the right permit you can even collect more than 1 Billion in weekly prizes for every car you block, every tree you cut and every business you bankrupt.

And your permit ensures that you have no worries about the public interest at all. You can do whatever you want, even torture people by exposing them to excessive and constant noise. Nobody cares here. Well nobody that counts anyway.

But that's sort of cheating right?

And by cheating do you mean, it's totally corrupt?

Well, to me, a definition of corruption is this: you give elected officials money and they do whatever you tell them to do.

And so I really don't care how the so-called law is interpreted by the local officials here. Especially local officials who clearly benefit from the current arrangement. In plain English, corrupt is corrupt and I know it when I see it.

Now, in other jurdisdictions, people who engage in this sort of activity usually end up in jail. But in Edmonton, apparently giving money to politicians and then getting permits in return is all perfectly legal. And as far as I can see, the only reason it's being treated as legal is because the Rubber Stamp Division decided that it's legal.

Funny how that works.

Who runs things in Edmonton then?

In Edmonton, there is nobody actually in charge as far as I can tell.

The mayor is clearly in the pocket of the train lobby and has admitted as much. The rest of council seems to be fully bought off as well. There may be one or two exceptions, but it is public knowledge that the overwhelming majority of councillors receive money from property developers and other special interests linked to the train and tower policy.

And this is a policy that is being implemented against the express wishes of the overhelming majority of city residents including businesses and taxpayers. And by "overwhelming majority" I mean almost every single person living here who does not work for either the city or a train vendor is against this.

In other words, 99.99999 percent or so of the population in Edmonton opposes the LRT and its associated slum towers.

Anyway, the public be dammed, once having received their money, council votes for whatever the buyer wants. So as far as I can tell, the so-called council works for whoever paid them last. Or most. Either way, the term, "Rubber Stamp Division" fits perfectly.

But these people were elected by the public right?

True. But these people did not tell the public that they were receiving money from special interests linked to the trains and towers prior to being elected.

My recollection is that if anything, almost all of the candiates gave the impression that they were in fact opposed to trains or towers. And they all really seemed to like using phrases like "responsible development" and "effective mass transit".

Whatever that means. It certainly didn't mean responsible development and effective mass transit as far as I can tell.

And even more interesting is that these same people, once elected, actually debated passing a law that would prevent people from telling the truth about election candidates. Specifically, under this law they were considering, it would be prohibited in Edmonton to call a liar a liar if that person were running for, or was already occupying a public office.

And even if the liar could be proved to be a liar, it would be a crime to publish this fact. To make it seem fair, they also proposed a 60 day lying limit. So if you could catch them within 60 days of lying, you could publish.

But after that, no dice. In fact, they could even jail you just for speaking out. Didn't matter that you are the one telling the truth and the person effectively putting you in jail is very likely the liar.

So, under this proposed law, public officals and those running for office would be allowed to lie with impunity. And for all practical purposes, nobody would have the right to expose their lies. In fact, attempting to expose a liar would result in criminal charges.

Seriously, they wanted a gag law. In Edmonton. To protect liars. Gotta wonder about the motivation behind that one...

What about the Administration?

The city administration similarily seems to be headless. Or brainless. Same thing basically. Instead of being run by responsible people, the administration seems to be mostly run by a third level manager who is apparently in charge of infrastructure.

Sadly, the person hired as the city manager is clearly ineffectual. That person has already effectively admitted she will not change the way things are at the city. So she has basically given up trying. Or maybe she never even tried in the first place.

It's hard to pin down the actual reasons for the failure of managment over at the city from where I sit. But a lack of results is a lack of results, no matter the reason behind it. And so we continue to see good people leave the administration. And those left behind, good and bad suffer alike while poor morale pervades the entire institute.

Which is very likely exactly what the rubber stamps and infrastructure manager want anyway. No point in having someone in charge who actually uses their authority is there? And the bad ones don't really suffer that much anyway.

For the most part they seem to be in upper management and so they get very good salaries plus bonuses, medical, dental and choice retirement packages. So, maybe it's not as bad as as some people not in management might want to make it out to be.

And the last thing we need here are a bunch of do-gooder employees that stand up for the rights of the people who actually pay their salaries. Far better to have a bunch of demoralized temps on staff who will do whatever we tell them. That is, if they want to keep getting paid.

So no, there is none of that high-morale, high-achieving truly public oriented institutes around here. The RSD and Co. are working hard to ensure that never ever happens here. Good government is bad for business, everybody knows that.

What about the Public Interest?

As we have clearly seen, there is no public interest in Edmonton. If there were, then we would not have LRT's, we would not have ugly slum towers in nice residential areas and our taxes would be a whole lot lower.

Plus we would have more police and more city services that are actually useful. And we would have more and better roads, more and better parks and a council that actually responds to public needs and wants.

But instead of "public interest", in Edmonton we have this thing called the "public trough".

But access to this trough is not free. No sirree. You have to pay to get in. Just fill out the form, pay your money and you get a spot next to the rest of the feeders. Yes, it's ugly and it stinks. Welcome to Edmonton.

So how do we fix this?

Hire Doug Ford or his clone. He will then:
  1. Fire the people behind this mess
  2. Cancel the LRT
  3. Cancel the slums
  4. Restore the roads and parks back the the public
And once this is done, he will lower our taxes back to where they are supposed to be. And then we can then launch a corruption probe that gets to the bottom of this mess once and for all. Just like the last one and the one before that...

Doug, we need you. Please move to Alberta. Or send us a clone. That would work too.

If you oppose the train you can complain to the mayor or your councillor here: City of Edmonton Website
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