Valérie Plante, "the man" for the mayor's job?

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cco

cco wrote:

I wonder how many paper shredders are overheating at city hall right now.


Opération déchiquetage à l'hôtel de ville de Montréal

Unionist
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The secret of Valérie Plante's Montreal success

Valérie Plante has made municipal politics interesting again.

Pulling off the greatest political upset the City of Montreal has seen in a long time, she managed to beat the powerful voting machine of incumbent mayor Denis Coderre and coast to a resounding victory. What should have been a cakewalk for the latter, ended with him being the first Montreal mayor in 60 years to be denied a second term, and with Plante becoming the first woman to be elected mayor in the city's 375-year history.

Does Plante owe part of her victory to the sweeping influence of the #MeToo movement and an overwhelming desire by voters to disassociate from the Old Boys’ network and an era of arrogant men steamrolling through what they wanted? Without a doubt.

There has been general disgust and anger with the recent sexual assault allegations involving prominent Quebec figures such as former Just for Laughs president Gilbert Rozon and talk show host Éric Salvail. Those, in turn, were triggered by a wave of similar allegations sweeping Hollywood and a Trump presidency that has triggered a rise in hate speech and misogyny.

There were certainly no such allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Coderre. But he was caught up as collateral damage in a tide of anger. Many Montrealers punished the former federal cabinet minister to dismantle an old system.

Coderre brought on his own downfall with arrogance, a lack of transparency, and a type of “Father knows Best” condescending attitude that led him to steamroll ideas through, even when Montrealers told him clearly that they were not even vaguely interested in them.....

cco

Speaking of arrogance:

Ousted in the election, Richard Bergeron seeks a job with the party he founded

Now, unemployed after losing his seat on city council, Bergeron makes no secret of the fact that he wants a job with Valérie Plante's administration — even if, three days before the election, he warned that Projet Montréal was "radical" and "far left."

His criticism of his old party, he said, was part of the "political game."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

No congrats for Montreal Mayor Plante

When Valerie Plante was elected mayor of Montreal on November 8, she acknowledged the historic moment in her victory speech, telling a packed room of supporters that she was humbled and proud to break the glass ceiling.

“Tonight, we wrote a new page in Montreal’s history. Three hundred and seventy-five years after Jeanne Mance co-founded the city, Montreal has its first female mayor.”

Given the scope and significance of this milestone, one would expect other politicians to reach out and offer congratulations. Certainly, many did. Some, however, did not consider the achievement meritorious enough to validate with even the most elementary of gestures. Enter the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) council and a study in pettiness.

quote:

Pivotal moments will continue to happen

The Montreal election was a pivotal moment, not just because of Plante’s win, but because of a record-breaking number of women elected as borough mayors and borough and city councillors in and around the island of Montreal. For the first time ever, there are more women than men in Montreal City Hall. While this is particularly welcome news to equality advocates and those who wish to see more women in politics and in the public arena, it’s understandably scary to those who enjoy the status quo and how it’s benefited them in the past.

pietro_bcc

Already with the executive committee there are no visible minorities and no anglophones (first time since 1978 that there are no anglos in the executive committee.) Still don't regret voting for her because Coderre is a clown, but also less excited for what's to come because the fact that they believe that exclusively white and francophone is representative of Montreal and represents diversity starts to confirm some of the wariness some people had about Projet Montreal.

Still just begun her term so I'll give them a chance, plenty of time to change course.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Kind of like La Meute. They believe Quebec should be white,catholic and French.But on second thought,Cathy Wong was named speaker,an Asian and the first woman to hold that position. Unfortunately she is part of Équipe Denis Coderre.Unfortunately,Montréal's city council has a few anglos and people of colour but they are all from 'Equipe Denis Coderre an 1 anglo from Coalition Montréal.

I still voted for her,I still think Coderre was an arrogant clown and I'm happy there is only 1 person representing the right wing Coalition Montréal.

It's early,we'll see how things go over the next few years. But it is disappointing that there is such a lack of people of colour and anglos. Although Projet Montréal has at least one anglo,Sterling Downey.

Anglos are under represented in all branches of government in Québec. But it doesn't bother me too much. What bothers me is the fact that virtually no anglos work for government services. That must change.

Anyway,I'm happy Montréal finally has a female Mayor and I'm happy Coderre is gone.

lagatta4

Shit, I wrote a long, detailed post on the importance of diversity but also contrasting that with the "ethnic power-broker" model that has too long dominated politics of the PLQ constellation including Coderre's party. Disappeared into thin air.

cco

Craig Sauvé, Projet caucus president and newly minted vice-president of the STM, is, despite his last name, an anglophone.

Pondering

I wouldn't have been worried anyway had their been no anglos. I want Plante to have every opportunity to succeed and become a very longstanding mayor of Montreal. For that she needs the strongest most supportive council she can get. She can only pick from the people elected. I believe she made the effort to have a diverse cabinet and will continue to make that effort because that is the kind of person she is. I wouldn't want Denis Coderre's people on council unless Plante wanted them there. I trust her more than any other politician I know of in Canada to make decisions on behalf of the people. When she spoke English in her victory speech she genuinely wanted to reassure. It is more important to have a mayor that genuinely cares for all Montrealers regardless of race, language, or gender than it is to have token representatives on council.

Just because someone is female or of a particular race or language doesn't mean they are progressive or honest. Of course it would be nice to have more diversity but just because someone has a vagina doesn't mean they will automatically represent my interests. I am delighted that Plante is female but I would have voted Projet over Coderre under almost anyone. I have extra confidence in her because she is a female progressive but the progressive part comes first. I hope that with this win the party can attract more diverse candidates for the next election and I do believe that they will try to.

Lagatta, I am sorry your post vanished. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it. As a general tip I find if I use the preview button periodically on a long post the post becomes recoverable. Given the narrow window we have to type in it also makes it easier to read what I wrote. 

Pondering

cco wrote:

Speaking of arrogance:

Ousted in the election, Richard Bergeron seeks a job with the party he founded

Now, unemployed after losing his seat on city council, Bergeron makes no secret of the fact that he wants a job with Valérie Plante's administration — even if, three days before the election, he warned that Projet Montréal was "radical" and "far left."

His criticism of his old party, he said, was part of the "political game."

Actually that is faux news. He didn't seek a job with the party. The reporter asked him if he would be willing to work for them so of course he said yes but he was not actively seeking a position.

Don't trust the mainstream media.

lagatta4

Don't worry, I'll get back to it. I just want to run an errand (down in nearby Mile-End) while the sun is shining. It is actually faster to walk there (near Parc and Bernard) than take the bus, and I won't ride my bicycle in the tunnel when there might be ice.

Yes, Craig Sauvé is an anglo (though fluent in French) and Richard Ryan is a franco (though fluent in English).

In terms of anglo council members, I wonder why Peter McQueen wasn't chosen? It could also have been his decision, as he is as much an activist for pedestrian and cyclist security and public transport as Ferrandez or Croteau, but as Projet was in the minority before, wasn't able to make as much headway as he would have liked. The new superhospital has created new traffic problems in the borough, though some improvements have been made. Perhaps I'll meet up with him at some transport-related event, and we can have a chat.

pietro_bcc

Very disappointed with the budget. Valerie Plante made a point of saying numerous times that Montreal relies too much on property tax to raise revenue in comparison to other large cities which is true and would find other revenue sources, promised that the tax rates would be held to inflation, blatantly broke that promise and is now pretending she kept the promise.

Pondering

pietro_bcc wrote:

Very disappointed with the budget. Valerie Plante made a point of saying numerous times that Montreal relies too much on property tax to raise revenue in comparison to other large cities which is true and would find other revenue sources, promised that the tax rates would be held to inflation, blatantly broke that promise and is now pretending she kept the promise.

It is unfortunate but I'm not giving up on her yet. I knew when I voted for her than once elected the realities of the job would interfere with her goals.

She is taking over an existing machine that is used to being run a certain way and needs fuel to continue operating. I agree it is disappointing but I don't feel betrayed. I don't think she would have done it had she any other choice.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I knew when I voted for her than once elected the realities of the job would interfere with her goals.

I think it would be a good thing if politicians could acknowledge "political realities" when making false promises.

It's too easy to say "Oh, yes, I did promise no more tax hikes (or no more tax cuts, or whatever) and then, having won, say "Gosh, the political reality won't permit me to follow through on my promises at this time..."

It's also pretty funny to me that conservative governments are assumed to have all the power in the world to (for example) tax the hell out of businesses, but they don't, because they're broken and empty humans without a soul.  But when a left-wing government is elected and doesn't tax the hell out of businesses that's just an unfortunate side effect of "reality".  They totally wanted to!  They even promised to!  But for a multitude of reasons that they could have easily studied prior to the election, they just CAN'T!  It's the system's fault, really!

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I knew when I voted for her than once elected the realities of the job would interfere with her goals.

I think it would be a good thing if politicians could acknowledge "political realities" when making false promises.

It's too easy to say "Oh, yes, I did promise no more tax hikes (or no more tax cuts, or whatever) and then, having won, say "Gosh, the political reality won't permit me to follow through on my promises at this time..."

It's also pretty funny to me that conservative governments are assumed to have all the power in the world to (for example) tax the hell out of businesses, but they don't, because they're broken and empty humans without a soul.  But when a left-wing government is elected and doesn't tax the hell out of businesses that's just an unfortunate side effect of "reality".  They totally wanted to!  They even promised to!  But for a multitude of reasons that they could have easily studied prior to the election, they just CAN'T!  It's the system's fault, really!

I didn't say she gets a free pass indefinitely but she is a rookie. I'll judge her during the year and then after a few more years to see if she has achieved sufficient progress. For example, if she fails to keep taxes down, but succeeds in getting free bus passes for people on limited income, that will mitigate her failure on the tax issue.

Everyone knows, including yourself, that all political plans hinge on what they find in the books and it invaribly isn't what they thought it would be. I think it's unrealistic to expect a candidate to preface their plans with "if the budget is what I expect".

I have always interpreted platforms as aspirational not as a list of promises because that is how it has always turned out to be.

So far accusing politicians of breaking promises doesn't seem to have been a successful tactic in preventing them from being re-elected.

pietro_bcc

I like a lot of what Plante is doing, but the snowclearing this week as been pathetic. Its been 2 full days and the city hasn't cleared the sidewalks on either side of my street once, I have to walk on the street to reach the bus by far the worse snow clearing job I've seen in my life because its still untouched.

Unionist

pietro_bcc wrote:

I like a lot of what Plante is doing, but the snowclearing this week as been pathetic. Its been 2 full days and the city hasn't cleared the sidewalks on either side of my street once, I have to walk on the street to reach the bus by far the worse snow clearing job I've seen in my life because its still untouched.

I agree - although in "fairness" the snow is way crazier than usual these last few days.

While we're on Plante - what do you think of her decision not to use body cameras for cops?

lagatta4

I live in a much more central area, and neither side of my street - one side hosts a bus line - has been cleared yet. There is simply too much damned snow.  And no, Mayor Plante's street has NOT been cleared yet.

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:
what do you think of her decision not to use body cameras for cops?

On the subject of body cameras in general, I personally do not believe in them. There are several instances of police officers caught on camera violently attacking people and no charges end up filed. I doubt that body cameras are going to make any difference. They also introduce other problems, like privacy concerns, and just the sheer amount of time it takes to go through all the necessary footage. The problem is if police officers say they feared either for their own safety or for that of someone else's, that is enough to "excuse" their behaviour. Take the case of Jordan Edwards. The police officer who shot thim was convicted and sentenced to 15 years. One of the noteworthy aspects of this case is that another officer on the scene, Tyler Gross, said that he never feard for his life during that encounter. I don't know if there is any video of the shooting, but Gross' testimony undermined the "I-feared-for-my-life" defense that is so crucial in that case. More important than body cams is instilling a culture of concern for public safety in police departments, and having officers speak up and say that there was no mortal danger in these kinds of situations is an important part of that.

Pondering

Body cameras have been shown to reduce citizen complaints and they may well act as a bit of a check on police behavior.  There is no need to comb through all the footage. They only need to watch footage of interactions in which there are citizen complaints or police want to prove the suspect did something.

The decision was based on cost/benefit and I guess the cost was too much for now to equip all police officers all the time. Having said that I think they should have some that are deployed for specific circumstances. For example, riot control and any arrests where violence is logically predictable.  At night downtown would make sense. 

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

Body cameras have been shown to reduce citizen complaints and they may well act as a bit of a check on police behavior.  There is no need to comb through all the footage. They only need to watch footage of interactions in which there are citizen complaints or police want to prove the suspect did something.

The decision was based on cost/benefit and I guess the cost was too much for now to equip all police officers all the time. Having said that I think they should have some that are deployed for specific circumstances. For example, riot control and any arrests where violence is logically predictable.  At night downtown would make sense. 

I agree. And given the history of racial profiling, attacks on student demonstrators, attacks on Indigenous people, etc., I think there's a lot of wisdom in this op-ed by Alain Babineau, who is an advisor to CRARR (Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations):

Montreal shouldn't be so quick to dismiss police body cameras

I'm still puzzled as to why Plante rejected the idea almost immediately after the Montréal police service published their report.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Opportunities for the Montreal Urban Left

Opportunities exist for an organized urban left one year into the Projet Montréal administration’s mandate. That was the key message of a recent event organized by the Montreal Urban Left, an initiative launched in the wake of the 2017 Montreal election.

“We saw the need to provide some sort of organized left counterweight committed to holding the new municipal government’s feet to the fire with respect to its pre-electoral promises and more recent commitments in areas like social justice, the environment and municipal democracy,” said Andrea Levy, a member of the Montreal Urban Left coordinating committee.

Roughly 70 people attended the Montreal Urban Left’s public forum on January 31 to assess Projet Montréal’s first year in office and to identify opportunities for a municipal left. Project Montréal is a liberal democratic to social democratic municipal party formed in 2004, rising in prominence to win the majority of council seats for the first time in 2017 under the leadership of mayor Valérie Plante, Montreal’s first woman mayor.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..my kind of politics

MISSION STATEMENT
Montreal Urban Left

We are a group of citizens who have assembled from various boroughs throughout the city of Montreal in the wake of the 2017 election of a new municipal government avowedly committed to “sustainable development, democracy, sound management and transparency.” We welcome the election of Valérie Plante, Montreal’s first female mayor, and we believe that a Projet Montréal government opens up genuine possibilities to move City Hall and Montreal in a progressive direction. But a party in power is subject to different pressures than a party in opposition. The entrenched interests of real estate developers, local elites, and international capital will not easily yield to democratic process and the needs and will of the majority of Montreal citizens. Moreover, history shows time and again that political parties with progressive aspirations are not immune to the afflictions of power: complacency, cooptation and corruption.

The Montreal Urban Left has constituted itself as a forum for reflection and discussion on the efforts, achievements and gaps of the new municipal government. We aim to pay close attention to its policy decisions and its success in fulfilling its commitments regarding democracy and transparency. We are prepared to mobilize around issues we see as critical to making the region of Montreal more equitable, inclusive, greener and liveable. We seek to build a democratic common front of citizens and social movements who share a broad vision of the future of our city and are eager to make their voices heard.

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