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  • Corruption and greed

    I am running for mayor because I think that having our elected servants tell us that they know better while conducting business behind closed doors is wrong. In politics, closed door business is bad business, and we have had a lot of closed door business recently. Whether we were literally shut out, as with the sale of Epcor, or simply shut out by virtue of votes proceeding without our consent, such as in the Arena deal, and many other developments which proceed despite near unanimous disapproval by those directly affected. Just as Global Calgary was breaking the Cal Wenzel "Sprawl Cabal" video where developers were plotting to overthrow the Calgary People's choice, Mayor Nenshi, Mayor Mandel was delivering a speech to the Urban Development Institute in which he bragged that only 2 projects have been rejected by Council, and that "community leagues are the problem." If our communities are the problem, what in the world is the solution?

    I am now not speaking specifically of Edmonton City Council, but on a broader philosophical basis.

    It is not OK to commit fraud just because the guy next to you or the guy who you answer to does. This results in a mafia style system in which only the corrupt and morally compromised will participate. If we do not change this, we will end up like Ireland, and Greece, and Spain, and Portugal, and France, and England, and Turkey. It is inevitable that riots follow political sell-out. Somehow, the reckonings which must always accompany a corrupt political system are usually born by the common man. It is always the common man who is to blame, and always there is some label applied to them as they riot in the streets. They are lazy. Their unions are too strong. They spend too much. They have too many "entitlements". All while they pay 50-60% plus in taxes! Feudal English surfs only paid 35% in tax including a 10% tithe to the church! What does that make us? And yet we are always to blame for the bad deals and agreements our political "leaders" enter into. I guess we are to blame in that we are always complicit in allowing the system to continue rotting until it collapses on us under its own weight. It is up to us to change it!

  • #2
    You're just mad because the value of your properties went down.
    I don't think bullying our elected officials on social media will solve your problem.
    $2.00 $2.25 $2.50 $2.75 $2.85 $3.00 $3.20 $3.25

    Comment


    • #3
      Comparing Ireland, Greece, Spain to Edmonton is like comparing apples and oranges.
      Your coming across as Bruno Ganz on the Hitler parodies. Dial it back, a lot.
      Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jstock View Post
        You're just mad because the value of your properties went down.
        I don't think bullying our elected officials on social media will solve your problem.
        Huh? Seeking honesty and a reduction of greed and croneyism in our politics has nothing whatsoever to do with the value of my properties. And I'm not mad. I'm very optimistic! We are seeing more change in a year today than we were seeing in ten years a century ago. Some for the good, and some for the bad. But we are in a time of great change and opportunity. It is ours to make the best of it, and in my opinion we can only do that by bringing a lot more honesty into our local politics and dealings.

        And they are our elected servants.
        Last edited by curtispenner; 28-06-2013, 06:44 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gemini View Post
          Comparing Ireland, Greece, Spain to Edmonton is like comparing apples and oranges.
          Your coming across as Bruno Ganz on the Hitler parodies. Dial it back, a lot.
          We are not so different than Europe. For instance, Check out pages 144 and 145 of the Government of Canada's 2013 "Economic Action Plan" (Click here to download) that they distributed on March 21, literally during the Cyprus disaster. Unbelievably, they are saying that what just happened in Cyprus will be used as a blueprint for any future bank failures in Canada.

          If one of our banks folded and everyone with over $100,000 lost 80% of their money like what happened in Cyprus, a bunch of us would be rioting. And like Cyprus, the rest of the worlds' media outlets, most of which are ironically owned by bank shareholders, would be talking about what makes it OK. I think in Cyprus' case the excuse had something to do with everyone being Russian mobsters. But many British expatriates lost the vast majority of their retirement accounts.

          We are in a time of global upheaval and change. Our resource wealth has shielded us admirably, but when bond yields begin going up, as they already have recently, we will not be immune. We need to keep our heads up and focus on living locally and within our means. And we should be steadfastly refusing government corruption instead of saying "Oh well that's just politics".
          Last edited by curtispenner; 28-06-2013, 06:48 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Conspiracy Theories. Next....................
            Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

            Comment


            • #7
              *facepalm*
              $2.00 $2.25 $2.50 $2.75 $2.85 $3.00 $3.20 $3.25

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gemini View Post
                Conspiracy Theories. Next....................
                From Wikipedia: "Conspiracy: an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage."

                Conspiracies are happening a lot in politics recently. The President of Cyprus conspired to defraud others, remember? He tipped his friends off well in advance of the bank holiday.

                Discussing illegitimate conspiracies is healthy. What, I wonder, is calling out "conspiracy theories" without cause? Wouldn't this constitute some form of "denial theory"?

                My head is not buried in the sand and you'll need to do better than idly call me names :P

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by curtispenner View Post
                  Originally posted by Gemini View Post
                  Conspiracy Theories. Next....................
                  From Wikipedia: "Conspiracy: an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage."

                  Conspiracies are happening a lot in politics recently. The President of Cyprus conspired to defraud others, remember? He tipped his friends off well in advance of the bank holiday.

                  Discussing illegitimate conspiracies is healthy. What, I wonder, is calling out "conspiracy theories" without cause? Wouldn't this constitute some form of "denial theory"?

                  My head is not buried in the sand and you'll need to do better than idly call me names :P
                  Hey, great post. Every interest group out there unites and then lobbies out of self-interest. Their members, gather discuss, plan. It's a thin line to step into " unfair " territory, a thicker line to step into illegal territory.

                  And thanks for posting the Cyprus link. I hadn't heard this - but full expected it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Curtis Penner is developer, as such his candidacy is suspect. He's your community league president who objects to the city planning to build on parkland that was designated for schools that never got built.
                    Stop illegal aliens! Enforce the LAW!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
                      Curtis Penner is developer, as such his candidacy is suspect. He's your community league president who objects to the city planning to build on parkland that was designated for schools that never got built.
                      I am a developer. I am a community league president. I object to the city actively building on municipal reserves that were promised for schools or parkland.

                      My being a developer and having people say that it makes me suspect is not "an excuse for not struggling. To not act, to not do anything or to not do as much as I can do is ... criminal, is complicity." - Cardinal Fang (C2E).
                      Last edited by curtispenner; 29-06-2013, 09:13 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just don't be surprised when people don't mirror your passion Curtis. A lot of people view the building on these lands, that were always intended to be built on, as a good thing. Including me.

                        I think you have to bring more to the table than this one issue.
                        "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by curtispenner View Post
                          I am running for mayor because I think that having our elected servants tell us that they know better while conducting business behind closed doors is wrong. In politics, closed door business is bad business, and we have had a lot of closed door business recently. Whether we were literally shut out, as with the sale of Epcor, or simply shut out by virtue of votes proceeding without our consent, such as in the Arena deal, and many other developments which proceed despite near unanimous disapproval by those directly affected. Just as Global Calgary was breaking the Cal Wenzel "Sprawl Cabal" video where developers were plotting to overthrow the Calgary People's choice, Mayor Nenshi, Mayor Mandel was delivering a speech to the Urban Development Institute in which he bragged that only 2 projects have been rejected by Council, and that "community leagues are the problem." If our communities are the problem, what in the world is the solution?

                          I am now not speaking specifically of Edmonton City Council, but on a broader philosophical basis.

                          It is not OK to commit fraud just because the guy next to you or the guy who you answer to does. This results in a mafia style system in which only the corrupt and morally compromised will participate. If we do not change this, we will end up like Ireland, and Greece, and Spain, and Portugal, and France, and England, and Turkey. It is inevitable that riots follow political sell-out. Somehow, the reckonings which must always accompany a corrupt political system are usually born by the common man. It is always the common man who is to blame, and always there is some label applied to them as they riot in the streets. They are lazy. Their unions are too strong. They spend too much. They have too many "entitlements". All while they pay 50-60% plus in taxes! Feudal English surfs only paid 35% in tax including a 10% tithe to the church! What does that make us? And yet we are always to blame for the bad deals and agreements our political "leaders" enter into. I guess we are to blame in that we are always complicit in allowing the system to continue rotting until it collapses on us under its own weight. It is up to us to change it!
                          Throwing around words like corruption, fraud, and conspiracy when it comes to talking about the outgoing Mayor and the rest of City Council only serve to highlight that you are worse than what I feared. This rambling tripe that you have posted here shows that you are not a one-issue candidate, but rather you are a fringe candidate.

                          If you want a lesson in civic political corruption, then go read up on Hawrelak, and you will quickly realize that what you're spouting is not in fact grounded in reality.

                          And by the way it's spelled serf, not surf.
                          Don't feed the trolls!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ScottieA View Post
                            Originally posted by curtispenner View Post
                            I am running for mayor because I think that having our elected servants tell us that they know better while conducting business behind closed doors is wrong. In politics, closed door business is bad business, and we have had a lot of closed door business recently. Whether we were literally shut out, as with the sale of Epcor, or simply shut out by virtue of votes proceeding without our consent, such as in the Arena deal, and many other developments which proceed despite near unanimous disapproval by those directly affected. Just as Global Calgary was breaking the Cal Wenzel "Sprawl Cabal" video where developers were plotting to overthrow the Calgary People's choice, Mayor Nenshi, Mayor Mandel was delivering a speech to the Urban Development Institute in which he bragged that only 2 projects have been rejected by Council, and that "community leagues are the problem." If our communities are the problem, what in the world is the solution?

                            I am now not speaking specifically of Edmonton City Council, but on a broader philosophical basis.

                            It is not OK to commit fraud just because the guy next to you or the guy who you answer to does. This results in a mafia style system in which only the corrupt and morally compromised will participate. If we do not change this, we will end up like Ireland, and Greece, and Spain, and Portugal, and France, and England, and Turkey. It is inevitable that riots follow political sell-out. Somehow, the reckonings which must always accompany a corrupt political system are usually born by the common man. It is always the common man who is to blame, and always there is some label applied to them as they riot in the streets. They are lazy. Their unions are too strong. They spend too much. They have too many "entitlements". All while they pay 50-60% plus in taxes! Feudal English surfs only paid 35% in tax including a 10% tithe to the church! What does that make us? And yet we are always to blame for the bad deals and agreements our political "leaders" enter into. I guess we are to blame in that we are always complicit in allowing the system to continue rotting until it collapses on us under its own weight. It is up to us to change it!
                            Throwing around words like corruption, fraud, and conspiracy when it comes to talking about the outgoing Mayor and the rest of City Council only serve to highlight that you are worse than what I feared. This rambling tripe that you have posted here shows that you are not a one-issue candidate, but rather you are a fringe candidate.

                            If you want a lesson in civic political corruption, then go read up on Hawrelak, and you will quickly realize that what you're spouting is not in fact grounded in reality.

                            And by the way it's spelled serf, not surf.
                            Very unfortunately, fraud and corruption have become endemic to politics. I specifically said I am not speaking of our City Council in addressing corruption. The point I am trying to make is that we need an operating environment specifically tailored to eliminating all forms of it. With a taxpaying population of 817,000, if someone stole 25 cents from each Edmontonian they could walk away with $204,250. While no-one is financially harmed by having lost the quarter, we are all collectively harmed by the loss of moral character that accompanies such an act. Such immorality has been percolating down through politics for a very long time, and was dramatically exacerbated by the money printing frenzy which accompanied the bail-outs of 2008 and onwards. Nearly no-one went jail for Enron, Worldcom, AIG, Lehman Brothers, or MF Global because we as people have come to accept the unacceptable from our so-called leaders. In Canada, we have adopted the notion of "too big to fail" in our 2013 Budget. Our big banks are now called "systemically important" and will be propped up with our own deposits if they screw up. This type of legislation causes a mis-pricing of risk. If a bank knows that it will be propped up with its customers deposits instead of having the shareholders lose everything, then they will make riskier bets than they otherwise would. This is exactly what happened in MF Global. Jon Corzine went 40 to 1 on Greek bonds using customer trust accounts on the expectation he would make a killing and pocket the profits. His bet went against him and he lost his customer's trust accounts. If this was you or I we would be in prison. But because Jon Corzine bundles $30,000/plate dinners for the President, he was not even prosecuted. This type of crap will not solve itself from the top down because everything has been entangled together in a big web of justifications. It is up to us to bring about positive change from the bottom up. This is why municipal government is so important. If we can fix our problems municipally, then we can begin to effect change at the provincial level, and then federal, etc.

                            We must bring brutal transparency to municipal politics, and we can then begin to fix the rest. It is rather obvious that we do not have transparency now. For instance, none of us were told why our power generation assets were sold. That decision was made in private without our consent. The arena was never put to a plebiscite. When we discovered that Darryl Katz had written a cheque to the PC's for $430,000 we did not investigate his dealings with council. We must stop ignoring the problems with our political system or they will worsen.

                            If all of us fear "throwing around words like corruption, fraud, and conspiracy" then nothing changes. I do not fear attempting to remove corruption, fraud and conspiracy from politics. And to do that we must first acknowledge that they exist. This is no different than someone with cancer admitting that they have cancer. If they admit they are sick they can focus on curing it. If they do not admit they are sick they will end up dying from it. Is ignorance bliss for this person?

                            I would much rather admit our system has serious issues. As I said, I am not alleging our council is bad. I am saying that corruption and fraud and conspiracy are bad. If you are not willing to acknowledge that these things happen in politics, you are part of the problem.
                            Last edited by curtispenner; 04-07-2013, 11:25 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                              Just don't be surprised when people don't mirror your passion Curtis. A lot of people view the building on these lands, that were always intended to be built on, as a good thing. Including me.

                              I think you have to bring more to the table than this one issue.
                              I bring much more to the table than this one issue. The single biggest asset I bring is the notion of public service. If council was dedicated 100% to public service I would not be running. Unfortunately they are not, which is why the public is so seldom served in the Public Hearing process. The Cal Wenzel Sprawl Cabal video above is extraordinarily illuminating, and it is from Calgary, only 330 km away! Can you tell me that the presence of special interests like this is good for our politics? I do not think so.

                              We need to tighten down our campaign financing regulations in a manner similar to Toronto. We can not count on "good people" because people come and go. We need good, binding policy and an operating environment of brutal transparency.

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