Damn, I hate living in Ottawa sometimes, and for once it's not the winters I'm talking about. I'm condemned to reside in a place where a near-majority of my fellows took complete leave of their senses one fine November day in 2006 and propelled what a blogging friend calls the "dysgenic spawn of Daddy Warbucks and Lex Luthor" into the mayor's chair.
Now this bonehead, this simpleton, this "have a nice day" smiley-face, red-cheeked from yet another spanking by City Council, has decided he's a labour negotiator. He reminds me of the Beverley Hillbillies' benighted Jethro deciding one morning that he wants to be a brain surgeon. Compared to Larry, though, Jethro would have had a relatively easy time of it.
With faint echoes of George Bush père addressing the former dictator of Iraq as "Saddam," thereby injecting a weird mano-a-mano element into complex world events, our Larry has made it personal with the OC Transpo union's president, André Cornellier, calling him by his first name and challenging him to call a vote of his members--on an offer that hasn't been on the table since the drivers' strike began.
If I were trying to conduct negotiations on the management side, I'd be pulling my hair out at this point, and not as an hommage to the mayor, either. Exhibiting what he must see in his world of fantasies and delusions as real go-getter initiative, Larry has taken the wind out of his own negotiating team's sails by making this perfectly absurd public proposal.
"If you let your membership vote on the last agreement [sic], I will take this final offer to my council and I will recommend as head of council that our final offer be accepted," says our newly-minted labour expert. So let me get this straight: the ATU is supposed to hold a vote on a non-existent offer which, if accepted, will then be put before city council? You know, the folks who have had to steer Ottawa around the bald-headed guy for the last two years because he doesn't know how to negotiate a coffee pool, let alone a contract?
Cornellier, for his part, has accepted on his members' behalf the compromise proposal of a federal mediator, which he would send out to his drivers in a heartbeat if the City agreed. Nothing doing, says Larry, straining to look tough. And so Ottawans, many of whom voted for this idiot, will continue to trudge through the snow for the foreseeable future to write exams or to do their Christmas shopping or just to get to and from work.
And we have two more years of this crap to go. Thanks a bunch, fellow citizens.