By: Bianca Caramento
On Oct. 7, mayoral candidate Fred Eisenberger released his “comprehensive vision and detailed plan for creating opportunity and prosperity in Hamilton.” I was highly impressed by this lengthy policy book, for all the wrong reasons. As a university student, I’ve added plenty of filler to my essays for the sake of reaching page requirements. But even I was impressed by the lack of substance Eisenberg presents in his 17-page manifesto.
Throughout the piece, there is a striking lack of elaboration. He lists countless goals, with close to zero means of achieving them. Without exaggeration, almost every single point he lists under “Key Focus Areas” leaves readers asking for clarification and detail.
For instance, he promises to “renew Hamilton’s waterfront development initiative by expediting the implementation of recommendations contained in existing plans, studies and reports.” Which plans, you may ask yourself? He doesn’t say. He also promises to restore our faith in municipal government and services “by ensuring efficient and effective quality service delivery.” How he plans on doing this is not mentioned.
He also treats poverty reduction with the same regard, or lack thereof. And finally, he aims to find new strategies for infrastructure and inter-governmental partnerships. This begs the question: instead of promising to create and develop new strategies for numerous areas of municipal governance, why not lay them out in the policy book, as is its intended purpose?
This level of ambiguity is borderline offensive. Not only are Hamiltonians capable of weighing the value of proposed policy, they require the opportunity to do so. Denying citizens the opportunity to learn of and assess a candidate’s policy makes it near impossible to cast an informed vote. The information simply isn’t provided. It may sound great to try and reduce poverty, but without explaining the means in which he intends to try and do so, there’s no way of knowing whether or not they line up with my views. This is highly problematic.
It’s important to note that other candidates have offered platforms that allow Hamiltonians to exercise informed voting. Perhaps what I find most impressive about Eisenberg’s book is that those other candidates, who have actually provided elaborate, detailed, and specific platforms, are left trailing in third place. What a world we live in.