September 10, 2012

 Astro-turfing is the practice of manufacturing fake citizens’ groups, some which appear to oppose corporate interests. With names like ‘Citizens for Clean Energy’, ‘Take Our Country Back’, ‘Freedom Works’, ‘Friends of The Forest’ and ‘We The People’, this propaganda technique has reached epidemic proportions and is a threat to true democracy. At a macro level, astro-turfing is a growing corporate strategy that is being employed by entire industries such as oil, pharmaceutical, chemical and timber. Some public relations firms now specialize at imitating opposition to the industry that has secretly contracted them. Former members of the intelligence community also have a knack for these types of shenanigans. These phony “grass-roots” organizations also make excellent fly-paper, attracting the disgruntled so that they can be closely monitored and more easily manipulated.

 Cynical by policy, we have remained true to our mission statement of monitoring and exposing the dark under-belly of municipal politics. Besides being the driving force that ran Sandra off the road, we have kept a close watch on all of the behind-the-scenes machinations that affect Ward 32. That’s why there is a big eye-ball on the cover of this paper, the most important publication in this riding.

 The big story, which now dwarfs all other stories, is the destruction of the Beaches for profit. Left unchallenged, our neighborhood will be transformed in to Condo Beach. We have seen several ad hoc committees being formed to stem the tide of these million dollar pieces of crap that developers plan on building by the thousands. We are obligated to report that not a SINGLE idea of any substance has been advanced that will help solve Ward 32’s most pressing crisis. We certainly hope that those who have been shooting blanks have not been doing so on purpose, as we would rather attribute their failure to a lack of talent. And we REALLY hope that stuffed brown envelopes haven’t been making the rounds to buy the outcome of this serious issue.

 Democracy should mean a lot more than an election every couple of years. Democracy is a living organism that requires the air of truth to breathe freely. If you have some truth to share with Ward 32 News about secret deals and development in the Beaches, you can call anonymously to (416) 693-6325 or write to us at -Ward 32 News, 117 Wheeler Ave, Toronto, ON, M4L 3V3


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