All too often we hear from people scratching their heads asking aloud “where do these nuts come up with this stuff?” when speaking of some of the loony initiatives and plans coming from Calgary City Hall. Much of their plan is actually documented in a giant blueprint that was commissioned a few years ago and coined as “ImagineCalgary”. Apparently this abomination of a municipal plan is the fruit of “consultation” with 18,000 Calgarians who answered 5 simple questions. People often disappoint me but I really find it hard to believe that there are that there really are that many people in Calgary who would be crazy enough to express the goals in the ImagineCalgary document.
There really is too much lunacy packed into the document to cover it all in one posting. I began with a post last week simply evaluating the “social” portion of the document.
Members of city council constantly reference this document and references to it are sprinkled all over the City of Calgary website. The fact that the city and some council members take the pap in this initiative seriously is a serious issue in itself. With this being an election year, I strongly suggest asking every candidate for council what they think of ImagineCalgary. Run like hell from any candidate who thinks this plan is a good idea.
The plan in full can be found here. Now on with part 2:
MEANING, PURPOSE AND CONNECTEDNESS
No, the above is not a long typo. This plan feels that our City Hall must address the apparent deficits in meaning, purpose and connectedness among the citizenry. This well hidden catastrophe among Calgarians warrants a category all to itself in ImagineCalgary. Lets see what we have to do to deal with this.
TARGET By 2036, 90 per cent of citizens agree that “Calgary is a city with soul,” which is defined as citizens having meaning and purpose in life and experiencing ongoing feelings of connectedness with some form of human, historic or natural system.
Wow. That is quite an order. I personally am an agnostic and am not even sure if I have a soul much less if my municipality does. Is this civic soul immortal? Does it need to worship? Hold sacrifices?
What if I don’t like the denomination of my city’s soul? What if it turns out to be a fundamentalist soul that is intolerant of some groups or practices? I am not sure if I can be supportive of such a soul. Would the Human Rights Commission intervene if my city’s soul was of the wrong faith?
We had better make sure we do something about this. I would hate to envision our city’s immortal soul being condemned to hell if we don’t take care of it’s spiritual needs. Lets see what the strategy is on this.
STRATEGY 1 Celebrate local inspirational and spiritual leaders from all faiths, cultures and traditions.
That will be quite a celebration indeed considering the diversity of our city. What kind of celebrations are we talking about? Block parties? Fireworks? Collective pats on the back? As per the usual question, is it our municipal government’s role to celebrate these things?
STRATEGY 2 Provide opportunities for individuals to strengthen their own senses of meaning, purpose and connectedness.
Ensure diverse forms of public expression and discussion are readily accessible.
How will these opportunities be provided? City built churches? Meditation gardens? Will we recruit motivational speakers to come and try and instill a sense of purpose among us all?
I never really noticed that we lacked these opportunities but then as one who likely has no soul I guess this should not really be a surprise.
TARGET By 2036, 100 per cent of Calgarians report that they feel respected and supported in their pursuits of meaning, purpose and connectedness, and that they extend respect and support to others who meet this need in ways different from their own
100% reporting that? Come on. I bet you would be lucky to find that even 80% of Calgarians could read that entire statement of idiocy without breaking out laughing.
It is nice to know I can still be surprised no matter how cynical I get. I really still am shocked that we paid people to come up with this crap.
The strategies are no less crazy than the goal of course.
STRATEGY 1 Develop and use measures to regularly report respect and support levels related to the diverse ways that people meet their needs for meaning, purpose and connectedness.
Establish a “state of our people” report that reports measured respect and support levels related to meaning, purpose and connectedness and the ways that citizens care for one another.
These strategies invariably call for developing measures to report things on Calgarians. Indeed we may eventually employ the entire city as pollsters as we all try to measure each other’s outlooks.
As the goal is not 80%, not 90% and not even 99.99999% it will indeed take a great deal of measurement to ensure that not a single Calgarian feels unsupported in their pursuit of “connectedness”.
This “state of the people” report will apparently report measured levels of respect. Just how the hell do you measure respect? I will save you guys one number to dial in your polling. I have utterly no respect for the taxfunded idiots who came up with this crap and will continue to hold them in utter contempt no matter how many times my respect levels are measured.
STRATEGY 2 Ensure citizens build empathy, acceptance, respect and interdependent thinking skills to foster respect and support for others.
Develop and implement educational programs and informal learning opportunities that focus on building these skills
Uh Oh. They plan to ensure that we build respect. Will my repeated reports of contempt rather than respect bring about the city’s newly found “respect police” or something?
Building empathy. Very nice. How is that measured though? How much empathy and for who?
People who use the term social engineering are often dismissed. What else could these goals be called?
STRATEGY 3 Promote the unique cultural attributes of Calgary citizens.
Create community-wide opportunities to celebrate our diverse city.
Not much to this one. Continued festivals and cultural celebrations. OK.
STRATEGY 4 Create opportunities for dialogue between different religions, faith traditions and cultures.
Establish open forums, cultural celebrations and policy/program discussions that encourage this kind of conversation
Ooh the city will take on establishing forums and policy discussions between different faith. Gee can’t see any issues with this.
I really look forward to putting on a flak jacket and attending the first open policy discussion to be held between Hasidic Jews and fundamentalist Islamic community members.
Looks like the City of Calgary is ready to take on the faith divisions that have been at issue around the entire world for the last couple millennia. This should make the squabbles between soccer moms look tame.
Well, that is about all of the ImagineCalgary goals that I can stomach for Part 2. Once settled I will work on some of the brilliant economic ideas in ImagineCalgary for Part 3. It is a profound example of vapid market intervention.