Sunday, January 01, 2006
Why I think Toronto is better than Montreal
Heh heh...if this doesn't get my sister Michelle to post a comment, nothing will...
So, yeah, like I said, I spent Christmas in Montreal where my mom and sister Michelle live (along with my grandmother and some aunts). I used to spend Christmas there as a kid quite often, so I have some sentimental attachment to the place when it comes to the holidays.
It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't wanna live there.
Look, it's got its pros:
-a strong identity (cultural isolation will do that)
-strong artistic scene (if you're into that sort of thing, of course)
-a ton of strip joints (if you're into that sort of thing, of course - which, for the record, I'm not...particularly).
But it's got a bunch of cons, too (figuratively and literally):
-the road system sucks (it used to be a relief to cross back over the border for that reason alone)
-the health system sucks (from all accounts - though, thankfully, I have not had to use it)
-the subways are tiny and the stations seem devoid of wheelchair access (though the stations are HUGE which is great and the bus system seems reliable)
-it's damper than Toronto, which is good for your skin, but bad for your overall warmth. And considering that the vast majority of "houses" (mostly duplexes) in Montreal seem to be old and poorly insulated, comfort seems to be at a premium.
...and a new one I noticed this time:
-The Bloc Quebecois is everywhere. I saw one Jack Layton/NDP sign and not a single one from the Libs or Cons (though I did see a Green Party sign, oddly enough). I swear the Bloc had signs every 50 feet or so - I kid you not. It was nuts. What are these guys spending? Of course, I find the mere existence of a party like the Bloc to be ridiculous. Electing a party like that only works in minority government situations, and then only if the ruling party chooses to seek their suport to pass legislation (not likely, given then heat any such cooperation would draw). Otherwise, they get no decision-making voice and, consequently, the constituents are shut out of the government process. If the voters of Quebec are going to continue to elect the Bloc, why in the world would the ruling party want to waste their time trying to please them? Much as Quebec voters may hate the ruling Liberals (which seems ironic, given the fact that all the sponsorship scandal money went to Quebec firms in an attempt to curry favour) they really need to break the Bloc cycle. They need to indicate that their vote does matter and that the big parties need to court them.
It'll be interesting to see what happens after the upcoing election; will Quebec be on the agenda?
So...yeah...that was my roundabout explanation of why I like Toronto more than Montreal: roads, subways, health care, political frustration.
Clear as mud?
(for the record: my other sister lives in Vancouver and I would consider living in that city)