Democratic Deficit: Cities, Taxes, and Citizenship

I am a citizen of Victoria, a resident of Montreal, a citizen of British Columbia, a resident of Quebec, a Canadian, and a French Canadian. My home is in Victoria, I live in Montreal, I am a member of a family, a band, a species, and two libraries.

Victoria is my home, but I don’t live there. I don’t rent a room there, and I don’t own a house there. Some people own houses in Victoria. Some of those people live in Victoria, others don’t. Some would call Victoria their home, others are just residents.

Victoria is a small city, Montreal is a big one, both are cities in Canada. Both of them have roads, buildings, and people, and both have to pay money to make the roads work, make the buildings stay up or fall down or move around, and give the people a chance to be safe and happy and healthy and satisfied. Both of them get money from people who own houses. In Montreal, the people who own houses don’t want to give the city all their money, so the city gets money by doing favours for other people.

I take an active interest in things that happen in my home. Victoria is my home and it is very important to me. Unfortunately, I am not very important to it. British Columbia, the place where my Victoria is, doesn’t let Victoria get money from people who don’t have houses and cars. Me and my friends want Victoria to be different, somewhere where our lives and the lives of others can be fun and happy and healthy. Some people who own houses want things to be their way and no one else’s. If a person who owns a house gets angry at Victoria or decides to leave, Victoria won’t be able to make enough money. If I get angry at Victoria or decide to leave, Victoria doesn’t really mind.

In Victoria, I am not as valuable as someone who owns a house. In Montreal, the people who own houses are not as valuable as the people who will give the city money for favours. Both cities are democracies.

To the city, everyone should be the same value. To a democracy, everyone should be the same value. Cities need to find new ways of making money, or new ways to make things happen without needing more money. Then maybe we can all be valuable.

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