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The Problem

Mayoral candidates at the "Better Ballots...

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A new poll suggests that blowhard, tight-fisted right -wing Councillor Rob Ford is well ahead in the mayoral race here in Toronto. This poll was done after it was revealed that Ford “forgot” he had been charged a decade ago in a DUI-related incident. It seems that Torontonians are looking to Ford as an antidote to a couple terms of David Miller as Mayor.

Yikes. I think Ford would make a disasterous Mayor. Unfortunately, with three candidates crowding the middle – Smitherman, Rossi and Thomson, Mr. Ford may well have a good chance of winning. Smitherman has been positioning the race as about two candidates, himself and Ford. I think he is doing this to marginalize his other opponents, thinking that if it were just he and Ford in the race, he would prevail.

In my view, a couple candidates have to drop out to ensure that Mr. Ford is not elected. It’s up to the three in the middle to get together and thrash it out. Will they? I’m not optimistic, but we’ll see. Of course there remains a little time for another candidate to emerge, but who knows if that’s going to happen.

7 Comments

  1. I don’t liek any of them. but L.M. makes a good point if Toronto could survive Lastman…only I don’t think Toronto did survive Lastman. He was the worlds biggest creep and ruined a lot of what was practical in Toronto (outlawing basement rentals, making megacity).

    I come from the camp that we don’t spend nearly enough in our cities. We need to spend spend spend…on garbages, on sidewalks on roads…making more and more jobs. Installing more and more social park benches and places for people to congregate outside. city hall should set up their meetings outside and in coffee shops and turn their offices over to a gym/laundry and meal preparation and service area for homeless people. Also making more jobs…that way the homeless population can have access to hygeine, food, company. and the city administrators would be out with the citizens. The homeless might take up some jobs and have a transitional area to be safe during the day.

  2. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    The mayor gets a full veto of everything the municipal government wants to do? I always thought council got some say through their votes and that if a project was worthwhile it could be funded without the mayor being onside. Am I wrong on that? If council has zero say then it seems the first step needs to be to eliminate council as a waste of cash! If they do have a say then it seems to me having the most public figure manning up to say no to some of the boondoggles could be a good thing. After a couple of terms of spend spend spend maybe a bit of slash and burn would be a good thing 🙂 . I cant really assess that because I dont live there.

    Certainly part of the issue has to be that hardly any politicians keep any of their campaign promises anyways once they get elected so it seems right to at least start off on a footing of fiscal responsibility. I cringe when I see left wing candidates talking about fiscal restraint when I am not wearing my sheep boots because I just know how long those promises are going to last. I just dont see how a Liberal or NDP type candidate can campaign on a platform of change with any sort of credibility and if your platform has no credibility arent you insulting the intelligence of the voters by brandishing half truths? Maybe that is ok in politics, it seems to work.

    • Well, as it turns out, Rob Ford says he’s going to cut the size of City Council in half. The only problem with this idea is that Council has to vote on it. How many of those characters do you think are going to vote themselves out of a job?

  3. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    “blowhard, tight-fisted right -wing ”
    You said that as if it were somehow a bad thing. Seems to me that at the very least the tight fisted and right wing part of that represents a couple of very desirable traits in a politician. Lobby and special interest groups which non stop bombard governments with demands for funds need to be countered by government officials who have a natural inclination to view these groups with suspicion. Clearly Ford must be ahead in the polls because the folks who participated in the polls like what the guy is saying. This somewhat horrifies the left wing spend-as-much-as-you-possibly-can-its-not-our-money-anyways candidates because if the voters get a taste of politicians who are able to say “no” they might actually like it and that would spell ruin for a few mini empires built on spending lotsa public money.

    I dont live in Toronto, and I dont know much about any of the candidates, but it seems to me that constantly referring to this guy as blow hard tight fisted right wing as if it were in some way a bad thing is starting to lean a bit towards yellow journalism and that might not be a good thing. After all the guy has been charged with pot possession and apparently has a DUI conviction which so many politicians seem to share so he would seem to be able to fit right in. If he would just promise to improve the dog park he could be a perfect candidate!

    • Here’s the thing Salvelinas. In a way, David Miller created the Rob Ford we see running for mayor. There is a backlash to the Miller years, no doubt. I don’t think Miller and his cohorts did a very good job either. That said, there is a role for municipal government beyond not spending anything (there would be no money for the dog park under Ford…it would be waste). We don’t need to pay for trips to China or retirement parties or French lessons, but we do need to work on enhancing our city. That’s worth doing and worth doing well. Ford is running on a slash and burn platform, but his record is clear. He’s a one trick pony who simply doesn’t spend anything on anything. I want a mayor who will spend a reasonable amount of money thoughtfully and well, someone who understands a complex, large, cosmopolitan, culturally diverse city.

      I understand why some people are gravitating toward a slash and burn position but ultimately I think it’s wrong-headed. I don’t want Rob Ford representing my city. You’ve got it right when you suggest I mean “blow-hard tight-fisted, right-wing” in a negative way.

      So what is the alternative? That remains to be seen in the coming weeks.

      L.M. may be right. We might live through Ford. We just wouldn’t be very happy about it.

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