The day of reckoning is closing upon the city of Toronto. In a place filled with scandal, embarrassment, and poor governance, the people of Toronto have a chance to elect someone who can do more of the same, with a different tone.
The race began with the controversy-filled re-election campaign of Rob Ford. Since coming to office in 2010, Ford has been revered by some for his fiscal prudence, while others exhibit anger because of the whole “crack thing.” Ford was able to endure scandal after scandal, but finally fell in public opinion after a plethora of drunken videos, more crack-smoking allegations, associations with criminals, and admission of alcoholism crowded the news. Last month, in a shocking development, it was revealed that Mayor Ford is battling a cancerous tumour, and bowed out of he mayoral race. As Mr. Ford takes a much needed break, his brother Doug has entered the fray on his behalf. Doug suffers from a far less serious, but clearly prevalent case of “foot-in-mouth disorder.” Dougie would like to keep property taxes below the rate of inflation, scrap the land transfer tax altogether, aggressive subway building, stopping gridlock somehow, repairing current Toronto community housing facilities, and nothing much on the childcare front (he did, however, start a youth basketball team).
John Tory, the current frontrunner, is a well-respected businessman and former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. He’s also kind of arrogant. Voters may remember him from his failed 2003 mayoral campaign, where he lost to David Miller by 6% of the popular vote. Rumours floated in 2010 about a potential bid once again, but David Miller opted out of re-election, and Tory felt he was doing just fine at his radio show. Did we mention he had a radio show? Yes, The John Tory Show was the most groundbreaking show ever hosted by a guy with the last name Tory. His current electoral platform includes lowering or maintaining the current property tax rates, support for the three-stop Bloor-Danforth subway extension into Scarborough, implementing queue-jumping lanes to key intersections outside of downtown Toronto, repairs to Toronto Community Housing, and requesting that Ottawa and the provincial government open more child-care spaces in the city. Can he accomplish all this? His followers believe so. I mean, if anyone can, it must be the guy named John Howard Tory IV, right?
The last of the mainstream candidates is Olivia Chow, former New Democratic Party MP and Toronto city councilor. We would try and describe her platform if we knew what it was. So far, Chow has made her case for mayor by stating she loves the city and that she represents its’ diversity, because she is “not male” and “not white.” From what we could tell, Mrs. Chow is pushing for minor tax increases, a cancellation of the Scarborough subway for a LRT instead, bike lanes galore, increased commitment to building affordable housing units, and three thousand new, half-subsidized child care spaces. She currently polls in a tie, or behind Doug Ford.
Toronto is faced with three choices; a continuation of the Ford dynasty, crowning the self-righteous candidate who is only ahead because he’s not totally insane, and an opportunistic ex-MP who strangely thinks she can exert more influence as mayor.
The Editorial Board at The True North Times endorses none of these candidates, but instead, Sketchy the Clown. We believe that Torontonians are just as frustrated with the lack of meaningful discourse in this mayoral campaign as we are. Sketchy seems to be the only candidate who realizes Toronto is an utter mess in all aspects. He would also fit perfectly in the circus that is city hall.
Don’t vote for me, but if the pollsters call you, say you are voting for me.
Understandably, many tune out of the bickering and nonsense currently unfolding. Like Sketchy, we believe this is an important mayoral race and that voters should truly engage themselves in the democratic process and search for the candidate that best reflects them.
So, in his immortal words, “don’t vote for me, but if the pollsters call you, say you are voting for me.” All of the candidates are pretty mediocre. Sketchy won’t win. Nor should he. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote. Do your homework and exercise your rights. For those of you with an open mind, you can also check out Ari Goldkind, whose campaign is better put together than any of the three frontrunners.
Good luck, Toronto. You’re sure as hell gonna need it.