Four After-Debate Thoughts

Four After-Debate ThoughtsI tuned in for the first 15-minutes of this evening's 2014 mayoral debate. That was all I could stomach. So much sound and fury, signifying nothing. If you watched the entire thing, kudos to you.

Here are four thoughts I had after I flipped off the television.

Those Who Support Rob Ford Won't Care if He's Arrested
Those in Ford Nation who are still voting for the man are going to support him no matter what. If he's arrested next week, it won't change their mind. There's almost nothing he can do to lose their vote at this point.

Debates are Useless (and Annoying)
Debates are useless, and annoying. It's the same talking points over and over and over again. The vast majority of people enter a debate with a favourite and leave favouring that same person. It won't be someone's performance in a debate that will change your vote, it will be strategy. (See below.)

Strategic Voting is OK
As I get older, I become more and more comfortable with strategic voting. For example, one might think David Soknacki would make the best mayor for Toronto, but Soknacki can't win this election, so one might vote elsewhere to block Rob Ford from winning again. I'm okay with this. In fact, it's for this very reason that I'm encouraging all my friends and family to support Olivia Chow. In my opinion, she's our best chance to keep Rob Ford from winning.

This is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
It's only March and the election is in October. I'm already pretty tired of all the campaigning, but there's a long way to go. I'll keep a casual eye on what's happening but I'll wait until Labour Day before I completely plug myself back in.

Self-preservation, after all, is the first law of nature.

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Here's the problem with going into any debate against Ford:

Anything you say to counter his talking point will just be met with him repeating the exact same talking point again.

It's infuriating, and nothing can be done about it.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:06 PM


Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:11 PM


I think it's ridiculous that the campaign is this long and the first debate is a full 7 months before election day. The federal and provincial levels of government function perfectly with shorter campaigns. This shouldn't be starting up until August 1, 3 months is plenty.

With that said, I'm huge Ford supporter as I've posted about here before. I support his political agenda the most, that's for sure. His personal misgivings are unfortunate, but as I've said, I'd rather have a drunk Ford than a sober Chow. Ford embarassing himself in public doesn't affect me but his policies do. That's why in spite of his foolishness I'd vote for him again. There's no other credible Conservative candidate. Tory's running as a centrist and Stintz has a poor record on council. If someone credible on the right went up against Ford I'd probably vote for them but this field of candidates leads me to support Ford again.

I hope he wins in October and manages to get some policies through with a new council. It's time for a fresh start.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:12 PM



It's the lying and cavorting with scumbag criminals that I despise.

How do you look at your self in the mirror and support that?

March 26, 2014 @ 7:17 PM

Lyle Lanley

I can't believe Ford still doesn't know the difference between streetcars and LRT.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:19 PM


Agree with everything you wrote. Unfortunately the candidates seem to as well (referring to your first point). While Ford's core supporters will stay with Ford anyway, Tory/ Stintz did all they could to let viewers forget Ford was the guy from Kimmel. His legal trouble should be hammered down his throat every chance possible.

Soknacki was the only candidate who brought actual numbers to tackle Ford's fiscal record. But since he's only supported by two per cent, everyone should join Team Chow.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:21 PM


@ Justin

So you're okay with Ford committing criminal acts while in office? Because he has. He's admitted it.

But that's okay with you? Because you are under the misconception he's the only person that will save you $250 a year.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:26 PM


@Toronto Mike -

Why isn't Tory the best strategic option for defeating Ford? Ford won handily by running as a fiscal conservative. He failed by behaving like a buffoon and a criminal. Rightly or wrongly, people view Chow as a return to the Miller era which they clearly rejected last time around. Tory is reputation is as being a prudent, fiscally responsible manager with a social conscience - seemingly the best traits of both Chow and Ford. He could do the job Ford was elected to do, without any of the baggage of Ford, or the uncertainty of Chow's agenda. So, again, why not Tory?

March 26, 2014 @ 7:28 PM


@Lyle Lanley Oh, he knows the difference between LRT and streetcars. He just pretends not to because it works better for him in terms of courting the uninformed, "angry about everything" voter.

March 26, 2014 @ 7:33 PM


Tory knows how to lose. He loses every race he runs. Chow is our best bet to beat Ford I must agree.

March 26, 2014 @ 8:05 PM


I cannot understand how anyone could vote for Chow.

March 26, 2014 @ 9:04 PM



Because Chow and Soknacki are the only adults running for mayor, and Soknacki is (unfortunately) about as likely to win as any other fringe candidate.

March 26, 2014 @ 10:37 PM

this guest

agree with Jacob @

except I'd change 'adults'
'thinking adults'

Anyway after Ford's
arrest he'll lose
another few % points
of support and
slip further

March 26, 2014 @ 11:31 PM

this guest

oh and yes
could the campaign
get any longer

you'd think we
were preparing for
blastoff to

March 26, 2014 @ 11:38 PM


I had a lady tell me today that she was voting for Ford, and nothing I could say would change her mind, because only he cared about low-income Torontonians.

I'm not even a Chow supporter, but I was utterly flabbergasted/dumbfounded.

March 27, 2014 @ 12:40 AM



I would not consider Olivia any more an adult than Rob Ford.

March 27, 2014 @ 8:12 AM


I didn't see the debate but from what I heard Ford won it. This is surprising not just to his haters but to me as well.

I would have thought Tory would win. This is his specialty (i.e. talking a good game but coming up lame on game day).

I did like Kimmel's comment about Ford:
“Oh my goodness, (Mayor Rob Ford) is JFK compared to some of these candidates,”

March 27, 2014 @ 8:37 AM


Argie, it was painful to watch. They really need a better format. I can't believe I am going to say this but Ford did do a better job. I thought Olivia Chow was horrible. And by the way....I did not vote for Ford and do not intend to.

March 27, 2014 @ 9:02 AM


I saw the whole debate and all the candidates stayed to the messages they've been droning on since they filed their papers. I think it's time that Ms. Stintz and Mr. Soknacki should seriously think about dropping out-they've got no chance. Mr. Tory & Ms. Chow better start releasing the details of their platforms soon or else Mr. Ford is going to start to dominate the narrative of the campaign and get people's attention away from his personal failings.
There were plenty of opportunities last night to deliver a 'knockout' blow but nobody did, so I don't think it changed anyone's opinions of each candidate.
Also, why would you schedule it at 5pm when most people aren't going to be able to catch it?

March 27, 2014 @ 9:09 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I believe Olivia Chow, not John Tory, is our best chance to keep Rob Ford from winning.

In fact, I see this as a two person race. John Tory will finish a distant third.

March 27, 2014 @ 10:12 AM


Ford clearly won that debate. I feel like Tory is biding his time (you know, for his police friends to arrest Ford). Chow and Stintz together lost that the hardest.

March 27, 2014 @ 10:42 AM


@ Mike - I know you say there are no political parties in Municipal politics. I understand that Chow is not running on an NDP platform, but as one of the faces of the party for years, she is forever going to be linked to them and their tax and spend mentality. You need look no further than her answer about privatizing garbage. She says she wants to give it a few years and see which system works better....

I will guarantee that if she wins, the garbage on the east end never gets privatized....ever...she is backed by these unions, and she's not going to bite the hand that feeds her.

Considering we need to move towards abolishing all unions in this country, Chow would be a step backwards....

I agree with your anyone but Ford mentality. But, in Chow, you are just exchanging an embarrassment for someone who might very well tax and spend you Torontonians into the 3rd world...

Go Tory!!!

March 27, 2014 @ 11:10 AM


@Toronto Mike

I know you think Chow is the best chance to oust Ford. You stated that already. I'm trying to understand your reasoning though, which you haven't yet provided. I'm not endorsing any particular candidate, but if I think about it logically, working from your strategic voting perspective, Tory is the correct choice because he's clearly the candidate most likely to sway pro-Ford voters (or disillusioned voters who originally voted for him). He won last time by a significant margin, so unless you believe he did enogh damage that everyone is ready to take a hard tack back to the other side, the strategic vote would be the centrist Tory. What is your rationale for Chow?

March 27, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Strategic voting promotes an us-versus-them attitude, a kind of anybody but (blank) mentality.
I got the impression that you (T.O. Mike) didn't like that sort of thing and that the us v them nonsense was the reason you dumped the Tuesday Open Mike.

Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.

March 27, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Nigel Trousershrapnel

I was sold on strategic voting when Ralph Nader helped Dubya win. I've been advocating it for a while.

March 27, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

Freddie P.

@ Toronto Mike
I think you might want to change the name of your blog.. "Toronto" Mike leaves the impression you care about the city.. supporting Olivia Chow proves you don't.
If there was any justice to any of this John Tory would be acclaimed Mayor tomorrow.
Ford, although a worthy, formidable and accomplished political candidate, should not be re-elected because of his non-political problems.
Chow meanwhile, is shallow, vacant and flakey dreamer who will drive this city into the ground faster than you can say "let's go to Steak Queen after the Garrison Ball."
A city is a huge corporation and you need a business savvy adult to take control and keep this city on the rails.
The only business Chow knows is the business of sucking off the public teet.

March 27, 2014 @ 3:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Freddie P.

It's teat, not teet!

March 27, 2014 @ 3:52 PM

4x4 Time

I was really surprised at Tory, that dude needs to grow a pair or he will be out of the running real quick. I laughed my ass off when Chow told him "I do need lessons from you because we're not on the golf course"...

March 27, 2014 @ 4:15 PM


@ Freddie P - "worthy, formidable and accomplished political candidate" - you are talking about ROB Ford right?? Not Gerald or something like that?

March 27, 2014 @ 4:20 PM

this guest

what are tax dollars spent on
when are taxes not spent
what taxes are collected
for what

do taxes repair the roads
go to hospitals
keep schools open

a socialist nightmare

March 27, 2014 @ 4:39 PM


I did't watch the debate, but the problem with Chow is she is too left meaning maybe back to long strikes and stuff, very NDP. NO thanks, but I don't want Ford either. Sure wish I could vote for Smitherman or bring Mel Lastman back. He was the best mayor we ever had or maybe just maybe I'll spoil my ballot to protest.

March 27, 2014 @ 6:01 PM


You tell 'em, Freddie P!

John Tory would be the best mayor although he was less than impressive in that debate.

Rob Ford shined with his ability to speak throughout the debate without referring to any notes. But that's not enough to vote for him.

Completely unrelated- does Olivia Chow wear a wig?

March 27, 2014 @ 6:05 PM


John Tory's an impressive and accomplished fellow and I'm not sure why he's running for mayor again. He's going to lose and that's clear to me. There's no appetite for a centrist candidate. You'll have Ford's 30%+ block of support, a similar sized majority voting for Chow, and Tory's left squeezed out in the middle.

It was obviously a strategic decision by Tory's people for him to campaign as a centrist candidate; it was clear after last night's debate that he's trying to take votes away from Chow rather than Ford. I think it's a losing strategy and he's going to regret it. I'd have no problem supporting him if he presented himself as a right-wing Conservative alternative to Ford. But his policies, at least based on the few he's revealed, leave me no choice but to not support him.

March 27, 2014 @ 9:24 PM

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