My Thoughts on the 2014 Toronto Municipal Election

My Thoughts on the 2014 Toronto Municipal ElectionI tried to ignore this mayoral race throughout the summer, pledging to plug myself back in after labour day. Now that I'm back, it's clearer to me than ever that this city I love needs to send Rob Ford a message that we deserve a mayor with far more self-control and self-respect.

The past four years under Ford have been extremely divisive. He's pitted the downtowners against the suburbs, he's refused to work with council and he lies so often and effortlessly, it's shocking. His ignorant refusal to participate in the pride parade and frequent racist and bigoted comments have made him a laughing stock. I'm not even going to mention the videos of him smoking crack, the skeezy activities with his buddy Sandro Lisi, his firing from the Don Bosco football team, and the objectifying comments he's made about his own wife.

But even without the circus sideshow antics, Rob Ford is bad for business. His policies are short-sighted, often presented without appropriate research and sufficient details, and he's completely ineffective as a leader. We simply can't afford to make this mistake twice.

Ideally, David Soknacki would win on October 27, but he won't. Of the favourites, my preference is Olivia Chow, but like many Torontonians in 2014, I'm willing to alter my vote in a strategic effort to keep Rob Ford out of office. I'm willing to vote for John Tory, and here's why.

All I want in a mayor is a sensible, intelligent person who is willing to work with council to reach consensus. I want my mayor to represent all Torontonians, regardless of sexual preference, skin colour, gender or even income and postal code. I want a mayor who unites the city, and moves us forward without providing embarrassing content to late night talk show hosts. Both John Tory and Olivia Chow fit this mould and both would make fine mayors.

My values better align with Olivia Chow's, but if Olivia Chow and John Tory split the anti-Ford vote, it gives Rob Ford a chance. That's not a chance I'm willing to take.


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this guest

I'm thinking John Tory is a Mulroney conservative with all the hot (backroom dealing & cronyism) air that entails,
a Conservative Leader of the Opposition who panders to religious fundamentalists,
a friend of the Ford family until it no longer served his purposes,
and a man in search of a political score running an entirely false campaign with this 'SmartTrack' nonsense.'
Don't forget Tory was behind that ad mocking Chretien's facial features caused by a childhood illness

September 5, 2014 @ 1:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@this guest

In my personal opinion, considering the limited powers of mayor, John Tory is a far better choice than Rob Ford. We've seen how little a Toronto mayor can get accomplished without support from council.

And although you claim he panders to religious fundamentalists, I did see him marching in the Pride Parade, as he's done several times.

September 5, 2014 @ 1:34 PM

this guest

but yes he is a social moderate and not a dysfunctional junkie alcoholic thug
although I am concerned he would put more of a respectable sheen on things than apply actual problem solving or innovative thought into using government to help people as I think Olivia Chow would
but who knows
Maybe he would see destiny calling and become a Red Tory in the tradition of
sane Progressive Conservatives and a great mayor

September 5, 2014 @ 1:40 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@this guest

I don't yet know who is getting my vote on October 27, just who isn't getting my vote.

Although initially I supported Olivia Chow, I could see myself voting for John Tory if I believe that to be the best way to keep Rob Ford out of office.

I see him as a step up from Mel Lastman, and a hundred steps up from Rob Ford.

September 5, 2014 @ 1:44 PM

Philly-Bob

@ this guest - Olivia Chow would tax and spend the city into bankruptcy.....

September 5, 2014 @ 1:48 PM

this guest

Oh man, yes, at least a hundred steps up from Rob Ford and I still wonder why homicide detectives are investigating him. I doubt it's to nail him for speeding.

I think (and this is of course simple speculation) the next two months might be a big, come from behind story for Olivia Chow. Pennant Drive!
17% of undecideds in that last poll.
I doubt any of them are 'leaning Ford.'

September 5, 2014 @ 1:49 PM

this guest

Philly-Bob

So far I've heard of one tax she is proposing - on houses costing two million or more -
I see nothing wrong with the very well off being taxed to help the 29% of children living in poverty

September 5, 2014 @ 1:50 PM

this guest

What's wrong with having a plan to pay for nutritional snack and lunch programs in
schools for hungry children.
29% of children in poverty.
That is a scandal, utterly shameful.
Hungry children within ten minutes of all of us.


September 5, 2014 @ 1:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

Respectfully, you're way overstating the power of mayor.

Even if she had the desire to "tax and spend the city into bankruptcy", she couldn't do it. Legally, the city's books must be balanced and she'd be merely one vote on council.

And she lacks that agenda, regardless.

September 5, 2014 @ 1:57 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@this guest

It's a safe assumption that Ford's support has a hard ceiling. Those who have stuck with him through this shitstorm are very decided and proud members of Ford Nation.

I suspect the undecideds are waiting to see the lay of the land on election eve and will vote for Tory or Chow.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:08 PM

Argie

@Mike
Firstly, judging by your twitter feed over the few months, how can you write that "I tried to ignore this mayoral race throughout the summer, pledging to plug myself back in after labour day"?

Secondly, this city was well divided long before Ford became Mayor. Do you recall his predecessor, Miller? The burb dwellers hated the city folk and vice versa.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

That was me showing great restraint on Twitter.

On the mothership (this very blog), I haven't written about municipal politics and Rob Ford since April: http://www.torontomike.com/2014/04/another_rob_ford_crack_video_more.html

That's over four months ago!

September 5, 2014 @ 2:18 PM

Lorne

"... tax and spend ..."

Woo hoo! Another phrase I can add to my list of indicators that I can safely ignore the speaker. I've yet to hear anyone use it who wasn't being an alarmist, buzzword spewing, political agenda crank.

{checks the list}

Ooo, even better, this one scores high on the "racist" co-efficient. Two birds with one stone. Well, it's a co-efficient, so 1.76 birds with one stone, to be exact.

I'll just add it here right along other such fun-to-ignore flags as "inexperienced", "common sense" and "speaks for itself".

September 5, 2014 @ 2:26 PM

Argie

Boy, I wish everyone was as smart as Lorne.

I wrote sarcastically.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:28 PM

Oliver Promwell

Pathological liar or delusional? Hard to tell:

"Friends, there's one reason Eglinton is underground," Ford told reporters as he pointed to the colourful map of his transit plan. "It's because of Mayor Rob Ford." He repeated the claim later in the day during an interview on Newstalk1010 when he told host Jim Richards: "Jim, they wanted to put an LRT [on Eglinton], I got 'em to put it underground."

There's just one problem: the idea of burying the Crosstown under the busy downtown core was proposed by transit planners and approved by the TTC as part of the Miller-era Transit City plan, years before Ford was elected mayor.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:31 PM

Il Duce

John Tory is 'Charlie Brown'. Olivia Chow is Lucy who pulls the ball away if she doesn't exit the race, which she will never do...Ford wins a tight race... book it!!!

September 5, 2014 @ 2:31 PM

Rob

I am voting for Rob Ford because we share the same name.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:46 PM

markosaar

Going to take the liberty of filling in for Corey a bit since he's not commenting anymore.

I'm not even going to mention the videos of him smoking crack, the skeezy activities with his buddy Sandro Lisi, his firing from the Don Bosco football team, and the objectifying comments he's made about his own wife.

That's a terrible job of not mentioning something.

Har.

Not much else to say, I basically agree with the sentiment of the post, though I'm not super-keen on Chow to begin with. I would absolutely vote for Soknacki first on a ranked ballot.

I do feel stuff like "SmartTrack" is intended as careful pandering, which is necessary since the Fords have brought the level of discourse in the city to such (subway-level) depths.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:50 PM

Mathman

@Toronto Mike

Well said. I feel the same way.

September 5, 2014 @ 2:51 PM

Final Tally

Chow 31%
Tory 30.88%
Ford 29.66
Soks 8%

September 5, 2014 @ 3:01 PM

Not a HomoPhobe

"His ignorant refusal to participate in the pride parade"

Really? That is one of the reasons to not vote for someone? Not wanting to walk down the street with bare-assed chaps wearing men with water guns is not a reason.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:03 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Not a HomoPhobe

If you feel your statement isn't homophobic, why did you change your name for this comment when you used a different handle the last hundred times you commented?

Clearly you know there's something wrong with what you're writing or you wouldn't alter your name.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:05 PM

Anonymous

I like Rob Ford. As a gadfly. He was great at stirring debate, directly helping people with their day to day issues and looking to find ways to help the taxpayer. Unfortunately that approach doesn't scale, isn't a good description of what the Mayor should be focused on and divisive politics don't build the support needed to actually accomplish very much. He's also been unwilling to be honest about his failures, both personal and professional. I can forgive the former and he has started to address that, but we do need someone different and I think that's true regardless of anyone's personal vision for Toronto. Four more years of the same just won't be productive for anyone.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Anonymous

Rob Ford's blatant refusal to promote 311 by asking that all issues be sent to him personally via his personal phone number results in worse service and creates an unnecessary, inefficient and ineffective dependency.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:10 PM

Philly-Bob

@ Not a Homophobe - agree 100%. I am all for equal rights, I don't think it should even be an issue, love is love.

But the pride parade sets gay rights back every year. It feeds into the base stereotypes surrounding the group. That they all walk around in clothing the rest of us wouldn't be caught dead in, drugged out of their minds, looking for anyone to sleep with...

I'm sorry Mike, if I was Mayor I wouldn't march in it either. I'd use my politicial clout to try and actually move forward on gay rights...but I am completely opposed to the parade and everything it stands for.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:12 PM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - Don't know who not a Homophobe is...but I have no problem attaching my name to my comments...I stand behind them and have had this debate with my gay friends when they ask me to come with them.

One of them accused me of being a homophobe...I retorted by reminding him that I've attended 2 Gay Wedding thus far, and would happily attend 100 more. It's the parade I have issues with...

September 5, 2014 @ 3:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

Since you're not mayor of Toronto, I have no problem if you skip the Pride Parade every single year.

But the mayor of Toronto should march in the parade.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:21 PM

J

Both Tory and Chow have said they'll march in the pride parade every year they're mayor. Tory called it a "no brainer".

September 5, 2014 @ 3:32 PM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - I do see your point.

If that were the only fault of Ford's, I might tell you to lay off him. However, it is of course not the only fault of Ford's, so why not add it to the list.

However, "not a homophobe" (whoever they actually are) did make a valid point that not wanting to be involved in Pride Parade, doesn't make you a bad person.

I'll sign every petition, shout down every homophobe I meet, but Pride Parade...sorry, I just don't think of it as a good thing...

September 5, 2014 @ 3:38 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

Of course not wanting to march in the parade doesn't on its own make you a homophobe. That goes without saying.

But the mayor of Toronto should march in the parade.

September 5, 2014 @ 3:42 PM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - Yeah...you're probably right about that.

September 5, 2014 @ 4:03 PM

Anonymous

@Toronto Mike

RE: 311. You're right. That's actually what I meant in part by not scalable. I didn't write clearly enough to articulate that the elements I was liking were generally applicable to him as a councillor but not Mayor.

September 5, 2014 @ 4:19 PM

Gord

I think linking Rob Ford being homophobic to not attending the parade is a mistake. Yes as a representative of the city he should attend the parade, but even if you ignore that he has made homophobic comments in the past both publicly and in his chemical induced rants. The best visible demonstration was his childish unwillingness to acknowledge the significant accomplishment of World Pride.

He is homophobic and he refuses to attend the pride parade. Although they're both wrong I'm more willing to excuse the latter than the former.

September 5, 2014 @ 4:36 PM

McNulty

I'm so tired of the "bare asses men" comments about Pride.

No one who has seen the entire parade would make such an inaccurate comment. Pride isn't just about naked gay men. It's a whole lot more. Philly....do you have any empirical evidence to back your "sets gay rights back statement"?

As for Ford...I've asked a Ford supporter for a reason to vote for him. The answer "they are too numerous to list". I asked for one and she still responds "there are just too many". I finally have up but it highlights that his supporters don't really care about the city. They are really just ignorant.

September 5, 2014 @ 5:42 PM

twins from bolton

Fortunately I live in Bolton (part of Caledon) & don't have to vot for T.O. mayor.

Our current mayor is NOT running again & with due respect to the people running for mayor in Caledon - ALL LOSERS.

I'm in the same boat as you Toronto voters.
Who & Why?

September 5, 2014 @ 6:22 PM

Argie

I predict a riot the night Ford is re-elected. The left hate to lose.

The right blame their leader (see Romney, Tory, Hudak, etc) while the left riot (see occupy now, anti war and nuclear protests).

September 5, 2014 @ 7:18 PM

Lorne

I would give Ford a pass on the pride parade, IFF:

1) He still attended the opening ceremonies. It's his job. He's the mayor. This is a MAJOR source of income. For all the money he says "he" brought into the city, one forgets there's been 4 Pride Parades contributing (including the world). This is the bare minimum.

2) He had been honest about his beliefs from the beginning, instead of trying to cover it up with a lame fucking lie of "oh, I totally had plans with the family, oops". There's no way you didn't know the date of the parade. You're the fucking mayor. There's no way you couldn't delay your cottage trip by 1 hour to cut a ribbon. You're the fucking mayor.

If he isn't comfortable with "teh gays", and doesn't "condone" their lifestyle, fine. Whatever. I won't say he shouldn't feel that way. I think it's an astoundingly backwards and harmful attitude to have in this day and age, let alone for the mayor of a major city to have. But at least it would have been honest, instead of disrespecting literally everyone by telling a transparent lie to try to excuse your bad behaviour.

Of course, having such an exclusionary and hateful attitude would be death to a public figure. As well it should be, given you're saying "I hate you, vote for me". But hey, it's better to lie as long as it results in personal gain, right?

And even IF he had been honest, again, ATTEND THE FUCKING OPENING CEREMONIES. Period. There's a million people there. They're taxpayers, too, and deserve just as much "respect" as any other taxpayer of the city.

Two sidenotes:
1) Yes, someone can have personal views that differ from yours, or that are even, one might say, hateful. As long as they check that shit at the door when they're a public servant. The code of conduct, and the charter of rights and freedoms trumps your "eww teh gays" feels.

2) I will choke the next backwards idiot who insists that anyone is a "taxpayer" and they are the most important group to be pandered to. You aren't a "taxpayer". You're a goddamn CITIZEN of Toronto, and there's a world of difference between the two.

September 5, 2014 @ 7:42 PM

this guest

They are coming for your bobbleheads Argie.

September 5, 2014 @ 7:45 PM

Argie

Why aren't the left intelligent enough to get their point across without using the f word like our overly hysterical friend, Lorne?

I get it, you're upset - just take one your anti-depressants and it will all be okay.

September 5, 2014 @ 7:49 PM

Tiny Montgomery

Very interesting debate. Please don't drop out Soks you make too many good points i.e. Tory's fantasy financing of the subway. Chow perhaps the best she's been in the debates tonight. Ford did well making his points. Not honest but stuck to his talking points. Tory didn't look quite as golden as he might have expected to look following recent polling results.

September 5, 2014 @ 7:54 PM

Jillian

John Tory should win, Rob Ford (likely) will win.

Anyone but Olivia Chow..aside from her political beliefs, she just doesn't come across as a confident leader. She's easily defeated in debates and her timid nature makes me tune her out very quickly.

September 5, 2014 @ 8:54 PM

Tiny Montgomery

Chow manhandled Tory tonight. Nothing timid at all about how she got the crowd cheering her response.

September 5, 2014 @ 9:01 PM

Cheryl

I still don't know. If only George Smitherman was running. I am not and defiunitely not voting for Ford or chow.

September 6, 2014 @ 6:00 AM

Lynne

@Mike I am in agreement on every single point you made. Without a doubt, Soknacki should be our mayor, but the nerd factor is probably insurmountable. Like you, I will have to hold my nose and vote for Tory in October, mostly because, like you, I live in Etobicoke. A vote for Chow here is a vote for Ford. Chow would be better suited to lead an organization for the betterment of the at-risk children in our City. Her plans make sense, but I doubt she could rein-in the hooples at City Hall for more than 5 minutes.

September 6, 2014 @ 8:42 AM

Sarah

I think there is little chance Rob Ford is getting back in.

David Soknacki should win, but let's have Olivia have her chance.

September 6, 2014 @ 9:59 AM

4x4 Time

Is there any prominent fellow councillor who has sided with Ford in this election? He loses his brother and I assume Kelly if he is re-elected and was just wondering who his right hand man would likely be to try and help him win over some council votes if he gets re-elected.

September 6, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

Luigi

This whole campaign reminds me of a really bad motor race. John Tory's car is running just fine, but he's got a history of driving it right into a ditch and causing irreparable damage to it at the worst possible moment. Olivia Chow's car has a loud engine and a great pit crew but can't switch gears without burning the transmission. Rob Ford's car should be in the junkyard but his brother the mechanic is keeping it running and David Socknacki's car is out of gas and leaking oil all over the track.
I guess if someone's gonna win this thing, I'd pick Mr. Tory with Ms. Chow in second.

September 6, 2014 @ 8:53 PM

Zach

Olivia Chow looks like she has her hands full doing Pringles commercials right now.

September 7, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

Cheryl

Let's all talk George Smitherman into running again and then he can become mayor. That would be the best thing. I still don't know what I want to do. Maybe I'll just spoil my ballot. I have other stuff to worry about.

September 7, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cheryl

Or, since you're going to the polling station to spoil your ballot anyway, you could just vote for mayor while you're there.

September 7, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

this guest

gently
wry
turning a plan
awry

September 7, 2014 @ 2:41 PM

this guest

gently
wry
turning a plan
awry

September 7, 2014 @ 2:41 PM

Tiny Montgomery

This reminds me of those great intellects from Etobicoke slinking between gas station washrooms and city hall: "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

September 7, 2014 @ 5:06 PM

Cheryl

Well, I don't know yet. They all seem pretty crappy. I want George Smitherman.

September 7, 2014 @ 7:51 PM

George Smitherman

Okay, here it is!

In an exclusive to torontomike.com, I'd like to announce my candidacy for the post of Mayor of the great city of Toronto.

I have heard the cry of the people, and it is clear to me that they yearn for a mayor with the courage and moral compass to lead this city to the prosperous future we all know she is capable of.

VOTE SMITHERMAN!!!!!!

September 7, 2014 @ 9:42 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@George Smitherman

You'd better hurry and register. The deadline is September 11 at 4:30pm.

September 7, 2014 @ 9:51 PM

Cheryl

Good, so George Smitherman is running. That makes my day. That's great. Then I know who to vote for.

September 8, 2014 @ 4:17 AM

Tiny Montgomery

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s office asked city staff to look into using one of their most coercive powers – the expropriation of privately owned land – to help a client of the mayor’s family business add more parking spaces.

Today's Globe and Mail. They must be desperate to stop Ford bleeding conservative votes from Tory. Concern over a Chow rebound?

September 8, 2014 @ 8:54 AM

Argie

@Tiny
Trust me, no one is concerned about a Chow rebound. It aint happening.

September 8, 2014 @ 9:14 AM

James Edgar

I've had this election on ignore for the most part all summer and will continue to do so for the next week. But the rumbling i'm hearing is that like Mike people are looking seriously at Tory so that Ford does not split the vote and win. I'm probably going to do that myself.

Should be an interesting couple of weeks.

September 8, 2014 @ 9:23 AM

Tiny Montgomery

Let us objectively analyze the Globe's objective in printing new revelations about Ford with Tory so far in front according to the latest poll. What is their concern? Motivation? 'News' does not exist in a vacuum. It is shaped by economic forces.

September 8, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

Tiny Montgomery

Let us objectively analyze the Globe's objective in printing new revelations about Ford with Tory so far in front according to the latest poll. What is their concern? Motivation? 'News' does not exist in a vacuum. It is shaped by economic forces.

September 8, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

this guest

I voted for Pantalone so clearly
not a strategic or voter here
but I think a Chow campaign
renewal is
possible

but then again I'm also
not
objective in the
slightest so I can't see
the forest for the
trees

September 8, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

Aurora Bob

Where I live we have our share of municipal nut jobs, but a question about the parade discussion.

Should the Mayor participate in every parade? Not sure if there still is one, but what about the Orange parade?

Like others here, I do not see how participation or lack of participation should endorse or discount a candidate.

September 8, 2014 @ 5:04 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Aurora Bob

Should the mayor participate in every parade. No, not every parade.

Should the mayor participate in the Pride Parade. Yes.

Without a doubt, it's one of the largest cultural festivals in North America. Of course the mayor should be there.

September 8, 2014 @ 6:05 PM

Aurora Bob

Does the Mayor participate in the Carabana (or whatever it is called) parade?

September 9, 2014 @ 8:39 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Aurora Bob

Does he ever.

September 9, 2014 @ 8:48 AM

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