endorses George Smitherman for Toronto mayor

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Ford or Smitherman? Follow @CityCaucus on Monday night for our 'e-analysis' of the Toronto contest

Torontonians go to the polls on Monday and beginning at 5pm PST will be live blogging and posting tweets @CityCaucus on the battle for mayor of Canada's biggest city. Last week we tracked the monumental decision in Calgary to elect 38-year old Naheed Nenshi, and were among the first to provide our analysis of what Nenshi's win meant for Canadian politics.

We've been fascinated by the Toronto contest for months. Our contributing writer, Toronto-based Eric Mang provided very early analysis of what he thought might happen in the upcoming election. Mang, a self-described lapsed Progressive Conservative whose "politics drifted leftward" and now contributes to, predicted back in January that it would be an interesting contest. Boy, was Eric right about that.

For the recent weeks it's all been the Rob Ford Show. The right wing city councillor has hogged the limelight with his simple, bare bones list of campaign promises. By comparison, Ford's only real competitor for the top job, former provincial Health Minister George Smitherman (Liberal) reads like a telephone directory.

Both candidates are chasing the elusive reduction in property taxes while increasing efficiency and accountability at City Hall. After several years of the NDP-favoured David Miller as mayor (who quit politics after a divisive garbage strike, providing echoes of the Sam Sullivan regime), it's probably not entirely surprising that the majority of Toronto voters are seeking a swing to the right.

We must give Rob Ford much credit for adding an exciting dimension to the Toronto contest. He is a populist, and therefore comes across as a man of the people. There is no doubting his sincere quest to make Toronto work better for citizens, on his terms. However, we wonder if Ford has the gravitas to lead Toronto. His questionable conduct in the past, including a drunk driving charge, are other reasons to look at the alternative.

What we should celebrate about Ford's vision is his determination to reduce the cost of civic government. It is clear that the rising costs of government are unsustainable and out of line with real inflation and the taxpayer's ability to pay.

What has been problematic about Ford's platform is the embrace of cars over transit, walking and cycling. While here in Vancouver we've taken issue with Mayor Robertson's lack of interest in consensus building on bike lanes, Toronto transportation under Ford is a regressive vision that misleads voters into thinking that by improving roadways for cars will alleviate congestion. History shows us that the benefits of these policies are only short term, and will ultimately increase congestion.

Therefore is endorsing the only other credible contender George Smitherman. While Smitherman's platform strikes a similar set of promises, and he also has a reputation for a bullying manner, we think Smitherman has better qualities of leadership. Smitherman has also garnered the support of both conservatives and union leaders, and we'll try to ignore his endorsement by the showboating Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.

Smitherman is only getting luke warm endorsements from other publications, which means that if he wins on Monday he'll have a steep hill to climb in terms of proving himself. We hope that if he wins he'll accept the role with humility and move forward aggressively with a positive vision for Toronto.

If Calgary can choose someone who embodies a positive direction for their city, surely Torontonians will do the same.

Be sure to follow on Monday evening via Twitter (hashtag #VoteTO).

- post by CityCaucus Staff


We must give Rob Ford much credit for adding an exciting dimension to the Toronto contest... What we should celebrate about Ford's vision is his determination to reduce the cost of civic government.

Huh? Ford has to be the biggest buffoon in the history of Canadian politics. He's regularly exhibited boorish behaviour in the past.

1. He has called one fellow councillor (a woman) "a waste of skin";

2. He has called another (an Italian-Canadian) "Gino boy."

3. He was visibly drunk and profane at a Leafs game.

And on and on and on.

Can you imagine this guy representing "the face of Toronto"? What an embarrassment.

Ford's controversial behaviour definitely made the contest more interesting to watch. It will be interesting to see how Torontonians respond to it.

I can't wait to hear who the people of Toronto think should be Vancouver's next mayor.

Really...(...face palm)

Don't you know that Toronto's mayor is Canada's mayor! We all get a chance to have our say. Get with the program RealityCheck.

Go Ford go . . . time to get some real people running the show instead of career progressive morons.

Smitherman is the fool who ruined Ontario's economy with all the Feed In Tariff green energy nonsense.

He played a pivotal role in driving Ontario in massive debt, structural energy problems and Have-Not Province status.

He 'd do the same at City level if he gets the chance.

The Thought of The Day

"Blogging. The best way to get away from a hot and damaging topic, is to 'SPAM' yourself into the 'Archives' section."

Only, you have to do it fast and smart in both quality and quantity. I don't think you achieved that.

Let me explain. As I was re-reading a previous post I've noticed that the 'replay' option has been disabled. 'Interesting' I said to myself.
It's like self censoring yourself during a trial where you are the accused, on the witness stand and your own counsel. Beats perjuring, though.
It's like the General Governor 'proroguing' the audit of his/ her 'Money is of no object' expense account. Maybe it could be delayed until after the end of his/ her term in office.

Ok, then. First, I do care about who gets the Mayorship of Toronto, as much as one cares about the news that Liz Taylor is single again. But if you insist, I'll go with Ford. I loved that 'Gino Boy' reference. The man has a sense of humour!

About the TTC story, the same. Nope, I don't think they will eat their hearts out in Toronto. It's 'us' who's on the hook for who knows how many Billion$ of Dinero$ following the ill advised, won and hosted Hororlympic Games and...Spending. School closures anyone?
Applying lipstick on our Vancouver pig's face is of no advantage to us. At most we could hope to look foolish.

As for the New Westminster piece. Hmmm. You want to know what my angle on this is? 'What happens in New Westminster one could only stay in New Westminster!' IMO, they are in dire need of re-branding themselves. Not even 'Sonny and Cher' sightings,inside their 'XXX Ballet District' could improve their odds in getting some Visitor attention. And what's with the name? They were 'New' one hundred years ago. Now they are just 'Westminster'. Deal with it.

So, there. You're still short of a half dozen of 'Spam' articles like those ones. Only then,you could breath unaided and hope that no one is going to notice and/ or revisit that embarrassing 'NPA hatchet burying' piece.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Glissy. About 90% of the time you are great. This was your 10%. I think you are drinking too much of Alex's bathwater on this one. A little more humour, a little less bitterness and your poetry would once again be music to my ears. Play it again Sam.

The Thought of the Morning

“Everyone has a hidden Agenda. Except me.” - Michael Crichton
I could not have said it better. Trust me. I’ve tried.


So, I guess my choice of Rob Ford bothered you. :-))
I’m sorry, but he looks too much as a crossover between Ted Kennedy and Brian Dennehy, what’s not to like? A drinking politician - actor, vis-a-vis someone who’s name and character ends with ‘man’...Ass-man; Klepto-man; Con-man; you see where I’m going with this.

I never met Alex G Tsakumis. We never had a drink together. He or anyone else for that matter, can hardly influence my opinion(s) and /or the way I write.

I want this Vision Radical Flu out of the Vancouver politics just like everyone else. And to that infectious disease they spread over at the City Hall, I say ‘Take it back to Cortes’.

“Nobody’s perfect.”

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

@Glissy. When our commenters start to focus more on themselves than the topic at hand (it happens only on very, very rare occasions) we close the discussion. Note that of our approximately 1800 posts we've only done this three times, and one was because of remarks that would be legally considered hate speech.

The discussion has been re-opened in the hope that if anyone wishes to add some observations on the topic they are free to do so.

The ever so graceful Glissando. Nobody's perfect. :-)
Ford won in Toronto. Good guess. We are stuck here with the Hillbillies. One more year...

Check out!

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