|Make sure your vote is counted||| Print ||
|Written by Ryan Charkow|
|Friday, 22 October 2010 14:34|
A vote for George Smitherman is a vote against the democratic process.
A consistent theme of his campaign of late has been the need for Torontonians to vote for him on the sole basis that he is not Rob Ford. Not only is this selfish but this philosophy shows an incredible disregard for the competency of the electorate and undermines democracy in the city.
Yes, Rob Ford has injected an unfortunate sense of anger into this election campaign. He has polarized the city with his boorish behaviour and right-of-centre politicking. The damage he would do as mayor to the city’s place on the world stage is tough to even think about. Under Rob Ford, the City of Toronto will shut its doors to progress and in turn to tourism and profit. A city that doesn’t spend money cannot hope to make money. Toronto already lags behind similarly sized world-class cities like Berlin and Madrid and even, in some ways, Montreal and Vancouver. Rob Ford would drag us back even further and there’s no question about that.
But, and it is a big one in Ford’s case, at least he is up front about what he believes in and how he plans to run the city. Smitherman, on the other hand, has been a sleight of hand master over this campaign. He has made few concrete promises, apart from the ones he cribbed from Ford’s platform. And now his main tenet seems to hinge upon the sole fact that he is not a physical embodiment of Rob Ford.
How far, though, is he away from Rob Ford? He drew considerable heat in 2008 when, as provincial health minister, he callously made a suggestion that he would wear an adult diaper in reaction to complaints made by nursing home employees. He was known on the floor of the legislature as “furious” George because of his abrasive and often offensive behaviour. Although the party line for his departure was to fulfill his quest to be mayor of Toronto, there were hints that even the Premier had grown tired of his antics and that his one-time deputy was becoming a serious liability.
If this is the man presenting himself as the antithesis to Rob Ford, he may need a dictionary to look up the word.
If Smitherman wants our votes, it should be up to him to convince us and not just say, “at least I’m not that guy.” The process of our municipal democracy implores people to vote for the candidate they feel will best represent their interests at city hall, regardless of how they may fare on Election Day. If Smitherman chooses to operate within this idiom, he should respect it and have confidence in his ability to succeed within it.
On Monday, vote for a candidate who respects your ability to choose.
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