|Toronto votes 2010: the bad, the worse and the ugly||| Print ||
|Written by Meg Banks|
|Friday, 22 October 2010 17:51|
When Toronto’s citizens go to the polls on Monday, they’ll be voting in one of two ways: against David Miller’s Toronto, or against Rob Ford.
Sure, it’s been an entertaining campaign season for Toronto, from the endless jokes about Joe Pantalone’s height to Rob Ford’s width, with a few cracks about “furious” George Smitherman in for good measure.
But while all the jabs and jokes may have made for good political satire and some tasty burgers, the way the race has shaped up is posing a serious problem to voters.
Ford has been campaigning since the beginning on a platform of anger and fear. At his campaign debut party in March, he made several cracks about Mayor Miller while his supporters shouted out boos and jeers at every mention of the city’s current leader.
In September, Smitherman encouraged other candidates to drop out and support him, as the only candidate who had the clout to take on Ford’s snowballing popularity. Sarah Thomson took him up on this, pulling out just a week later, throwing her hat in Smitherman’s ring.
Slightly above the negativity, but by no means above the fray of name-calling, Toronto has Pantalone, who suggested a week ago that if he pulled out of the race, voters would be better off spoiling their ballot than voting for Ford or Smitherman.
On Oct. 13, just 12 days before the election, Rocco Rossi, at a press conference to announce his withdrawal from the race, acknowledged the negativity of the race in his speech.
“The choice for mayor is coming down to those who want to stop what Mr. Ford describes as the ‘gravy train,’ and those who want to stop Mr. Ford,” he said. “My vision for Toronto was never about stopping anything.”
But while Rossi said he was trying to build a city, we are left with two front-running candidates whose entire campaigns are based on what they are not.
On Monday, you have a choice between a man who says you have to vote against something, a man who says you have to vote against someone, and a candidate who suggests people should refuse to participate in their democratic process.
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