“People are people and sometimes we change our minds” - Taylor Swift
If you’re Rocco Rossi, you change your mind anytime you smell the opportunity for a vote.
This morning, eight mayoral candidates, (including Rossi, but not including Ford or Smitherman) took a ride around town on two wheels.
The press release from the Toronto Cyclists’ Union was positive: “The 30 minute ride, which stayed within the downtown core, allowed candidates to experience almost the full range of scenarios faced on a daily urban commute by bicycle.”
Except it didn’t. Not even close. The candidates were riding in a large group escorted by police– hardly representative of what I go through on my way to work every day.
Rob Ford’s a buffoon. But he’s a sincere buffoon. He hates cyclists, spending, services and parties. At least I know where he stands. I thought I knew where Rossi stood.
When he first announced his candidacy, Rossi had a list of campaign promises clearly defined. Sure, they went against everything I believe in, but he put ‘em out there for the world to see. And though I loathed him, a part of me respected him for telling it like it is (in Rossi land).
Rossi now appears desperate. He was endlessly mocked last week for proposing a giant tunnel to downtown, and tried to convert Rob Ford supporters by echoing plans to cut council in half and clean up city hall. He’s in last place (of the big 5) and has been left to grasp at straws.
Rocco Rossi isn’t a leader. He’s a panderer. I hate panderers.
I hated it when so many of the candidates were desperately seeking suburban car votes, and I hate it now.
Flip-flopping is one thing. But this is a vote grab — and proof that Rossi doesn’t get it.
He didn’t come out and say he’d made a mistake, or even admit that his threats to paint over the Jarvis bike lanes were unfair and stupid (there’s no gridlock). Either Rossi didn’t believe what he said in the beginning, or he doesn’t believe what he’s saying now.
No dice, Mr. Rossi. You don’t deserve the cyclist vote. I want safe cycling infrastructure and good policy. But mostly I want a mayor who can lead. If you can’t do that, you might as well just be another angry, bald man yelling on the street corner.