My Wish list for a Toronto Mayor

From http://www.hope.ac.uk/prospective/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/vote.jpgI want a mayor who supports bike lanes on any road in Toronto. Not just because I’m a cyclist, but because I want a mayor who thinks everyone in the city – not just the ones driving the biggest vehicle – has a right to be protected and to use the city services they pay for.

I want a mayor who thinks that innovation is important and exciting, and who wants to spend money on great city planning, infrastructure, and environmentally friendly ideas.

I want a mayor who loves Toronto – I mean really, really loves Toronto.  Say what you will about Miller (and right now, there’s plenty to say), but that guy loves this city.  I don’t want a mayor who is using this race as a stepping stone towards provincial or federal politics, and I don’t want a mayor who thinks the city should be run as a no frills business.

I want a mayor who has a creative plan to deal with our ridiculous transit system that doesn’t involve privatization.  Selling off assets to someone who wants to run them for a profit has never been successful and is not a viable solution.  But neither is being bullied by a union that has little interest in working with the city.  I’d vote for someone who can do some creative thinking.

I want a mayor who has a campaign platform with more depth than “You said you wanted change and I’m different.”  I want ideas, energy, and planning.

I want a mayor who has an opinion. Politics may be a game where every voter needs to be courted and appeased, but I’m not into that.  Take a stance on tough positions. Stand for something. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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4 thoughts on “My Wish list for a Toronto Mayor

  1. I share your frustration with the batch of candidates we’ve been presented by the media, and I think you know we share a lot of political opinions. I suggest you take a look at candidate Himy Syed for mayor. I posted a mini-review on my blog about a month ago. Although he doesn’t have a published platform yet (that I know of, at least) he’s impressed me more than any of the media’s picks.

    1. Well, these guys like him: http://afuitbs.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/meet-a-mayoral-candidate-xvii/

      I will do my best to find out more about the guy. All I know is what I get from Twitter… which is usually familiar statements about his fringe status. But I’ll investigate.

      The biggest problem I have is that unless he gains enough status/street cred. to be taken seriously by a chunk of the population, he’s not going to win. If he’s surely not to win, then don’t I need to vote for someone who is at least not Rob Ford or Rocco Rossi?

      Depressing? Yes. My struggle in every election? Absolutely.

      1. Yes, that seems to be the challenge of modern democracy. Our first-past-the-post electoral system works when there are only two candidates – the majority wins. Look at the United States (uh, ignore 2000-2004). When there are 33 candidates, at best a small chunk of the population will actually be represented by who they vote for. How do we fix it? Well, in municipal elections, we can’t. At least not in this election.

        So do we vote for the candidate likely to win by virtue of media-manipulated polls with the least number of policies we disagree with? Or do we vote for a candidate who shares our idea of what the city should be, even if they have very little chance of electoral success? Every voter in Toronto gets exactly two equal chances to cast an opinion every four years. If I choose the former option, I am saying, for example, “I can live without bike lanes and transit, at least Rob Ford won’t be mayor.” Personally, I choose the latter option. I intend to use my two votes to say “hey, I agree with this guy (or gal, possibly)” and hope that if enough people agree, the next city council will be influenced.

        Am I foolish? Possibly. But how foolish will I feel voting against bike lanes and transit?

        My other hope is that if a candidate like Himy Syed can get out there and generate enough buzz, he can gain mainstream media attention, and become a serious contender.

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