I must qualify this post right from the beginning. I do not live within the regional boundaries of Toronto that would provide me any say whatsoever in the upcoming mayoral election. That understood, I do live in the massive area known as the GTA where every decision, large or small, petty or important, made down at Nathan Phillips does carry significant impact for my neighbours and me, whether the denizens of the city choose to recognize it or not. Believe me when I say with no irony whatsoever, that we up here in the self-described "City Above Toronto" have our own municipal cesspool to deal with, so fixating on your election follies down there was not something I had anticipated, but I just have to ask-REALLY, TORONTO? What are you thinking?
I realize that the last 7 or so years have not been a bed of roses. The current office holder has been worse than anticipated no matter on which side of the political spectrum you sit. There have been tax increases, traffic bedlam, no truly cohesive transit strategy, bike lanes to nowhere, streetcar lanes from hell, a municipal strike that left garbage rotting in the summer heat, children without camp and parents without daycare. I get it. Toronto is ready for a change, but again I have to ask-REALLY, TORONTO? What are you thinking?
According to the latest poll, the residents of Canada's sixth largest economy are about to elect a loud, often boorish, and totally devoid of any cohesive platform other than save money on the paperclips at city hall, west end councillor as their new mayor. This man has spent more time over the last ten years being called on the carpet for his bad behaviour than a raunchy frat boy. Interviews with citizens around the city over the past few days have revealed a real distrust for politics as usual, and a willingness to try any new formula, no matter the history. They seem to like his in your face honesty and political incorrectness. They like that he supposedly speaks up for them and not for the interests of political machines. They like that he tells it as he sees it and they like that he goes from the gut, rather than studying it all to death. Where have we heard that before? W, anyone?
I would love a politician that is honest too. Believe me, I would. I would love for them to just get down to work and solve the real problems facing our society. I would love somebody-anybody-to actually say that having to pay taxes really sucks but having crappy sewers, gridlock, and potholes suck more. I would love for somebody to stand up to the union bosses and tell them the hard truths that job security is a thing of the past. I would love for somebody to stand up to developers and tell them that the free ride is over. I would love for somebody to push through a cohesive transit solution that isn't so parochial that it only takes into account the boundaries of the 416 area code and doesn't factor in those who actually NEED to drive their cars to work. I would love all of this, but again I have to ask-REALLY TORONTO? Is Mr. Etobicoke the answer? What are you thinking?
We currently find ourselves in a season of anti-establishment candidacies around the world. Chantal Hebert, a national columnist in The Toronto Star wrote just today about how governments from around the world are being turfed and forced into coalitions in order to function. One only has to turn on the TV these days to see the absolute bedlam occurring during these midterm elections in the United States. Voters are desperately searching for alternatives to the status quo and the citizens of Toronto are certainly no exception. But I urge all of you who do have a vote, to use it wisely. If Mr. Etobicoke is really the guy who you think will help address the serious issues facing our city, than who am I to tell you otherwise. But, if you are planning on entering the voting booth with the idea that he couldn't be worse, I urge you to rethink that position. REALLY, TORONTO? Start thinking!!