Sunday, November 12, 2006



The editorial endorsements are out in the press now and the Toronto Sun has come out today with an endorsement of Jane Pitfield for mayor of Toronto. Read it here.

In the endorsement editorial the Sun lambastes the Toronto Star and its tepid editorial endorsement of mediocre Mayor David Miller. The Star says vote for Miller because there's no alternative. Not so, says the Sun, who points to Pitfield's record at City Hall. It's interesting the Sun is calling the Star's endorsement a lukewarm one, because the Sun made a point of saying that Pitfield has run a disappointing campaign.

No surprise there, in fact the whole Toronto campaign has been disappointing. The same group of bums who have run Toronto into the ground are going to get back in tomorrow, that's my wild and crazy prediction. Municipal elections in this country are a lot like US elections. Races aren't run on party lines, in fact the only party really actively involved is the NDP. They actually nominate candidates for Council, but none of these other parties do. It's a case where you don't vote for the party, you vote for the man. Or the woman. So these incumbents have so much name recognition that you can't get these bums out of there. In the last municipal vote in Toronto, hardly any incumbents on Council got booted out. There was one incumbent in Eglinton who got the boot because of an unpopular development she had given her backing to, and I know someone else got beat, too, but that was about it.

Worse yet, so many of these incumbents are so organized that the opposition has no shot. In Mississauga, Hazel McCallion basically has no opposition in every election she has run. She has opponents, but that's the same thing as Muhammad Ali having chump "opponents" to knock out. I know a lot of city councillors in a lot of wards have races that are, let's face it, a joke. The problem isn't that their opponents are no good, it's because these candidates are disorganized and have no viable campaign. They're running against an entrenched "name", so unless they are a big name already or sat on Council or the School Board before, they have no shot. Not all the races are like this. Some incumbent councillors like Case Ootes actually have to run an actual campaign against organized, tough opposition, but they seem to win all the time, too.

The problem for Pitfield is that even though she's been on Council a long time, she's run a lousy, uninspired campaign. She's come off looking like a negative individual in the media; running against panhandlers, against this and that, and that's no way to go. It's not enough to run a campaign completely against an individual; you have to state what you are for. But all you are getting from the Pitfield campaign is that she's not David Miller. Well, that only works if you think, as I do, that anyone other than David Miller would be an improvement, but you can't hope to win an election with such a campaign--- because there's a lot of people in Toronto likely to vote for Miller because they don't think they have a choice.

Well, they do have a choice, and a good one, but this campaign has been a flop. You know, if you are really desperate to waste your vote on an alternative you can cast it for Stephen LeDrew, but if you really want a change for the better in Toronto your best bet is Jane Pitfield. That's my official CAIRNS BLOG endorsement, if you can call it that.

Of course, the most effective alternative of all is to decide to vote with your feet. I hear there are plenty of jobs in Calgary. Montreal's a pretty cool city. In Montreal they have a comedy festival and all these auto races. Even Edmonton has a ChampCar race these days, and their NHL team actually played in the Cup finals and has won Stanley Cups within the past 40 years (unlike Toronto). In Vancouver they have a domed stadium, and you can drive to Seattle to see baseball and film festivals and go up a cool tower! Of course, if you really need to stay in Ontario you can simply move to York Region like everyone else, or move to Mississauga and live under Hazel's rule! At least she tries to actually balance the books! There are other cities, you know.

Anyway, election day is tomorrow and there should be plenty of coverage of the Ontario races tomorrow over the Internet. I'll post a few coverage links tomorrow. Not today; too much important football on TV.

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