Imagine a reality show where you have five main contestants:
-This popular guy from four years ago who had come out of rehab because he smoked crack.
-A perennial loser. Who is a all around good guy, but tend to say weird things.
-A woman who is unlike her late husband even if she is trying really hard.
-This random woman who was on Undercover Boss Canada to make sure the trains do run on time.
-This nerdy guy, who is smart, intelligent and makes sense with his awkward smile. But he could finish last of the group if he is not voted in.
No, it’s not the 87th season of Big Brother. It’s Toronto politics.
And yet, even if all five major candidates are all different, they platform are all similar being between populism in a technocracy and technocratic populism.
The main difference in platforms between the candidates is between subways, more subways, more LRT (a fancy world for streetcars) or more or less of the same.
Rob Ford? He could win the election. But essentially because he is seen as many to be entertaining for the job in a world of politically correct automatons. The guy is clearly unstable for the job and I feel sad for him. I think that losing the mayorship for him would be a good thing for him, his wife and Rob Ford’s kids. But to crucify Ford because he seems to not love gays is a waste of time. The major problem with him is his lack of trust. Would you trust him to do anything for now on?
On the other side you got John Tory. Will he be able to be like Lazarus? In 2003, he was close of winning the post of mayor. He could be first past the post this time. However, his other experiences in politics had been total fails. The 1987 provincial election, the 1993 federal election with two seats left and even the by-election he lost after losing the 2007 provincial election were bad memories. The problem with Tory is that he is good on paper, but he tend to fudge when it counts like for the funding for confessional schools in 2007.
Olivia Chow? The problem with Chow is that unlike her late husband she doesn’t seems like someone who is nice. She sadly seems to be the kind of one way person who doesn’t accept any criticism while she is bashing anyone else. The other problem is I find chow to be like Bob Rae in 1990, a politician of protest and I am not sure how she will be in power when she will have to say no.
Trust is also important in this campaign. Problem is that the 2011 federal campaign has a major trust issue because of Jack Layton health condition and the fact that he died only a few weeks after the election in the summer of 2011. Chow was never open about this and citizens never got the whole story on this to make an informed choice in a very presidential kind of election. We never got the exact story on why Layton was walking with a cane. If she has the same attitude in power when making decisions, it will raise lots of doubt just like Rob Ford is actually doing.
The other thing with Chow? Her tendency to go on gimmicks which are Rob Ford-like. Her pledge to "ban handguns" are one example that makes me skeptical about what Chow will be when decisions will have to be made. Chow also have (especially in debates) a constant holier-than-you attitude. I don’t like politicians who take a Mother Theresa stand on everything. That’s un-progressive. In fact, don’t think that Chow is the "progressive" candidate in the race.
Karen Stintz? I don’t know much about her to be honest. She was not really impressive in debates. The only thing I could remember of her are the bad flower ad. Perhaps they are not this bad after all because I remember her mainly because of her ad and the flower seeds.
And David Soknacki is probably the guy who impressed me the most. I didn’t know him a lot as a councilor to be honest. Seems like a guy who know his stuff unlike the ton of gimmicks which others say. Sadly, perhaps he is just too honest and competent for this job.
The worse part is this people in Toronto will have these choices. Good candidates are much too low in the polls and the over-hyped candidates are much too high.