Thanks to CityNews for hosting several mayoral candidates beyond the “big 5” last night in the lounge next door to the studio. Whilst it may have been a little odd to have not only been at the debate table after being referred to as the winner of the first mayor’s forum last month by The Toronto Star, The Grid, and others, I do recognize that since that time a few key candidates have entered the race, and myself and my team are committed to earning our spot at the next debate.
In the meantime, thanks so much to everyone for the support and generous feedback of the comments I made during the breaks last night, and to put it all in once place, here are some observations of the debate:
The debate was a great example of rhetoric, but not of debate or discussion. Everyone involved was a professional politician, who could talk about themselves, but not about the City of Toronto. They claim to listen to the people but their actions are demonstrating that they don’t hear us.
Excluding the fact that the winner of the first debate wasn’t at the table, I don’t think anybody won. The city lost. And I know, and you know, that we can do better, Toronto.
Incumbent Mayor Rob Ford demonstrated his tumultuous relationship with the truth.
It was great to hear John Tory and Karen Stintz stand up for things resembling platforms; though I hope they can come up with ideas for all of Toronto rather than particular interests within the city. For example, John Tory has had to take a deferred position on the Island Airport expansion because of a vested family interest, and Karen Stintz will continue to take positions that she feels will win favour with voters — which is a sign of an excellent politician, but not necessarily a good leader for the city as a whole.
David Soknacki has a very pragmatic outlook on Toronto, which is commendable. But I’m worried his team is trying to manufacture a cult of personality, and we don’t need another Ford Nation in this race. Candidates need to be people rather than characters.
I look forward to being represented at future debates to welcome newer candidates and discuss BETTER directions for Toronto.