(L-to-R Mayoral Candidates Rob Ford, David Soknacki, and Robb Johannes at first mayor’s debate. Photo courtesy of The Underground)
Yesterday, mayoral candidate David Soknacki withdrew his bid for office in October 27‘s election. I had the pleasure of debating Mr. Soknacki and have long held that his evidence-based platform and practical action plans were truly the most sensible, achievable, and grounded of all the so-called “major” candidates in this race (previous commentaries HERE). It is an unfortunate development in the civic election process that a candidate so fit to handle the city responsibly has withdrawn — and this very thorough piece by the Torontoist says more than I could say about Mr. Soknacki’s final decision.
Seeing a lot of talk in the media, in light of Mr. Soknacki’s, as well as Karen Stintz‘s, recent withdrawals, about “And then there were three…” illustrates the influence of careerist political figures in glazing over the fact that there are still 67 candidates for mayor of Toronto. Granted, many are satire campaigns (including the also-recently-withdrawn Sarah Thomson), but saying “We now have three choices for mayor” is like saying “Only bands that sell 10 million records are worth listening to.” The Robb Not Ford campaign, and this election in general, are about what they have always been about: civic participation, community engagement, and responsible citizenship.
With Mayor Rob Ford’s chances for re-election severely reduced with apparently 28% support, your vote on October 27 is not a matter of strategic voting so much as reading up on candidates for mayor and city council and voting for whom you believe in the most, or who most accurately reflects your interests and vision for Toronto.
A recent article by the Globe & Mail stated that, of the remaining so-called “big three” candidates:
Mr. Ford’s support was highest among men, those aged 18-34, residents of Etobicoke and Scarborough, people with a household income between $60,000 and $80,000 and those with a high school education or less.
By contrast, support for Mr. Tory was highest among senior citizens, North York residents, voters with household incomes over $250,000 and those who have gone to graduate school. His support is almost evenly split between men and women.
Ms. Chow’s support is concentrated among women, those aged 35 to 44, those who live in the old city of Toronto or East York, voters with household incomes under $20,000 and those with at least some college or university education.
…the question to ask ourselves, then, Toronto, is: does any of this sound like me?
I look forward to the next seven weeks, it’s an exciting time in this great city’s history.
We can do better, Toronto!