The Ball is Rolling!
But the ballgame has changed lately in the electoral race for City Hall in Toronto. All of the candidates have impressive credentials, well thought-out platforms and all appear to be capable of becoming Mayor in the coming election in November.
So why is this ‘ball-game’ different? Electronics!
All the candidates have websites and e-mail. Since most of the potential voters are also savvy computer users, they can access all the information they require from the candidates of their choice – or their adversaries. They can compare the issues, the background of the candidates and what seems to be important to the candidates and to them, in order to make an intelligent choice.
It can be noticed - at some of the receptions for the media, that the attendance is down, based on past media performance. Apparently it is easier to get the information from the websites and the other media outlets, rather than directly from the horse’s mouth. (Despite the fact that coveted free finger food, beverages and sandwiches are served at these functions).
At this point, the problems – and how to solve them – are pretty much the same for all the candidates. Safer streets, improved services, better – user friendly - public transit, the homeless problem, access to public spaces, rising costs, failure of competent leadership and the city’s decline in the past ten years, education and ineffectual school boards, property taxes, affordable housing, sewer and water systems and other vital infrastructures that are problematic and have to be addressed, and much more.
The coming weeks will give us a better understanding of the various candidates’ platforms and their standing in the polls. It will all be on your computer, believable or not! After all, who really liked the last administration, in the end? Noooobody!
Here is an introduction to the ‘Runners’ in this "Mayoral Race" – which is only about three months away – in alphabetical order: Barbara Hall; Tom Jakobek; David Miller, John Nunziata and John Tory.
Barbara Hall, you may remember, unseated June Rowlands in 1994 when she became mayor of Toronto. That means that she has previous experience, although there are a great number of voters that would not really welcome her back – even though she is leading in the polls at present. She also has one of the largest group of volunteers and an impressive list of supporters to her credit. ( Website: www.barbarahall.com )
But polls can be misleading and it depends on how the other candidates present their platforms to the voters.
Next on the list is Tom Jakobek, former city budget chief, who apparently is not being taken too seriously as a contender by the voting public. But he wants to run anyway, despite all the controversy attached to his record. His election slogan: "Tom Jakobek gets the job done". Well, he has been a driving force for change in Toronto’s political scene for the past 20 years, including 9 consecutive ZERO tax increases - but even that apparently didn’t win him many friends, (Website: www.jakobek.ca ).
Another hopeful is David Miller, City Councillor for High Park-Parkdale (Ward 13) since 1994 where he consistently distinguished himself and is supported by many of his colleagues and businessmen in Toronto. (More on his website www.davidmiller.org )
The next, and a likely candidate to win, is John Nunziata. He became famous as a political Black Sheep and has mostly run as an independent in the past. (Website: www.johnnunziata.ca )
A close runner-up to Nunziata seems to be John Tory, President and CEO of Rogers Cable Inc. since 1999. He was strongly recommended by the former Conservative Premier of Ontario. (Check out his website at: www.johntory.ca ) His election slogan: "Toronto Deserves Better."
Another supporter of John Tory is the former Liberal premier of Ontario, David Peterson.
This election may well be one of the most important elections in the history of the city of Toronto and those of you who are qualified voters should keep a close tab of what is going on. Get more information from the various websites, listed above.
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