Wouldn't it be cool to have a mayor who swanned around in a hybrid car, rather than a gas guzzling jalopy, and who talked about "nurturing" entrepreneurs, or who sought tax breaks for sustainability initiatives, or who could imagine something outside of the box when it comes to Toronto's moribund waterfront?
In the future, I hope that these debates are presented in a format that has only one person speaking at a time, demands accountability, and still uses viewer polling (I really liked being able to vote on my smartphone). You can believe whatever you like, and I hope what you believe in is the truth. When it comes to politicking, the truth can be hard to uncover.
If Rob Ford's opponents don't step up their game, there is a very real chance Rob Ford will be re-elected Mayor of Toronto in October 2014, providing he continues to meet the requirements to be a candidate for Mayor. Wednesday night's debate hosted by CityTV was an absolute farce. It was not a good night for Torontonians ready for change at City Hall. Very little by way of policy was discussed, and even when it was, there is enough agreement between the Mayor's opponents on key issues that polarizing this election in a manner that favours a challenger will be hard.
Celebrities seemed a lot more distant than they do now. Their private lives were actually private. We didn't know what restaurant they enjoyed dining at, what their drink of choice was or who they got into bed with at night. Years ago we had to wait for the latest gossip magazine or simply take what the studios told us as fact.
As mayor, I will move to adopt ranked ballots, a model that would help to unite our divided city by rewarding candidates with a broad appeal within the electorate. Too much of our current political discourse is spent on negativity, or pitting councillors against one another. Ranked ballots would help eliminate this rancor, fostering a more positive political environment. Ever wonder why political parties choose leaders this way? It's because ranked ballots help maintain a certain level of civility that has been AWOL from Toronto politics for quite some time.
When Kimmel invited Ford to appear as a guest on his talk show, sharing the bill with Gonzo from Sesame Street, most of us knew that nothing good was going to come of this. But what actually transpired was, in my view, unbelievably awful -- more so than I could have imagined. By now, we all understand that Rob Ford is a sick man, in any number of ways. His various addictive behaviours, from food, to alcohol, to lying and yes, perhaps to crack, appear to not even begin to crumble the façade of a man who desperately needs help with some pretty clear physical and mental health issues. And Jimmy Kimmel should be ashamed of himself.
Even if you are making fun of him, 1) he's not in on the joke, and 2) you are increasing his chances of re-election through not only name recognition, but helping him to seem "funny" and "cool". This might be hilarious to you, but you are seriously affecting the future of Toronto. He doesn't have to be your mayor, but unfortunately he has to be mine. I've heard Jimmy Kimmel and various Americans (and Canadians) say, "Well, he seems to be a pretty good mayor". Rob Ford also seems to think so too. To help you better understand what you are really doing to our city, here is a list of truths the Ford brothers want us to ignore amidst stories about Hollywood visits and PR gaffes.
My name is David Soknacki. Never heard of me? Don't worry, neither has Jimmy Kimmel. While other candidates have been making headlines with their personal ups and downs, I've been thinking about what's best for Toronto. I am running for mayor.
The current mayor has personal defects including doing and buying drugs, binge drinking of alcohol and has been videotaped using profane rants and videotaped with faulty characters while in office. John Tory, while not prefect, does not and will not embarrass the city. I trust and admire his judgement.
I've even taken to exclusively wearing my Blue Jays hat on tour. Sadly, when people see it they connect it with one person: Rob Ford. Since Mayor Ford has been stripped of virtually all of his power, I thought he may have some time to listen to a fraction of the great music that I think defines Toronto.
The reality is that the Ontario NDP caucus has publicly declared their support for raising revenue to fund transit. Their leader is going against the express, public declarations of her caucus. Andrea Horwath isn't just abdicating the legacy of the NDP, reneging on the Party's long-standing commitment to transit -- she's asking her MPPs to break public pledges and go along with her abdication of leadership.
At various times, Rob Ford has revealed an alarming capacity for lack of candour and an inability to listen to the advice of those closest to him. There is no indication that these sorts of behaviours would be any different with a lawyer. I would not take Mayor Ford on as a client. But then again, he is unlikely to ask me.
Stars can be consoled by the fact that any one of us who exposes him or herself online are targets -- be we powerful, established artists or merely innocent kids posting pictures to Facebook -- and thus must endure the wrath of a swath of (in)humanity called "The Hater."
Toronto is a dynamic city and an emerging global hub. However, for all its success, Toronto is facing pressures from its rapid growth, as the city aspires to realize its full potential.
Israel is very relevant to Olivia Chow's candidacy because some of the major proponents of the "Israel as apartheid state" and the BDS movement are key supporters of Olivia Chow and with whom she is identified. It is now time for Ms. Chow to take responsibility for her silence.
I recently delivered a TEDxTalk in Toronto's Distillery District, inspired by the event theme "invented here." I wanted to talk about politics, but I knew if I did that, I'd likely lose the audience. So I explored the reasons behind the yawn reflex when someone mentions politics: I titled my talk "How to Hate Politics."