Election 2014

And here we go again!


Election 2014 has now officially begun.

I am ready to declare my intention to pay as little attention as humanly possible to the race to elect Toronto’s next mayor. Seriously. I couldn’t care less.

Of the many lessons we should’ve learned from the past 3 years, the most important really needs to be that our mayor is little more than a glorified councillor with an official chain of office. The position can be more than that, of course. It all depends on the strength of character and ability to get along with a majority of council colleagues that will make it so. takechargeBeing mayor doesn’t automatically confer leadership. That needs to be earned.

A mayor can only do what a majority of councillors allow a mayor to do. If council permits a mayor to run roughshod, a mayor can run roughshod. The only mandate a mayor can claim upon assuming office is a head start to putting together a working coalition to help shape an agenda.

Our mayor is not a strong one. The position comes with no dictatorial powers or powers of veto. The mayor is one vote, albeit a high profile one, of 45.

That is a good thing.

City councillors are not elected to represent the interests of the mayor they serve with. City councillors are elected to represent the interests of the residents of their respective wards. proactivereactiveIt is the job of the mayor to convince at least 22 councillors that the interests of their residents represent the interests of the entire city.

Yes, this can lead to some aching parochialism. We certainly don’t have a perfect model of municipal governance. There are steps we could take to address such concerns. But investing more power in the office of the mayor is perhaps the worst solution to the problems we have.

Right now the best opportunity we have to try and ensure that local government functions to the best of its abilities, for the best of the city’s interests is to elect a stable of strong, civic-minded, forward-thinking city councillors. We need more city builders on council not fence fixers who are happy to leave the tougher, bigger decisions up to the mayor. More city councillors to demand the mayor work with them rather than city councillors readily handing over power and simply going to work for the mayor.

For us here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke, this election year will be all about the ward races. There will be more than enough news and information and coverage out there about what will certainly be a hotly contested mayoral campaign. That one, that’s the money shot.


But to our mind whatever happens at that level won’t be the difference maker, as long as we don’t let it be. Let’s all work our damndest to elect the best city councillors out there. 44 of them, all ready to step up and start working for their residents, for their wards, for their city. If whoever’s the mayor come October 28th once more makes the mistake of thinking that somehow their mandate supersedes that of the collective will of council, let’s make sure we have elected enough strong-willed and independent thinking councillors to nip that notion in the bud from the outset.

hopefully submitted by Cityslikr

14 Responses to Election 2014

  1. Do you think that a strong mayoral system is better. If not then what? You know, we can CHANGE these things.

  2. Jim Rootham says:

    Good sentiments. You do understand the power of the incumbency advantage makes changing council really hard to do?

  3. Sonny says:

    In 2010, the Ford Campaign broke rules in the Municipal Elections Act with 425 unique violations and today was somehow allowed to run despite his disqualifications!

    There are now some 14 mayoral candidates and another Ford lie is that his name is first on the ballot when they won’t be printed until the Fall?!

    Noticed his bro there to help him register. He should pick this as his anthem…

  4. Somebody should run against condo queen Paula Fletcher My buddy Chris is considering it as her sleazy deal will displace him If he won he would be the first person on the autism spectrum at city council.He hates spending money but his only vices are pop and pizza As well somebody should run against Janet Davis and that might be me She blew a bundle on bad public art

  5. By the way I have a triple X Elect Ford T shirt if anybody wants to buy it Money to go to a autism charity

  6. glenn storey says:

    fuck rob ford, and fuck all his moronic enablers. that’s right, ford nation, i’m talking to you.

    • GW says:

      Rob Ford’s greatest enablers are those who think that people who like driving cars, having a backyard or shopping in chain stores are evil and/or stupid, and who have no reservations about expressing these views publicly.

      • steve says:

        You can easily flip that whole argument. Making your point moot.

      • GW says:

        How so? While there are certainly media commentators who take occasional shots at so-called “latte-swilling downtown elites”, that’s hardly comparable to the continuous assault on suburbanites and their lifestyles carried out by the likes of Christopher Hume. And I have yet to find a suburban Toronto blogger condemning or declaring illegitimate the lifestyle choices of downtown residents.

    • Simon Says says:

      Dude, you need to relax. Name calling doesn’t solve anything or brings people to look at the “progressive” point of view. Just shows how angry anti-Ford people are.

      • matt d. says:

        the day he was sworn in by Canadian hero Don Cherry, it was pretty much an assault on “pinko elites” as some sort of enemy to be ridiculed and mistrusted. Ford doesn’t need the media to feed that mindset, just read any number of commenters on The Star or Globe’s websites continue to feed it quite nicely. However, I agree that Hume’s starting to get way to hyperbolic and derisive in his columns and does no favours for the “progressive” side of the equation…

  7. Connie Harrison says:

    GW you said it best and as long as this hatred continues he will do well.By the way Bussin is going for a come back so we got to send her down the bunny trail again

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