Hope Always Courts Disappointment

No question.


Hope is better than fear. Unfortunately, fear has a much more direct route into our hardwiring and manifests itself more readily than hope.

I think about this in the post-election haze, from a conversation I had with Ward 2 candidate Andray Domise during the height of his campaign run. He told me that he was regularly meeting residents who were too afraid to hope. They had been disappointed too many times to simply put it back out there again. hopeandfearSure, hope is better than fear but hope hurts when it crashes against the rocks of reality.

(And certainly judging by the Ward 2 election results again this time, fear of hope was entirely justified by the voters.)

Yet, there they were, candidates of all political stripes, running on little more than hope. Hope, good intentions, public service. Many of them I know quit their jobs or took a leave of absence in order to give if it a shot. It would be very easy for most of them to look at how it all played out, how incumbency can be a deadweight that’s impossible to lift and toss aside.

Aside from an impressive increase in voter turnout, there was very little to show for their efforts.

I mean, fuck. Here I am, from largely on the sidelines, and the only way I can describe my reaction to the numbers as they rolled in is crushing… crushed? … crushing…

My easy analysis of what transpired this campaign is that it was all about the mayor. blindersMost voters had one thing and one thing only on their mind when they cast their ballot. The mayor’s race. Everything else was tickety-boo. At the councillor level, name recognition won the day, and won the day by a wide margin in many cases.

This wasn’t about fear versus hope. This was all about making a very practical decision. The baby was cuddled close as the bathwater got tossed.

Such rudimentary rationalization hardly quiets the disappointment, mind you, but hopefully (there’s that word again), it helps ease us softly toward the reality of the situation we’re facing at City Hall. A lot changed or very little did. It’s too early to tell.

So we should take a step back and best we can lick our wounds. Recoup all that genuine energy and maybe be still for a bit. Hope is better than fear. It’s just a whole lot harder to maintain.

We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke will be going quiet for a few weeks, contemplating our collective navel and trying to think about anything and everything other than municipal politics. Like say, elephants. We’re going to think about elephants and listen to the canary sing.


signing offly submitted by Cityslikr

14 Responses to Hope Always Courts Disappointment

  1. Gilmore David says:

    “I just checked in to see what condition my condition was in.”

  2. Ray Davies says:

    Going quiet for a few weeks? Now where will I go for cogent commentary? Come back soon! And thanks for this site, an outpost of sanity in a sea of dreck.

  3. GW says:

    Okay, just so I understand. The residents of Scarborough and Etobicoke, who between the 2010 election and this one were being told by downtown bloggers that their communities were mistakes that needed fixing and that they were either evil or stupid (or both) for wanting to live in such “non-urban” places (unless of course they were forced to by distorted market forces and were in that case simply victims), refused to vote (in their own wards) according to the recommendations of those selfsame downtown bloggers. Is that pretty much what we’re talking about here?

    • Sonny says:

      In the Provincial Election, the voters of Ontario accidentally voted in a Liberal Majority to stop Hudak!

      In the Municipal Election, the voters of Toronto; about 40% voted for Tory to stop Ford after the experience…

      • Simon Says says:

        Sonny! Welcome back…

      • GW says:

        There were undoubtedly many voters who held their noses and voted for Tory to make sure Doug Ford didn’t win. The question though is why Tory became the beneficiary of strategic voting when it could have been Chow instead. Olivia Chow began this too-long race for mayor as the presumptive front runner, the official, media-blessed anti-Ford candidate. She embodied the anti-Ford sentiment in the same way Ford has embodied the anti-Miller sentiment in the previous election. Tory, you may recalled, waited so long to enter the race that some commentators were declaring his campaign stillborn. He brought with him as well the rep of a perennial loser in electoral politics, his last loss at the provincial level still fresh in people’s minds.

        Despite their disproportionate presence on the blogosphere and in the twitterverse, there are not enough car-hating, density-loving urbanites in the amalgamated Toronto to elect a mayor all on their own. A successful candidate for mayor with that group as his/her political base has a difficult balancing act. He/she has to reach out to people with cars and backyards while not alienating his/her core supporters in the process. Olivia, despite her skill and experience as a policitian, was not able to square this circle and ended up retreating to her base as the race neared its end.

        I would interpret the result of the mayoral race as largely reflecting a desire to end (or at least call a ceasefire in) the downtown/suburbs culture war. Torontonians appear to have sent the message that their repudiation of the Fords is in no way a vindication of David Miller. They voted against the continuation of the Miller legacy under Joe Pantalone, and voted again against its restoration under Chow (who famously described the differences between her and Miller as being mainly those of gender and ethnicity). Perhaps not coincidentally, both placed third in their respective elections. The main difference between the two elections seemed to be that voters went this time with the former provincial politician instead of the Ford.

      • Sonny says:

        OR the Ford share fell from 47% of votes cast to 34%

  4. RogerB says:

    As many people have observed looking at the Doug Ford support and economic data, we have a problem. Toronto has a large and quickly growing amount of very poor areas, where people have given up on the system to make things better. They now are turning to hucksters promising subways to every cup-de-sac paid for by private sector fairies. Snake oil salesmen who campaign with bumper stickers in a black and white world whose figures and facts are made up.
    When politicians and candidates see a population that will reliably vote en masse for officials like RF, DF, Mammoliti and lobbyist Shiner, they see easy marks, that don’t know or care what’s going on. Even 14 year city hall lobbyist John Nunziata, who lost by a few votes, likely would have won based on name recognition, if he hadn’t waited to the last minute to join the race.
    Whether you are right, left, or centre, lobbyists and people who secretly host illegal corporate fundraisers for themselves, are not the kind of people that should be charged with serving the public interest.

    • Simon Says says:

      You shouldn’t just look at income level but ethnicity. A growing progressive immigration policy has changed the idea of a new Canadian. They tend to be from conservative religions or culturally conservative and don’t necessarily believe in the “progressive policies”. They are the new working poor. Ask your cab driver, the corner store clerk or the person who cleans your office building. They will give you an interesting perspective.

      • Sonny says:

        Roger was referring to White Right Wing Males…

      • Simon Says says:

        He may be speaking of the type of politician, but it is a different demographic that is voting for them. And the demographic does not fit the typical voting patterns that many assume to be the default “progressive” position.

  5. Simon Says says:

    Now that RF is gone as mayor. This site is going to get a bit boring.

  6. Simon Says says:

    Even CitySlikr’s twitter feed is becoming boring. re: Bitchin’ about JT’s stance on Uber.

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