The mayoral election on October 25, 2010 is a referendum on only one issue.
That Issue is Rob Ford.
Democracy is Alive and Well in Toronto
The 2010 Toronto mayoral race has been the most exciting ever. The combination of:
– a fixed election date
– a long period of campaigning and
– unprecedented voter anger
has made people take note. Voting at the advance polls was up approximately 80% from the 2006 election. This suggests a massive voter turnout on October 25.
The Remaining Players
There are three candidates remaining: Rob Ford, George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone. Under the current system, the candidate who receives the most votes beside his name (“first past the post”) will win. That said, it is not always true that voting for a candidate is the same as a vote for that candidate! In fact, a vote for one candidate is often a vote against another candidate. Continue reading →
On Friday evening May 28 I spent an interesting evening attending an “open house” run by Redmond Wissenberger – Candidate for City Council – Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park. Redmond is running against a long-time incumbent, Bill Saundercook.
Redmond delivered an interesting, motivating presentation, which was followed by a Q and A session. He is energetic, knowledgeable, eager to learn more, and above all else – Redmond wants to do a good job for the residents of Ward 13. Redmond is neither an incumbent nor backed by a political party.
There are three categories of candidates in Toronto elections:
“Approximately fifty percent of Toronto residents are renters (approximately fourty percent in ward 29) . Yet, the City of Toronto has declared war on tenants. Did you know that rental buildings that have more than seven units are taxed at a punitive rate? If you are a tenant in a one bedroom apartment, your unit may be taxed at approximately the same rate as many detached houses. Sure, your landlord pays the tax. But the landlord passes the tax on to you as part of your rent. The tenant culture has always blamed landlords for high rents. The city of Toronto is responsible for your high rents. Why should tenants (who have on average less money) pay higher property taxes than many home owners (who have statistically more money)? During my life I have been homeowner, small landlord and a tenant.
East York Observer Interview of John Richardson – October 27, 2006
By LAURA BRADLEY
Toronto-Danforth candidate John Richardson wants East Yorkers to take a greater interest in their community.
“It amazes me that, when it comes to city politics, the overwhelming majority of people don’t vote,” he said. “I really want people to wise up and take control of [their community].”
Richardson has lived in Ward 29 since 1984. He has been involved in a number of small business ventures, one of which was as a small-scale landlord. He thinks the way tenants are taxed by the city is horrible and he’d like to see that changed.
“If I could achieve one thing it would be to get the tax differential changed,” he said, “so people who have a lease…aren’t incorrectly taxed at the highest rate.”
Coming from the vantage point of an independent, Richardson believes that candidates should not be dependent on major political parties for support and funding.
“We’re dealing with local issues, neighbourhood issues,” he said. “I don’t really see how the organization of a political party working on a national level or provincial level has much to do with local politics.”
Richardson said that East York residents have lost faith in city council, because of the amalgamation a few years back and also because there is no evidence that their votes are making a difference. He wants to start working for them.
“If elected, I wouldn’t see my vote as my vote, I would see it as the trustee of their vote and certainly hope that they’d be interested in telling me what they think that vote should be.”