Like a responsible citizen, I tuned into the CBC’s Toronto mayoral candidates debate last night. I felt uninformed as to the choices, despite the fact that the candidates have been campaigning since February. Since I feel that municipal government is possibly the most important level of government, I feel that I need to be informed. The debate was helpful, but not that much.
Before the debate, I was probably able to name four out of the five front runners but knew little about their platforms. At least now I can associate a vague platform to a candidate, making it easier to trim my choices. For those interested, here are the leading candidates, in alphabetical order:
No one candidate truly shone during the debate, but David Miller certainly piqued my interest enough that I will seriously consider him when the municipal elections come around in November. Miller has experience in city council on his side. He is strongly opposed to the expansion of the island airport, which I feel is crucial to a more appealing waterfront. Under a Miller-led government, riders will be attracted to the TTC with incentives, not with penalties such as road tolls. Miller also stood apart from the rest of the candidates in acknowledging that the public’s perception of an increasing crime rate is based on fear, not on reality. I will certainly be examining David Miller’s platform and public statements a little more closely.
I wasn’t all that impressed with Barbara Hall as she opted to play it safe so as not to damage her status as the front-runner. When prompted by the others, she had no alternatives to the current choices with regards to city waste disposal. Hall pushed for more waste reduction through recycling in buildings which do not currently support it, and through the use of the Green Box for biological waste. However, she could not say where she would put the remaining garbage, but stated that both incineration and Adam’s Mine were not options she would consider.
The other three candidates failed to distinguish themselves, but I will still make an attempt to research their platforms. Truthfully, however, John Nunziata is the only one of these three which I might consider.
If you live in Ontario, do yourself a favour and make an attempt to research and exercise your vote in the upcoming municipal elections. Participation in these elections is abysmal, with the winning candidate usually chosen by a tiny fraction of the voting population. Municipal government affects you directly, and without scrutiny is much more open to scandal and corruption. Your vote can truly make a difference.