Friday 22 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: This is it folks!

The Globe and Mail endorses Smitherman
On Friday, October 22, 2010 the Globe announced their preferred candidate. However the editorial stating the Globe's position was anything but a ringing endorsement. It starts with:

Toronto is a city suffering from structural problems that need to be overcome over the next mayor’s four-year term. The voters now have a choice between two flawed candidates, neither of whom has a convincing account of how he will bring about these changes; a third does not accept the fact that the city is in any trouble.

The editorial continues with a discussion of the flaws of both Ford and Smitherman. It is difficult to discern just which candidate is worse but it is obvious the Globe is not the least bit happy with either one of them. The editorial finally ends not with a vote for their preferred candidate, but more like a capitulation for lack of anybody better.

Mr. Ford and Mr. Smitherman have similarly unpersuasive and unsatisfactory platforms. In the end, Mr. Smitherman’s ability to get things done makes him the better candidate; Torontonians may have to live in hope that he tries to do the right things, and that he comes to see the city’s financial predicament as the fight of his life. The electors of Toronto should guardedly opt for George Smitherman.

The Toronto Star endorsed Smitherman in their editorial of Sunday, October 18.

The National Post endorses Ford
The paper in its editorial of Friday fully supported Ford; there seemed to be no hesitation in the article.

Toronto desperately needs change at City Hall. Spending has increased 43% since outgoing mayor David Miller took office — salaries and benefits by 47%. Over that same time, revenue from user fees and permits rose nearly 30% and property tax revenue by nearly a quarter — far outstripping the city’s population growth. The city has anywhere from 15% to 25% more employees than it did in 1998, depending on whose numbers you go by, and very little to show for it. All candidates in this campaign agree the city faces a $503-million budget shortfall for 2011.
The paper does not believe Smitherman is willing or is able to address these concerns and in their view, a vote for Ford is a vote for "fiscal sanity".

David Crombie endorses Smitherman
Mr. Crombie who was mayor from 1972 to 1978 and later a federal Conservative cabinet minister has thrown his support behind Smitherman on Friday. Smitherman has said that if he wins, he would make Crombie a special advisor with the task of reporting on how to turn public schools into community hubs.

Crombie joins former mayors John Sewell and Art Eggleton in backing Smitherman.

Ekos Poll
Ekos Research Associates Inc. released a new poll on Friday, October 22, 2010 which showed the following breakdown in support for the candidates
  • Ford - 43.9 per cent
  • George Smitherman - 35.6 per cent
  • Joe Pantalone - 15 per cent
  • other - 5.5 per cent
The original PDF file containing the poll results does not explain "other".

The press release states:

Based on a randomly dialled sample of 500 Torontonian voters, Rob Ford enjoys a significant eight point advantage over George Smitherman (43.9 to 35.6) in the closing stretch of what has been a fascinating mayoralty campaign in Toronto. While not decisive enough to declare Mr. Ford a certain winner, he is considerably more likely to emerge successfully over Mr. Smitherman on Monday.

This claim is not only based on the quite significant (but not insurmountable) lead he now enjoys, but also from analysing the underlying anatomy of voter support. While George Smitherman enjoys a lead with the university educated voters, Rob Ford has a very significant advantage with the baby boom and senior voter segment. Both of these groups are more likely to vote, but Mr. Ford’s advantage with older voters is wider than Mr. Smitherman’s advantage with the highly educated. The boomer and senior voter also is a larger voter segment. So while not conclusive, both the top line results of the poll and the underlying analysis point to Mr. Ford as the probable victor.

Remember that both a Nanos poll and an Angus-Reid poll of October 16 placed Ford and Smitherman virtually neck and neck. See Down to the wire Oye Times! October 20, 2010

Candidates must mobilize voters
The 2006 election, which David Miller won, saw only 39.3% of eligible voters at the polls. Consequently, there is an untapped resource for all candidates: the people who did not vote last time but who may be convinced to make the trip to their local polling station. While the Ekos poll may give Ford the advantage, Smitherman still has a chance to turn the tide by going after the huge number of voters who never bothered to vote in the last election.

All 3 candidates have voiced their intention of spending this weekend with their volunteers, their last chance to campaign, attempting to stir up the electorate to cast on vote on Monday.


The Globe’s endorsement for Mayor of Toronto
Friday, October 22, 2010

National Post editorial: Rob Ford is the best choice for Toronto
Friday, October 22, 2010

Ekos poll: Advantage to Ford in Still Tight Toronto Mayoralty Race
October 22, 2010

The Toronto Mayoral Debate: Now where do we stand?
Oye Times! October 20. 2010


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