Toronto's mayoral election is making me sad. Despite Rob Ford's outrageous buffoonery, ridiculous platform, total failure in office, and constant scandals he is now polling second to John Tory. The candidate I would really like to vote for, Olivia Chow, is now a smidge behind Ford and might well come out ahead of him but she is highly unlikely to beat Tory for the job. In the previous election I voted for whoever seemed likely to beat Ford and that failed. I can't quite decide what I should do this time around.
Ford is the worst. He is an outrageous bigot and completely incompetent. There is one advantage to him being in office though, and that is that city council is quite prepared to ignore him and get on with doing whatever it is they want to do. Tory wouldn't be in that boat at all as he is quite capable of putting on a reasonable show as a leader and keeping things looking respectable. If you go a little deeper though Tory supports things I really cannot condone such as teaching creationism (specifically Christian creationism, because that is the *real* creationism...) in schools as a real alternative to evolution. He also has forwarded really terrible ideas about supporting religious schools with public money in the past. So Tory definitely believes things I don't like at all but unlike Ford he has enough political sense to show up to Pride parades and not go off on anti immigrant rants and such. He will keep on smiling and saying positive but meaningless pleasantries as politicians are known to do.
So while I think Rob Ford is a disaster I really don't want to vote strategically and have Tory in office. While it would definitely get Toronto off the comedy show punchline circuit I don't know that Tory as mayor and actually having power is at all better than Ford as mayor and being completely sidelined. I think in fact that a council that makes decisions collaboratively while the mayor just shakes hands, cuts ribbons, and waves is looking like the best option. At the moment the only way to achieve that is to get Ford back into office and make sure he has some incredible scandals right away so everyone remembers just why he can't be allowed to do anything important. Unfortunately if Ford gets in he might avoid public crack smoking for a bit and people would accidentally listen to him.
I suppose what I actually want out of the election is for a hamster to be mayor of Toronto. It could be carted around to events and do photo ops and would have very little to say in terms of policy. Everyone could ooh and aah at the cuteness of the little tiny mayor in its cage and although Toronto would be on centre stage of random comedy shows again at least everyone would know that the hamster doesn't harbour deep homophobia towards it constituents. Though it likely is guilty of xenophobia we can just shrug that off and pretend that its thoughts towards us are as cute as its beady little eyes.
If I was able to write up a ranked ballot for our mayoral election, and hopefully I will next time around, here is what it would look like: