Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
September 20, 2010, by

In other news from the apocalypse


No theatre talk for those of us in the GTA today. Apparently September 20th is for thinking about what we are going to do about this.

Comments/suggestions welcome.

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  1. Michael says:

    Okay, I’ll start:
    There seems to be two reactions to this from people who think having a racist, homophobic mayor is a bad idea for a culturally diverse and traditionally progressive major world city:
    1 Stop thinking and start voting for Smitherman. He is in second and we all have to get behind him. Period. End of story. 
    2 Pantalone is the only trailing candidate whose share of the vote is growing, and he is the only candidate who currently has the momentum that will allow him to overcome this massive lead. Smitherman is actually down 2% from June.
    I have my own preferences for which of these I would prefer, but the Prime Directive here has to be not to allow the apocalypse. So that means EVERYONE has to agree on one of these two competing narratives and FAST. Can I set a 1-week deadline? Can we all meet back here next Monday and settle and reveal what we will agree on?

  2. Alison says:

    It’s unfortunate that Pantalone’s quiet, reasoned arguments get lost amid the booming nonsense of Ford, which is echoed by Smitherman and Rossi. I don’t love Pantalone, but it’s clear to me that he is the only candidate who actually has the best interests of the city at heart. If only his campaign would pump up the volume.

  3. Melissa says:

    First, start by reading this:

    Smitherman may demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the Charter, but he’d be as bad–and likely much worse–for Toronto, given that he’s a smart, savvy, scheming neoliberal with strong ties to the city’s provincial overlords. I think Smitherman, unlike Ford, COULD actually get stuff done. My concern is that the things he would get done are things like the privatization of the city (assets, infrastructure, spaces, processes, services), further marginalization & criminalization of the poor, further shifting of all of Toronto’s priorities to the needs of the “haves” (and tourists) while ignoring the needs of the “have nots,” further prioritizing of private sector needs over those of the public, further attacks on unionized workers, etc. The city has already started moving in that direction and the province has been at it for years…the thought of Smitherman and McGuinty banding together across two levels of government makes me shudder.

    I therefore think a strategic vote for Smitherman just to avoid Ford is stupid.

    I’m voting for Pantalone, the only candidate who I can remotely stomach. I don’t think he can win. Too much vote-splitting among all the non-Ford candidates, and all the organizing-of-the-electorate in the world isn’t going to do much to change that. Same goes for Smitherman. And I’m preparing myself for what will possibly be 4 years of Toronto The Stupid under Mayor Ford.

  4. Melissa says:

    If you want to do some campaigning to save us all, focus on the Ward races. The only way we will survive the next four years is if we have an army of strong-willed councillors who will stand up to Ford and stop his half-witted ideas in their tracks.

  5. Michael says:

    Hey Melissa,

    Thanks for that.  As usual I am half in agreement with you.

    Certainly supporting a local counsellor councillor who would stand up to Ford, or support a more progressive (as opposed to regressive) mayor is much more important than many people realize. The Mayor has to have the support of Council to do anything, so yes you’re right and I am even dropping off some leaflets for a candidate in my riding this week to help out in that regard.

    But I am disappointed to see folks throwing in the towel so soon in the mayoral race. Remember during the Federal election when you and I were working together and lots of people told us that Harper was polling in the 40s and why fight the inevitable majority government that was approaching, but we kept fighting right till the end and then it didn’t happen?

    Could happen again if we had a game plan.  Which, I would like to underline, we do not currently have.

  6. Sara says:

    I agree that its too soon to give up on the Mayor’s race.

    Voter turnout in municipal elections tends to be abysmal. If those that don’t ordinarily vote could be mobilized by the horror of Ford as Mayor you might actually change the outcome.

    I suspect many people will switch their vote at the very end to try and block Ford.

  7. Mathieu says:

    While I agree that Pantalone may (i want to stress that word) be the best candidate for a better, more progressive vision of Toronto, BUT he will never be elected Mayor of Toronto. He only ever attracted a pool of voters that are NPDers and downtowners; and i truly believe that he has reached his maximum capacity and he does not stand a chance to grow his voting pool to beat either Ford or Smitherman. So, to me, a vote for Pantalone will only bring Ford closer to the Mayor’s office…

    I wish there was an inspiring, modern (and connected to the issue of the 21st C.) candidate from the left that did not appear to belong to the 1970s old-left guard… but this is not the case… and the situation is dire… JP does not have the stature of a mayor and he is too much part of a tired old left (which sadly the NDP represent at all level of gvt) to attract enough voters…

    My 2 cents… I will likely end up voting Smitherman, who i am not crazy about but is not half of the neo-lib monster describe above…

    In any case, all this is a sad consequence of the pathetic state of our local gvt… and political apathy of the vast majority of Toronto’s citizens…

  8. Steve says:

    Smitherman’s support has stalled, whereas Pantalone’s has climbed by 7 points in the last month.

    I spent three hours today looking over Thomson, Pantalone, and Smitherman’s platforms. I think Thomson’s positions on arts funding, the film industry, and bike lanes are best, but I honestly don’t think she can win, and her overall transit plan is less realistic. Pantalone’s support for Transit City is practical and can actually be paid for, and his support for the arts is well documented (Smitherman doesn’t even mention arts and culture in his platform).

    To add a personal anecdote; I’ve seen Pantalone at numerous cultural festivals, TIFF screenings, and other events around town in the last month or two, and none of the other candidates.

    Lastly, Joe has the broadest base of support (the unions, other members of council, the broadsheets—look at the Star’s latest analysis of the candidates’ transit plans: and will almost certainly get Miller’s endorsement soon (who doesn’t want to see Ford succeed him anymore than we do), which should accelerate his gain in the polls.

    I’ve made my choice; I’m supporting Pantalone.

  9. Alison says:

    Sarah Thomson’s platform is fine, but I don’t trust her. Among other reasons, she’s owed me $50 since 2004.

  10. Michael says:

    Just stumbled upon this very slick website. Probably a good place to watch.

  11. Bee says:

    Writing this while in transit so apologies for typos. It is much too early to throw in the towel on the mayoral election race. There is still a month left and it is my hope that Pantalone will mobilize and will up his game considerably. I have not seen any huge media push on his part so I hope that when lawn signs start appearing he will move on pushing his platform and getting his name out. Remember, there are still many undecided voters and some who feel that smiterman is the only remedy against Ford. I agree that Pantalone is not the best choice but in my opinion he is the best choice we have available in this mayoral race. I want to be able to vote for a candidate that I think can do a good job and not vote because I don’t want some other guy to win.

  12. Ed says:

    There is only one way to defeat Rob Ford, and that is to split the right-wing vote. Find a right-wing contender who can appeal to suburbanites who would otherwise vote Ford.

    Then, somehow, get Ford’s base to vote for this new guy.

    It’s our only hope.

  13. Derrick Chua says:

    Michael – i think you have absolutely the right idea. I thought about waiting till ArtVote next Weds Sep 29 to make a final decision, but in light of recent polls, news, op-ed pieces, etc, I don’t think we can wait that long. So after much research and talking to folks whose opinion matters to me, I’ve decided that JOE PANTALONE is the most viable candidate – the one who best combines a vision of Toronto that aligns with my own, with the best chance to beat Rob Ford. But in order for Joe to win, I think we need to rally behind him in a big way, and not split the votes with Smitherman, Thomson, etc. So I hope we can rally the arts votes towards Joe Pantalone asap!

  14. Aislinn Rose says:

    I have made my choice: Joe Pantalone for Mayor.

    Joe may not be my perfect candidate, but alas, such a thing doesn’t exist in this race. However, I appreciate his commitment to Transit City, he is active in the community, he is known for working his arse off while keeping a low profile (much to his detriment), and as I make my living in the arts sector and believe strongly in the contribution that arts and culture make to a rich and healthy society, I am much more inclined to support a candidate with a strong arts and culture record and platform, over a candidate who seems to have no relevant platform whatsoever. (Correct me if I’m wrong please.) Pantalone doesn’t want to sell off the city’s assets, can appreciate the value of diversity, and wants to make healthy food options more accessible and sustainable for all Torontonians.

    Oh yeah, and is there anyone else out there who doesn’t feel like voting for a candidate who thinks Toronto sucks? If so, you don’t have many options.

    “We’re in a fight for the soul of the city,” Pantalone says. I am in complete agreement.

    Are you seriously going to say, “if only he were taller”?

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the process of working on several municipal campaigns too many (my mother is a current Orangeville Councillor and former Orangeville Mayor, and I’ve campaigned for a fair few Toronto candidates over the years, as well as MP and MPP candidates), you should not underestimate the power of recognisability. With so much anti-Ford propaganda in everyone’s faces, it’s the only name they know. “Who are you planning to vote for?” they might be asked. “Can you name any other candidates?” would be a good next question.

    Let’s stop talking about how to stop Ford, and let’s start campaigning like Pantalone can win. And if you’re planning to vote for Ford, I’m pretty sure we can’t be friends. I guess this is where I say, “just kidding”. Well, I’m not.

    Confession time: this is a slightly edited version of my facebook note “Let’s Start Campaigning for the Win”. I’ll be campaigning for Joe… how ’bout you?

  15. Michael says:

    Wow. There’s been enough action here, I feel compelled to acknowledge the heavy bias towards the pro-Pantalone camp by readers. I think I’m taking my threat seriously to come back here on Monday morning (Sept 26) and declare one of the two candidates the one to back. Unless there is some serious Smitherman passion, Pants is gonna run away with the coveted Praxis endorsement.

    Also, I’m going to the One Toronto media launch tomorrow, an organization I have personally endorsed. They have an excellent handle on the actual issues and ideas at stake this election, which is easy to forget in all of this strategizing.

  16. Michael says:

    Okay so, this is just an opinion piece, but if the soon-to-be-revealed numbers being cited are true, it would radically change the complexion and nature of the race and this conversation.
    (Incidentally the logic of the piece is off as Rossi actually hurts Ford more by staying in the race as Ed pointed out earlier, so I already have reasons not to trust this piece.)

  17. Michael says:

    There’s no point in posting that article without this one also.

  18. […] we have seen from the discussion still going on in the comments to Monday’s post, strategy and picking a single mayoral candidate will play a big role in how this all plays out. […]

  19. Michael says:

    Hey wait a sec, you aren’t the real Joey Pants!

    The real Joey Pants would never quote from the Full Comment section of The National Post. This space has to be the most ideologically driven, poorly written, angry, and thoroughly embarrassing expressions of contemporary Canadian thought. 

    Before anyone goes bananas about me citing NOW in this context, let me point out that they still have standards in terms of writing even when the writer is invested in a political outcome. You know: logic, sentence structure, appealing to more than base reptilian instincts. These things still have weight in other places.

  20. Joey Pants says:

    Well, that was a bit harsh and one-sided.  I’m new here but if this is how you talk to everyone I certainly won’t stick around.

  21. Aislinn Rose says:

    Michael, I’d be very interested to know when that soon-to-be-released poll was taken, and whether it reflects any of the reaction stirred by the other poll showing a virtually unstoppable Ford. There has been much debate since those numbers came out, and people (including myself) seem to have been propelled into action.

    Joey, not sure what aspect of all the earlier discussion on this page would suggest you need to come here under a pseudonym… but let’s talk policy and issues anyway. I look forward to it.

  22. Michael says:

    Hey Joey Pants,

    I apologize. You are right. The tone of my last comment was all off. I want people to feel free to come here and discuss things. Phrasing comments like that won’t help, and more importantly I am falling victim to the aggressive and negative discourse the people who invented The National Post (Conrad Black) would like to support.

    So yes. Sorry. Let’s keep talking.

    Aislinn – I too would like to know some very specific questions about this poorly leaked poll. Since Monday I have seen a huge sway in the people I know to the Pantalone Camp. I would be quite surprised to hear his support hasn’t grown as The Star seems to suggest, but doesn’t quite report, because this is just an “opinion” piece.

  23. Michael says:

    Aislinn – here’s some answers: The Poll was taken Sept 14-15 (the same time as the poll that inspired this post).  The article also notes and I quote:

    “The Star-Angus Reid poll, however, suggests Smitherman’s support continues to slip, including in his downtown base, and it’s unclear who would be most successful leading an anybody-but-Ford campaign.”

    Oh yeah it also notes that Thomson is considering dropping out and supporting Rossi. Maybe between the two of them they can break double digits! (Came close to making a Bocce Ball joke here, but am hoping to apologize maximum once a day in this space.)

  24. Michael says:

    Im not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but we’re gonna hold off on backing a mayoral candidate until more information is available.