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Moving forward on municipal voting reform in Toronto

Photo: D'Arcy Norman
We need to press voter equality and proportional representations at the municipal level.

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Moving forward on municipal voting reform in Toronto

Ballot image, from a photo by D'Arcy Norma/Flickr

As we enter the final stretch of the Toronto municipal election, two things have become abundantly clear.

First, we need a new and better way of electing our mayor and city councillors. A voting system that forces many people to vote strategically rather than sincerely, and that creates a council not reflecting our city's diversity, has no place in a 21st-century democracy. Second, we need a process to identify the best system or systems for Toronto -- a course being promoted by the Toronto chapter of Fair Vote Canada.


One Toronto now: An election is a terrible thing to waste

Mayoral candidate Rob Ford at the Toronto Debates 2010, debate one: Prosperity and the Economy, Sept. 8, 2010. Photo: mars_discovery_district/Flickr

Only when humans are again permitted to build authentic urbanism -- those cities, towns, and villages that nurture us by their comforts and delights -- will we cease the despoiling of Nature by escaping to sprawl.

- Andrés Duany, 'Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream'


Torontonians demand candidates respond to their issues and needs

Last May, I resolved to start a movement to encourage Torontonians to eat their ballots on October 25. I'm not normally one to promote and encourage movements of entrenched disenfranchisement but this mayoral election had so disappointed me, eating my ballot seemed to be a better option than any other, i.e. voting for a candidate.

As I talked to others who are normally just as engaged in local politics as I am, it was clear that disenfranchisement was widespread.

I wondered why, until I went to an all-candidates debate hosted by Brian Mulroney's son Ben.


Moving forward from Winnipeg's municipal election

Photo: flickr/Judy McIntyre

Progressives in Winnipeg were dealt a major shock on Wednesday evening as two-time mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis fell short in her second bid for the mayor's chair, falling to Progressive Conservative affiliated privacy lawyer, Brian Bowman, with Robert-Falcon Ouellette placing third. 

Having consistently polled in first for over a year, after finishing a strong second in the 2010 contest, many were shocked to see Wasylycia-Leis lose the race, especially by a 50,000 vote margin. 

The trend continued: only one incumbent councillor endorsed by the Winnipeg Labour Council was defeated. Jason Schreyer, son of former Premier Ed Schreyer, defeated former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen, who's campaign was dogged by controversy around recent assault charges.



The meaning of politics: Impressions from Toronto's mayoral race

Photo: Padraic/flickr

I once crisscrossed Canada during an election to explore what politics means to people. A toy shop owner in Edmonton said she had no idea what led her to vote as she did. "Maybe it was something I heard, while driving, about a leader's wife making a fuss over a seat on a plane," she said. "It scares me, not knowing." Here are some potential incitements from the mayoral race.

Licia Ronzulli voting with her 1 month old daughter on September 22, 2010. by Eu
| September 12, 2014
Image: Steff Pinch
| September 16, 2014
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
| March 28, 2014
Photo: League of Women Voters of California LWVC/flickr
| March 17, 2014
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