There are six main candidates in this mayoral race Rob Ford, Giorgio Mammoliti, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman and Sarah Thomson along with another 20 candidates that many of us have never heard of. Hopefully the six primary candidates will keep coming up with plans that help keep bloggers writing about this election and getting the public interested in actually going out and voting.
It is interesting that this will be the first Toronto mayoral election that social media sites and twitter will be in full gear by most of the candidates; including some of the lesser know candidates.
Mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti wants to replace cars on the Gardiner Expressway with pedestrian and cycling lanes as well as leaving a few lanes for Public Transit. The roads that were left downtown, would become toll roads. Not sure how this is going to make this candidate popular with commuters and businesses with downtown Toronto office space. But then again, most commuters are not the ones who decide who the mayor of Toronto will be, it is those who live downtown and do not drive. So depending on your viewpoint, this could be a plus or minus.
What makes this plan interesting is how he plans to pay for this over four years using $200 million annual revenue from a casino floating casino in the Toronto harbour, as well as the annual $100 million from parking fees (the ones people would have to use to avoid paying tolls) and $75 million from the toll roads themselves.
It also appears that the Chinese consulate seems to be stepping into Toronto’s mayoral race by paying to send George Smitherman to an international mayors’ forum on tourism” in Zhengzhou, central China. This raises the eyebrows of other candidates wondering if this is a gift he should be accepting during an election campaign.
Meanwhile, there are still groups trying to get CFRB radio host John Tory to reconsider entering the race. Tory who announced back in January that he would not be running in this election was speculated to have changed his mind. He has publicly stated that he wants to end the rumours and that he is not reconsidering his decision not to run.
I have even heard people say that Toronto needs a candidate similar to that of New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who as mayor declines to receive a city salary, accepting remuneration of $1.00 annually for his services. Galen Weston (owner of Canada’s largest supermarket chain), may be Toronto’s equivalent of Bloomberg. Has anyone asked him to run yet?
But my personal favourite candidate is one who has decided not to run. I am one of those who believe if Michael (Pinball) Clemons, had run he would win. Clemons would be a very popular mayor, a mayor who would have the skills to promote the city, generate tourism interest and making this city better. He would also be someone who could motivate other politicians and city workers to give their 200% effort to make Toronto the best city in the world.