"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Steve Paikin had  three former City Mayors on The Agenda last night. John Sewell, Art Eggleton of Toronto and Hazel  McCallion of Misuassaga .

The topic....municipal politics in general and Toronto Mayoralty  in particular.

There were differences of opinion between the three. The hour was enjoyable. It will likely be repeated. I will watch it again.

Voter  turn- out i was remarked upon. Toronto media influence was discussed .

The length of  the Tory campaign, his platform and lack of Council experience were all  referenced.

John  Sewell  was most intense.. The huge increase to 68% (or 60%) in voter turn-out
was not due to Tory candidacy  as Paikin suggested.  According to Sewell,Ford's candidacy and getting the vote out in Etobicoke and Scarborough was the force

Considering Ford's campaign started on the last day for registration and Tory had been at it since eight months previously that seems to me to be the most significant factor.

Ford had not intended to be a candidate. He  stepped in because his ailing brother asked.

Time left him no option but an aggressive offense.

The turn-out, in a city of millions was highest ever. And Rob Ford , despite everything he did to himself and everything the media did to destroy him, was  re-elected  to public office.

The program had a wealth of relevance to our situation. For this morning, we will focus
on one aspect.

In Aurora we had two candidates . During  the campaign  the most frequently expressed sentiment was was  neither  Mayoralty candidate held any appeal.

The final tally did not support that indication.

Yet voter turnout in Aurora fell by 5%. From 39.5 per cent in 2010 to 34.5 % in 2014.

The town grew. Numbers of voters increased.  .

The percentage who chose  to exercise the franchise dropped.

No matter how it's interpreted,  almost two -thirds of Aurora boycotted the process.

Hardly an expression of confidence.

No Cause  Célèbre

No stamp  of approval.

Lack of interest...I don't think so.

Not if my blog numbers are an indication.


Anonymous said...

2/3 of Aurora did not boycott the process. The intimation of the word boycott sounds like they made a concious decision to not vote in order to make a statement. The Aurora population just did not bother to vote - there was no hidden meaning. Why? Here are some of my thoughts.

1. Those candidates that talk about Aurora's "small town" feel and harken back to days of yore alienate the new residents. They do not have a linkage to those days. So, the decide to not bother.

2. Too many candidates. Fully one half of the votes cast went to thetop 8 councillors. The other half went to the also-rans. While everyone is entitled, candidates should take a hard look at why they are running and what they can do for the Town.

3. We do not have a good method of communication in the Town. Most people that I know in Town throw out the Banner and the Auroran without looking at them. The Star did a crapy job of listing results. Only one half of the TVs in the Town have access to Rogers, the rest have Bell or other services - they cannot get any of the Town Hall meetings or debates.

4. The weather was crappy

5. Most feel that their vote will not make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Most of my neighbours NEVER vote. They say they don't know enough about who to vote for. I don't think they don't care, but maybe they don't care enough. They pay their taxes, put their kids through school, work long hours, etc, and municipal politics is just not high on their priority list. My adult children did not vote because they didn't know anybody to vote for. My husband only knew one name on council he wanted in, and that was you Evelyn! He had no history on any of the candidates. No one else but you has regular updates on what's happening weekly at Council that we can read at our leisure. I hope you start a colemn like Mr Illingsworths Bouquets and Brickbats for the paper.

Anonymous said...

Does this make sense?

Looking at the unofficial numbers at the Town website there were 8903 votes for Dawe and 4106 for Gallo. Assuming all voters cast a vote for a mayoral candidate then there were 13009 voters. Each voter has then 8 votes for councillors or a total of (13,009 x 8) = 104,072 votes. But adding all of the votes cast for councillors there were only 67,871 so over 30,000 votes were not used (i.e. people didn't use all of their 8 votes). If you take the 67,871 and divided by the number of voters you get an average of 5.22 council votes used per voter. So many people did not use their full 8 votes. (for whatever their reason, couldn't decide who else to include, didn't know the others, etc) Interesting when you consider that the outcome was "Yes" for reducing the number of Aurora councillors from 8 to 6. So perhaps too many choices and people not using all of their possible choices.

IMHO, for those who don't vote, yes perhaps they throw out the Banner and The Auroran and we can't count on The Star covering our area, it is apathy. The information is there, the debates are there, more information is available on the web then ever before but people don't care enough to be engaged once every 4 years.

So don't complain if council goes off in a direction you may not like. You were given your chance.

Anonymous said...

So what was it that got the newcomers to council - Jeff Thom, Harold Kim and Tom Mrakas elected? What did they have that the others didn't? What explains their success?

Anonymous said...

The weather was not bad at all & the advance polls gave voters days from which to chose.
I feel my votes have/will make a difference.
There were too many candidates probably but it beats a coronation.

Anonymous said...

I think with 28 candidates there was little chance of the majority of citizens doing their due diligence. I polled a number of neighbours and, for the most part, they had not turned their minds to who they would like to represent them.

Having said that, there were still many voters who had a clear idea of who they wanted to return and I was very surprised at the results.

One of your posters suggests candidates should take a close look at what they can do for the town. I think in our 'at large' system it is more like what they can do for themselves. Get out and shake hands, give local awards on the council floor and hesitate and stall anything where one might have to take a position. Send it back to staff for more study. We saw it last term and will see it again.

As far as I can see, there is no real heavy lifting involved. No tedious work and deep thinking. Go with the flow that the mayor and his deputy want.

In our system, the risk of speaking up and taking a position on town business is risky. Staying focused on town business is also risky. Get a photo of yourself in the local paper receiving an award for some irrelevant matter and it is gold.

Yes, I am disappointed but the voters have spoken.

Anonymous said...

It was nasty election but we did what had to be done. I am just regretful that we were not able to bring Evelyn back to the table. Still, there is satisfaction in knowing that the results were not those desired by Ms,W and the former when they vowed to be back in 4 years.

Anonymous said...

There is no relation between your blog visitor numbers and the interest in municipal politics in the town's populace as a whole.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong - the election results are the one that are important. 3700 and change is not to be sneezed at.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a column for Evelyn especially if it generates income.
It is sad that your adult kids do not vote- everyone in our family who can vote does so unless they are ill. Youngsters get taken to the polls early to see how the system works. Just as they are in the grocery stores to understand sales tax.

Anonymous said...

@ 15:35
Sounds like sour grapes to me. " A large # took the opportunity to vote " no " to wards. The expected net-working flood did not materialize. See you in 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Councillor Buck .

Anonymous said...

An increase in voter turnout or engagement in politics will only happen when issues really start affecting them. People have been talking about how to get the youth more involved in the voting process. Why should they when mommy, daddy and the government are supporting them and continue to support them after all their degrees, diplomas and certifications. Social services have continued to take care of the majority of those who can’t support themselves. Overall government hasn't done anything really to warrant any civil unrest or warrant a greater voter turnout. But those days will be coming, and the electorate will have no one to blame except for themselves for not being engaged now. Unfortunately history always tends to repeat itself

Anonymous said...

You do read the info on the Web including the blogs, do you ? Those who voted were informed .

Anonymous said...

But we will have " red herrings " when they think their space has been invaded.

Anonymous said...

From: WORLD ORDER by Henry Kissinger

"Reflecting on what might have occurred in alternative historical scenarios is usually a futile exercise. But the war that overturned Western civilization had no inevitable necessity. It arose from a series of miscalculations made by serious leaders who did not understand the consequences of their planning, and a final maelstrom triggered by a terrorist attack occurring in a year generally believed to be a tranquil period. In the end, the military planning ran away with diplomacy. It is a lesson subsequent generations must not forget.

World War I was welcomed by enthusiastic publics and euphoric leaders who envisioned a short, glorious war for limited aims. In the event, it killed more than twenty-five million and shipwrecked the prevailing international order."

And I must wonder, as Remembrance Day draws nigh, whether much has been learned by mankind in the past 100 years.

Our world's leadership is defunct, whether national, regional or municipal, and for the most part we abstain from expressing our opinion - at the ballot box.

So we get what we deserve. Is this right?

Anonymous said...

I voted for one, another will be fine too. The seating arrangement might determine how well the third one does.

Michael Suddard said...

The voters list is suspect from the beginning. MPAC is mainly to blame for this. Ottawa Elections staff complained long before election day of the voters list and I imagine the same thing long before.

Here is the process on how the Voter's list is created before voting day:

1. MPAC first generates and distributes the lists to all the municipalities.

2. The municipalities then make corrections (example: Ottawa elections staff made 32,000 changes this election and 22,000 in 2010 election).

3. Next, the voters list is released publicly (i.e. for voters to double check).

Below are some of the horror stories of the voters list still has after going through all that process
Voters who have been dead (2 to 14 years) and those that have moved a long time ago are still on the list!

Here's two press stories that the media have picked up on in the Ottawa Area:

Ottawa Citizen: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/voter-information-worst-list

CTV Ottawa: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-elections-swamped-with-voter-list-mistakes-1.2043959

Seems to me that perhaps a percentage of those on the voters list could have either moved elsewhere or no longer warm enough to vote.