It is time I wrote something about the Toronto elections. There are some interesting things going on. The best thing from my point of view is that there is some real competition this time for councillor Pamster the Hamster MacConnell. I do not like her. More about why below.
I am a bit concerned at the several fairly good candidates in the running in ward 28. This could split the anti Pamster vote and enable her to win with a plurality. She did not get an outright majority in 2003. In the last two and in 2000 she had 60%.
As I said, she has had nobody serious running against her. There has been a truism in Toronto politics that you cannot beat an incumbent because of the name recognition factor. That has been easing; the last election I think two incumbents lost.
I can go into great depth about why MacConnell should lose this time. A lot of it is my own personal gripe, but I think it is a grudge which people should pay some attention to. In the general interest of ward 28, she should go because she is just a symbol of the kind of super partisan politics which the city needs to get away from.
No, Alternative Vote (AV) is not a solution for Pamster type politicians. She is a demonstration of that because she usually wins on what would be the "first ballot". She would also likely win the second choice vote because of name recognition factors. The real solution is multimember wards. This AV nonsense is designed to preempt real reforms toward a Single Transferable Vote or similar system. But that is another story.
What we need in ward 28 is an alternative. It is not so much about getting rid of Pamster and her party line mentality as getting someone else who can be approached. That is what multimember districts are for. That is something I do some work on from time to time. But for now I do my small part to get rid of Pamster.
So, that is why I was out trudging down the hallways of the performing arts lodge the other day with a bag of leaflets. Once upon a time I was something of a specialist at distributing leaflets. I had given it up in recent years because of my increasing foot problems. But I now have some relief from that and I feel a need to get out and walk around. I really want to help this particular candidate for city council.
I am not going to say which one just yet because some of the prissy assed element of the online population may not like to hear that and may transfer their dislike of my directness onto said candidate. But there are ever fewer of these people; they are slowly dying out and the younger generation is not so offended by honesty as they are bewildered by it.
What the hell. I am drumming for Blackmore. More about why anon. But being inside the Performing arts lodge, a retirement cooperative for superannuated actors and musicians and singers and maybe a dancer or two, made me feel more dramatic. It was an interesting walk.
There are still the occasional cranky types. although they are more dramatical too. Instead of just shooting the flyer back out the door, or opening it slightly to demand how I got it, this one guy bounded out into the hallway, waved the leaflet over his head, then flung it to the floor declaiming;"I don't think so!"
It seems they have their little soap operas too. I turned into a recess and found someone sitting on a suitcase in front of the door. He was clean and fairly snappy in dress, but did not look prosperous. He had a bad eye.
He was not very coherent, talking about how the person living in the suite was not there, she was downstairs, there had been some sort of domestic disturbance, she would be back. Oh dear! Was somebody being a drama queen at the performance arts lodge?
The hallways were very well appointed, with little gathering spaces on each floor with chairs. There was a very big "reference" library. The paintings on the wall, mostly of actors in dramatic roles, were often worth stopping a moment to look at.
But that was the performing arts lodge. I got into a few other buildings along Esplanade, including the condominium with the notoriously paranoid security. Some years ago I had famously been refused entry into the place by a stuffed shirt concierge, while working for a political candidate. It got into the news, with the managers of the property doing damage control; their staff "misunderstood"...
On this occasion they just wanted me to sign in and to make a copy of the flyer I am delivering. I told the security desk person that she could have the whole flyer, but I guess making a monocolor copy looks more official. She thought I should get a letter from the office I was working for. I told her I would ask back at the campaign office about it.
There are worse kinds of jerkoffs to deal with in the neighborhood. Usually the less real power they have, the more inclined they are to throw it around. A couple of times while doing literature drops for a couple of groups I have gone into the housing cooperative near my home, which is mainly older people from eastern european countries.
Each time I have encountered this particularly nasty individual. I wonder if he learned his methods and attitude while working for some Soviet era secret police force. I think he is just a resident with no official capacity but he knows how to make trouble.
The second time I ran into him I just told him to get the flying fuck out of my way. Of course, he phoned the people I was working for. They phoned me. I told them that I was doing that for free, I should not have to put up with abuse from anyone, and if they expected me to, then they could find somebody else to deliver the leaflets.
So that is the political cause leafletting hobby. I will continue if they want me. It is what I can do because I will not be able to help on voting day. I will be making some money that day. But I really would like to see Blackmore as the new councillor.
As I have told him, I wish he had run back in 2003. He is the type of person we need, with energy, an impressive intellect, experience at working in the community sector instead of just on it, and non partisan. He might pull it off, because he has an impressive, well funded organization behind him.
He was certainly more impressive than MacConnell in what I could see of the Roger's cable debate for this ward. Pamster seemed a bit remote and arrogant. From a conversation I had with two people I met in a hallway while dropping leaflets, I am not the only person with that impression. Two votes for Blackmore.
One associate of mine has called the city hall system, not corrupt, but corrupting. I do not know what Blackmore will be like after four years inside the city hall system. However, he has managed to work all his life within the community services sector while keeping himself grounded. There are a few people like that who basically keep the community going.
People like Pamster have their corps of supporters who think they will get something out of it for themselves or are just naive. They are well funded by the social agency network. They are hated by most lower income people in the area. That is the real reason why the NDP has never won in Toronto Center.
Removing MacConnell will remove another pillar in the social control and suppression mechanism run by the authoritarian left in the ward. Yes, if there is one thing I have learned from many years of doing what I can for social liberation and ultimate revolution, it is that the political right wing is not the big means of suppression of the lower classes, it is the left.
If people want to dispute that point, I am going to be making it on twitter. See hashtag #ward28 if you are a twitterer. In addition to a pusher of card paper into door jambs, I will be a twitterer against Pamster, an experimenter in that medium. She really is a pillar the superpartisan left which has caused so much corruption down at the grass roots level. She needs to be removed, finally.
Remember to vote on October 27.