A small number are willing to re-elect Rob Ford. They are going down with his ship as surely as the Titanic’s band. It is encouraging that these people are in the minority, and most recognize Toronto is desperately in need of a new Mayor. However, while people clearly want a new Mayor what Toronto needs most is a new leader.
Being in charge, and being a leader are not the same thing. We would be better off with my dog in charge of this city over Ford but that doesn’t make her fit to lead. For starters, she is incredibly anti-cyclist. Something she has in common with Ford, along with a penchant for public urination
Successful leaders know they must have ideas that inspire people, that show they recognize big problems require bold thinking, and have the courage to stand by these convictions. David Soknacki, is so far the only candidate to replace Ford who comes close to this description.
I’ve made no secret about the fact I volunteer for David, so dismiss this as a shameless partisan plug if you want. Before you do ask yourself this, where are the new ideas from the other main candidates? Let’s look at transit and congestion for example.
Tory’s surface rail plan is at best 7 years away, relies heavily on other levels of government, and passes key Toronto areas for the 905.
Her laudable support of the LRT aside, Olivia Chow’s immediate focus would be on increasing bus service. Buses TTC officials suggest we may not have, and will certainly affect congestion if we do.
Outside of appointing a transportation overlord, Karen Stintz’s plan is difficult to parse. Though if I could I’m sure it would have changed by the time you read this.
Finally there is Ford’s “No Job, No Transit” idea which is as wrong and mind numbingly stupid as he is.
Soknacki though, not only released a nine page paper on immediate transit relief, but another nine page paper on addressing gridlock. He presents ideas such as Early Bird transit fares to shift ridership patterns, phasing out parking on downtown arterial roads, and using GPS data to prevent streetcar bunching. You would likely need a GPS unit to find this sort of innovative but practical thinking from the other campaigns.
This is typical of the “full paragraph politics” Soknacki has practiced all along. He respects voters enough to present them with fully formed ideas. He recognizes if policy is to address the challenges of a major city like Toronto it should probably be longer than a bumper sticker.
With a little over two months to go in the campaign, Soknacki remains the only major candidate to address the police budget. Candidates talk about watching Toronto’s finances, yet they’ve offered nothing on the largest budget item. On affordable housing all Soknacki did was release an 18 point plan only one of which required the involvement of any other level of government. Be it on parks, encouraging start-ups, or Open Data, Soknacki presents Toronto with smart policy that goes well beyond the usual platitudes. Some of his hobbies might be a little dull, but his vision is anything but.
Many have said they would support Soknacki, but remain concerned about vote splitting resulting in Ford’s re-election. I completely understand the motivation of such voters, but this city deserves far better. With what we have endured, we deserve to vote for the city we want. We should not be so afraid of Ford’s unlikely re-election we vote for a candidate who has no more vision than Ford does, even if theirs is less blurry.
David Soknacki is running a campaign not only on ideas, but on bold ones. Ideas as detailed, as they are implementable. Ideas built on evidence that they may step beyond ideology. It is exactly the sort of campaign more politicians should run, and if enough of us support him perhaps in the future more will.
There are several candidates in this race running for Mayor and while David Soknacki may not be in the lead, he remains the only candidate running to lead.