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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

SPACING VOTES WEEKLY: A lot of Ford, CP24 debate, a case for Mayor Joe

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Spacing Votes — our dedicated 2010 election blog — will feature regular posts form our contributors that examine campaign promises and platforms that focus on Toronto’s urban landscape. Here’s our round-up of posts from the last seven days.

• The Ford-as-mayor reality is starting to take effect. After two polls came in showing Ford pulling far ahead — Nanos poll has Ford at 45.8%, Angus-Reid poll reads: 39% — the media is taking note, mainly through unflattering editorials and columns. But to what point did the media get Ford to his way-far-in-the-lead position? Spacing’s Nabeel Ahmed takes a look at Ford’s relation with the media from his uneventful beginnings through the pot charges, soccer coach days and poor-quality YouTube videos to today.

• And time again for another CP24 debate. Unlike the last couple progressive, and dare I say useful debates, this one returned to the classic argumentative clashing. With the trailing candidates also taking note of the polls, they each took shots at Ford, his campaign promises and past indiscretions. And through the yelling, there was some sobering comedy in the fact that there is still a huge number of undecided voters still looming. A whopping 25% are still on the fringe. Then again, only 41% of the electorate came out for the last municipal election in 2006.

• John Lorinc looks at a little bit of reoccurring election history. Going back to the 2003 race, Lorinc ties together the similarities between the outgoing mayor and the current frontrunner. One way to stop Ford’s non-gravy train, Lorinc opines, is for one of the candidates to call it quits. This possibly being Joe Pantalone. In Pantalone’s defence, Andrea Addario, David Miller’s communications director in the 2003 mayoral campaign, makes a case for why Pantalone needs to stay — and continue to gain steam.

And in bite-sized election-related news:

• Sarah Thomson is considering bowing out in an attempt to stop Ford. She’s still considering who she would back if she does take the step. She is also denying this step in other media reports.

• Once-mayoral hopeful, George Mammoliti, has thrown his support behind the Ford train. Although not so friendly in the past — the term “gino-boy” was allegedly tossed by Ford — Mammoliti, who’s seeking re-election as a councillor, has hope for Ford.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Thomson Campaign



  1. Ford’s relationship to the media is a double edge sword. I think it is stretch to say that the media has helped him. Yes the media has raised his profile, even though the media has not portrayed him in a positive light. On the other hand, his opponents also do not face the same scrutiny. Case in point, I doubt we will see any media reports of the two blatant lies/deceptions said by Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Pantalone at today’s CFIB debate. Ford gets criticised for working at his family’s company part time, yet Mayor Miller worked as an author why being Mayor. I have never seen him criticised for it.

  2. Something I didn’t see mentioned in the article on media coverage of Ford is the fact that he and his team are refusing comment to the Star on any issue (I believe he is suing them for libel although I’m not sure of the details).

    I’m not sure it’s necessarily impacting his campaign one way or another, but it is indicative of how his campaign is taking off despite (or, maybe, to some of his core constituency, because of) breaking all the supposed rules.

  3. Right, Glen. We all know how lucrative it is to work as a writer! *rolls eyes*

  4. Wow, Glen. Usually you have well thought out answers, but to say Miller deserves criticism for writing a book is lunacy. He sat and talked to an author for periods of time and that was put into a narrative by the author. And its not like Miller was bragging about how good of a writer he is the way that Ford brags about being a biz owner. And Miller started his book in the fall — Ford says she’s been doing his business for the entire time he was at council. 

  5. Juan, My remark about Miller writing a book was to point out that he, like Ford, could have been accused of being a part time Mayor. Yes, working on his book was not throughout his whole term, only recently. But the difference is one of degrees. Keep in mind that Miller stated that he was leaving politics because of the time burden on his family. So while being the Mayor and time constrained, choosing that time to write a book concurrently is interesting. It is more interesting that the media never reported on the contradiction. There is a double standard, or bias. So while Ford does benefit from the coverage, by getting exposure, his opponents do not face the same scrutiny. Pros and Cons, as I said.