Is the Left really silent or just shut out…
Reading Tonika Morgan’s latest blog entry got me thinking. The stories she tells are not just interesting and insightful, they are essential to the message she is sending. They are the way she builds bridges between cultures and generations, because we simply don’t all share the same experience.
And while I agree that progressive voices aren’t being heard in this campaign, I think the issue isn’t whether progressive folk are "getting to the point" fast enough, it’s whether the story would be covered anyway… Indeed, it’s alarming how fast some media are leaping ahead to the mayoral finish line while the contestants are still warming up.
Let’s take, for example, Toronto Life. I’ve been enjoying Toronto Life again, for the most part. Okay, so it’s true I sometimes head straight to the restaurant reviews. And it’s also true that the society rag component just baffles me. I mean, do I really need to witness Suzanne Rogers’ latest fashion disaster? And who the hell are “The Society Girls” anyway? Who really cares?
But I digress.
Toronto Life has already declared George Smitherman the saviour of Toronto. Indeed, they list him as the TOP reason to love our city in the latest issue. It doesn’t seem to matter at all that the guy has been virtually invisible thus far or that the race is barely underway.
Hell, let’s just call the whole election thing off, shall we? I mean, it’s a messy, costly business. We’ll just have the literary elite pick us a mayor and be done with it.
Could there possibly be another opinion that matters? I’d like someone who isn’t linked to a massive provincial spending scandal, please. I’d like someone who is known for how she or he listens to people, not for shouting them down. I’d like someone my kids could look up to, not someone known for their bullying behaviour. I’d like someone who actually does spend some of their council budget on community events and outreach, and I would really like someone who uses the TTC regularly and plants trees instead of tearing them down. I would like someone known for their positive contribution to city debate.
Call me crazy (I can take it) but I would like someone who can identify with the immigrant experience that makes Toronto what it is.
Based on some media, it would seem the Left has lost the race already. But let’s not forget that David Miller was an also-ran until that race took off after Labour Day…
Today, Pantalone has more council endorsements, more money in the campaign coffers, and a fulsome campaign team, much earlier in the electoral cycle than Miller did. Not that it’s ever reported.
What’s wrong with wanting something more and something better? What’s wrong with expecting our leaders to live up to a (realistic) standard of professionalism? Should we stop speaking out and telling our stories, or should we leave it to a privileged few to decide what’s right for our City?