After the G20 party's over
Feeling a bit exhausted by all this, as many are, I'm sure. The G's have gone, and the streets are slowly returning to normal, and the citizens of Toronto are shaken up and wondering what the hell happened.
We have seen leadership of a sort over the last few days, and it's a good time, maybe the best time, to ask ourselves and each other, what does this great city need in a leader? Who can speak for us, who can protect and defend us, who can bring out the best in us?
I like and admire David Miller, I like and admire Bill Blair. I think both men are good, decent people. Maybe that's why its so hard to see them fail their city, forget their responsibilities to all citizens of Toronto.
This nonsense of forcing people to stand for hours in a deluge of rain, shivering, sick, frightened, while the Mayor and the police chief hid from the media, instead of declaring it an outrage. This public scapegoating of a few hundred mostly uninvolved individuals out of some residual need to punish someone for the deeds of a pathetic few, to try and shame and hurt and humiliate these folks, these citizens, your neighbors and friends, is indefensible, and the more both men try, the more they lose my respect.
I want a mayor I can count on, in good times and bad, to do the best he can for the city. I want a mayor who can represent all the people, who is equally comfortable with the well-off and the poor, with the banker and the addict, with the homeowner from the Bridle Path and the tenant in a Parkdale rooming house.
I want a politician who doesn't put his entitlement first, who doesn't feel he should be coddled and courted to do the right thing, I want a mayor who takes the subway and walks the streets..
I want a leader who is consistent and who is capable of empathy and deep thought, a leader who is action oriented, who cares and is committed, and who can listen and who can learn. I want a Mayor I can be proud of, who I can call by his first name, whose hand I can shake cause he's not surrounded by staff whose sole job is to keep real people at bay.
I want a leader who can talk about his own struggles, and what it took to overcome them. I want someone capable of inspiring those who need inspiration, who respects people whatever their walk of life and who will be there when these same people need them.
I want a mayor who puts the people of his city first, even before what's good for him, what's politically safe or smart. I want a mayor who stands for his people, all his people, all the time.
The election cannot come too soon.