Vote or move to Hamilton?
Cheap real estate, the burgeoning of James Street North, the Art Crawl, a progressive labour movement, a strategy on poverty reduction, plans (already underway) to expand the transportation infrastructure, interesting leaders.
Forget Toronto for the next four years. I think I'm moving to Hamilton.
We're only a few short days away from October 25th and I can't help but mapquest the commuting time between my work and anywhere that is not Toronto (or Mississauga).
In jest, I mentioned this idea of moving to a friend a few months ago who looked at me bewildered and said, "How could you leave, when this city is about to go through its most amazing transformation yet"?
Dramatic, I know. He was also high on civic optimism. Actually quite a few of my friends shared this optimism only to find themselves more cynical and apathetic than they were before. Suddenly Hamilton doesn't seem like such a bad idea. This couldn't have been more evident than the last televised mayoral debate on CP24.
It was a hard-fought debate; much more interesting that watching Sarah Thompson ramble about ... um... whatever she was saying and Rob Ford making racist and sexist comments about the citizens of the city for which he would like to lead. Instead, it was a different kind of fight.
After writing about the absence of Joe Pantalone's voice in this race, I watched as "Mayor Joe" put up a long awaited fight for his place in this mayoral race. It's too bad he waited until it was too late and as a result subjected himself to being a pawn in Rob Ford's and George Smitherman's game of political chess.
See, if Joe had displayed his lean mean side in the summer, you know when nobody was really saying anything worth remembering, I would be rooting for him today. Instead I watched him pull a Ralph Nader (Yes, I'm being a bit dramatic here. Roll with it) and disappoint 66% of the voting population.
The fact that Mr. Pantalone played into that was disappointing. I can only guess that this was part of political resurgence to gain the hearts and votes of the people in the final stretch of this campaign. Unfortunately the point was lost on me and the thousands of others who watched.
Why fight now? Where did this fight come from? I tried to think back, but realize that I only noticed it at the Toronto Arts Debate a few weeks ago. For those who were following me on Twitter, you would have seen me making many comments about Joe's contrived efforts to make digs at his opponents. They just didn't seem like his style. In fact, they weren't that great ,which suggests to me that Mayor Joe was getting out of character and losing himself just to win an election. Those are not the "values and principles" that I thought he stood for.
So now, I'm left with three choices on October 25th:
1) Vote strategically;
2) Vote instinctively or;
3) Move to Hamilton.