umarsaeed

Postcard Elections

In City, Politics on October 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM

With Municipal elections here the media has focused its attention on what is turning out to be a close mayoral race, with no likable candidates. It is overshadowing the many battles for city councilors across Toronto wards, races that must be fought and won through pamphlets only. As far as politics go, pamphlets are the most thoughtful form of soliciting your vote. Using only a single piece of paper, candidates must employ tasteful design, efficient content and a nice picture of their faces to persuade you. Let’s examine the candidates in Ward 20 of the Trinity-Spadina riding to further analyze these postcard elections.

Michael Sims

When I stared really hard at his high-resolution photo, I noticed that Sims can’t grow sideburns longer than half-an-inch. But he chose to have none. His mission is simple: “I will fight to make sure every child in Toronto gets the education that I want for my children.” He wears his wedding band on his right ring finger, which makes me think it wasn’t sized properly. He asks questions to which the answer is him, such as “Which candidate has three young children who will be attending local schools?”

If I wasn’t going to write this analysis, this was an immediate throwaway. Anyone at any level of government who promises to somehow reform schools had better bring in an entirely new philosophy, inspired by the East, where negative reinforcement and physical punishment are administered to MAKE children learn and behave. If we’re simply going to stick with the current scheme where each kid receives a certificate for participating and a smiley face for trying hard, then I’ve lost interest.

Dean Maher

Maher’s pamphlet makes me want to set him up with my sister. He sounds interesting, energetic and has the flare of Young Republican. He uses a small font on his pamphlet so that he can include all the buzz words, like “green,” and “affordable,” but that just tells me he’s scared he’ll lose people if he says what’s really on his mind. What truly makes Maher different is that he proposed a new city bylaw to “ban the sale of cats and dogs at Toronto pet shops.” I’m not a pet owner, and I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it’s definitely different.

What’s scary about Maher is how accurately he represents the young urban professionals that hate any kind of tax. He lives in a City Place condo, an area that looks forward to an unlimited expansion upward. In Ward 20, that area alone could potentially dominate an election in the future because of Yuppie density.

Unfortunately, I suspect workaholics tend to miss things like municipal elections, either because of work or indifference.

Mike Yen


The second paragraph of Yen’s pamphlet reads: “Mike has volunteered his time over the last 19 years in community sports as a captain, manager and coach of several amateur sports teams.” Later in the document: “Mike will make a priority of maintaining our existing recreational/sports facilities without user fees.”

He’s got some other standard stuff about getting more value for our tax dollars, getting rid of land transfer tax, and developing employment opportunities by getting rid of red-tape, which only serve to distract us from what I believe to be the core of his platform: recreational sports.

Then Yen crossed a line. I received a second pamphlet, this one saying basically the same things as the first one, but one side was written entirely in Chinese. He even went as far as photo-shopping a picture of an old Chinese man who may or may not be prominent, to stand by his side with a Canadian flag in the background. That means he and his campaign team sat around late at night thinking about how they could penetrate the Chinese vote in Ward 20.

The Incumbent: Adam Vaughn

In politics, it is often said that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. By the time people have to vote, a familiar name is as good as gold. Adam Vaughan is the reigning champ, which is huge in a postcard election. Then, consider that those glasses are from Rapp Optical.

His was the only pamphlet on normal paper, no colour, and outside of occasionally dropping “a more affordable city,” I found it interesting that the entire focus of the document was about creating parks. He spends paragraph after paragraph, going through each city block, explaining how there was now a park where there once wasn’t, or that there is plans for another park.

Too many candidates wasted words talking about things that are expected of a City Councilor. What candidate wouldn’t try to get the most money for our tax dollars? They can learn from Vaughan’s brouchure, in that a singular focus leaves a memorable impression. There’s no doubt we’re going to have to pay for all of this proposed beauty, but the proposition is clear and pleasant.

Happy voting!

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  1. Ward 20 sux donkey doodoo, I’m in 19 where I get mike laytons flyer. Somebody came by the other day telling me that “he has Olivia Chows support.”
    No kidding.

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