Advance polls for Monday’s municipal election saw 124,000 Torontonians exercise their right to vote, down from the 160,000 who voted early in 2014.
Part of the reason for that is that the race for mayor is perceived to be less hotly contested than it was four years ago, which tends to depress the overall vote as well.
That’s why we’re especially urging you to get out and vote on Monday if you haven’t already done so.
We don’t subscribe to the view that not voting means you forfeit your right to complain about decisions at city hall for the next four years.
Everyone in Toronto who directly or indirectly pays property taxes has that right.
But we do question the wisdom of forfeiting the right to vote, and with that, to have any say in the direction city hall and Toronto will take from now until 2022.
This is a crucial election, with the province having downsized city council from what would have been 47 councillors plus the mayor, to 25 plus the mayor.
Those elected to council will have greater responsibilities than their predecessors.
Individually, these councillors will be seeing to the needs of far more constituents, in every ward, compared to those elected to municipal office in the past.
And collectively, a vote by one of 25 councillors in determining Toronto’s future on crucial issues from housing, to public transit, to infrastructure to crime, is more influential than one of 47.
We believe Toronto needs a mayor and council who understand their primary job is to deliver the best possible municipal services to property taxpayers at the best possible prices.
Who realize that city council is not supposed to be an employment agency for unionized workers.
Who know their job is not to virtue signal about every conceivable issue far removed from city hall.
Finally, and most important, we need a mayor and council determined to get control of the city’s ever-expanding budget, with a sensible, long-term financial plan.
Instead of saying “yes” to every special interest group demanding more money.
That’s the easiest thing for any politician to do.
That is, to satisfy those screaming the loudest in their ears, while forgetting and ignoring the interests of the vast majority of property taxpayers, who are too busy putting food on the table to constantly march down to city hall and protest.
Finally, elections are not about having perfect choices.
They’re about making the best choice from the choices that are available.
We’ve given you our choices for mayor and council, but Monday’s municipal election isn’t about us.
It’s about you and about what you want the future direction of city council and, more important, the city of Toronto, to be.
One thing we can assure you. The more of us who vote on that, the better the outcome will be.