Torontonians Set Good Example for US Voters

There are some excellent lessons from the recent Toronto Mayoral election that other Canadian cities and all US cities/states can ‘go to shool’ on.
First, a voter turnout of over 50% shows individual ownership and intention to make a difference; quite impressive given the pervasive apathy and discouragement that has of late descended on our jaded, cynical society. I did not vote this time around (shame on me, but Hazel won again in Mississauga and I favoured her), but kudos to all of those who did get out and exercise their precious right. Recent ads in the US advise disenfranchised Latinos NOT to vote at all, as a sign of protest! Not a particularly good suggestion.
Second, in the end, the campaigns of Smitherman and Ford moved away from attack ads, and Smitherman showed extreme class and dignity with his final speech acknowledging defeat. Both he and Ford based their campaigns on clearly different platforms from which voters could choose, and put it all out there for the people to decide.
While democracy is a flawed form of government, it remains, as Churchill once said, the best one we’ve invented so far. The leadership shown this time around by the candidates (expressing their different visions for the city) and by the voters (modelling the way by taking action and going to the polls) demonstrates that if we truly want it to, our system can work well.
Hopefully, Canadians and our leaders at the national level will learn from this. And given our close integration with the giant south of our border, hopefully, they will take note prior to their November 2nd elections too.

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