Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Did You Miss Last Night's TO Mayoral Debate??

Here's a pretty good account of it here.

Besides Stevie LeDrew being the worst debate moderator in the history of mankind, here are some of the hilites...if you can call them that....

8:06 PM: Rocco Rossi is still in his patented "I'm like Rob Ford but not a total idiot" mode, then hypes the gun registry (of all things). Rossi is currently spending god knows how much money to come in fourth place, so really, he cannot criticize Ford for anything.

8:11 PM: Oh Jesus Christ Ben Mulroney has an applause-o-meter.

8:56 PM: Rossi to Smitherman: Flounder won't explain where he'll make up his difference on cuts. Will you? Smitherman says he'll present his budget framework on the 27th, and so there. Rossi says then Smitherman should cut Flounder some slack. Poor Flounder! Everybody's picking on him!

So, was there anything to this debate? Mostly not. Flounder was as you would expect: the same horrible human being as always, although now with a truly shocking level of smugness in an "I've already won the election" way, no matter how often he says he hasn't won it yet. He's ahead because he's got a simple, straightforward message, which appeals to people who want to believe that governance is simple and straightforward. Of course, if it were simple and straightforward, Rob Ford wouldn't have to run for mayor to have a shot in hell of being effective in city government.

As for the others? Thomson and Rossi should just give up now. Neither one has a hope of winning. Thomson is vague. She has been vague all campaign, and "I'm kind of nice and mean well" has never gotten a lot of votes. On the plus side, at least she isn't becoming a total joke: Rocco Rossi is running possibly the worst campaign in Toronto's entire history at this point, and may very well get fewer votes than Kevin Clarke at the rate he's going, because he doesn't seem interested in doing anything other than tossing off one-liners and promoting stupid ideas.

Pantalone has better numbers because everybody who was hoping that a non-bad progressive candidate would show up has given up and settled, but tonight's performance was terrible. There are valid criticisms of the Miller regime, many of them, and Pantalone's refusal to engage on that level means he's never going to get the progressives to come out; he's just pandering to the audience that doesn't want to feel like it's being pandered to, and worse, he's being obvious about it.

That leaves Smitherman, who for the first time all campaign actually acted like he wanted to win. Despite the idiotic level of these debates, Smitherman actually came across as someone with a little substance and communicated his two major points, which are that Flounder is a worthless human being who can't run the city, and that he can. This was the first debate where Smitherman felt like the leader he's supposed to be.

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