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Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a sorry state of affairs when Marxist.ca has more insight into Toronto's municipal election than The Globe and Mail

Yeah, there's a lot of blah, blah.. "bourgeois media" ..blah..blah.. 'oppression of the working class', 'exploitative capitalist' type stuff, but they actually seem to be less off the mark as some with:

Rob Ford has, so far, leapt to the front of the mayoral race. He is the only candidate who has had something different to say than all of the other politicians. Ford is nothing but a populist, but he has been able to mobilize the real anger against the status-quo that is present amongst Torontonians. Unlike Bay St.’s darling, George Smitherman, Ford is seen as someone who has answers to the financial crisis of the city and has mobilized support on this basis. However, it would be wrong to characterize this as a move to the right in the general population. There is a seething anger that is looking in every direction for an outlet. One poll that had Ford in front also revealed that David Miller would be in the lead if he were on the ballot. What we have is an incredibly unstable electorate that is looking for answers. If a radical solution is not given by the organizations of the working class then a radical solution will be provided by the right wing demagogues.

Labour’s candidate, Joe Pantalone, offers very little to get working class people mobilized for this election. Aside from having virtually no charisma, Pantalone offers the status-quo, with no solution to tackle all of the problems facing working class Torontonians. His campaign commitments are anaemic at best, with such radical demands as planting more trees and building a cricket pitch. He is, rightfully, seen by many as just another City Hall career politician. It is no wonder that he is far behind the leading candidates.

If Ford’s support holds as the election gets closer, there is a real danger that the leaders of the labour movement, seeing that support for Pantalone is going nowhere, may urge workers to vote for George Smitherman in order to stop Ford from gaining office. However, there is absolutely nothing “progressive” about Smitherman, and nothing that would make him a better option for workers than Rob Ford. Like Ford, Smitherman has promised to privatize various city services (particularly garbage and recycling services), and has promised to “trim” the city’s workforce. For six years, Smitherman was one of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s key cabinet ministers, and we only need to look at the Liberals’ sorry record over that time to know what sort of attacks would come if he were elected mayor.

Read it all, if you dare, here.

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