Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Election Over, Lots to Learn

From the looks of things on Twitter and Facebook, it seems like many, many (many!) people in Toronto are trying to figure out how the Toronto election results ended up being what they were last night.

As I proved in my own Twitter stream last night, I'm no political expert. Far from it. I know I have lots to learn in this field. That said, as a total political layperson, the thing that struck me most about the results--and reaction to it--was how divided Toronto seemed to be. I was also struck by how much anger there was--whether it was anger directed at the "gravy train" concept or anger directed at "those who are angered by the "gravy train" concept." From an emotional (and again, totally *not* politically savvy) standpoint, it was this divisiveness that I found most disconcerting. Also, the 50% voter turnout, which I'm told is high for a municipal election. Glad it improved from 30-40%, but still a sad statistic overall.

So today, I'm trying to learn from the following:

ArtsVote's assessment's of the arts-friendly councillors who were elected.

David Meslin's presentation on how we live in a world that actively discourages civic engagement (thanks to Torontoist for the link):

Naheed Nenshi's presentation on how Calgary got to the verge of becoming a different kind of divided city:

Gerald Hannon's Toronto Life profile (October 2010 issue) on Rob Ford and his appeal and Shawn Micallef's report for Eye Weekly on his visit to a Ford Fest

So that's where I'm starting. If there's any links you've found helpful while dealing with the election results or Toronto political situation, feel free to post.

(Image of Toronto wards from the CBC)


Anonymous said...

If his interview for As It Happens is any indication of things to come, we should all be worried.

Leah Sandals said...

Hey anonymous,

Thanks for the link. I'm on the go today, and look forward to listening in this evening.

I know it's possible that I'm avoiding panic at the moment simply in the name of my own mental health...

But I was heartened by Catherine Porter's article in the Star today that pointed out the number of women elected to city council is at an all time high.

So I'll see if I can balance out my search for the (few?) bright spots with a realistic view of the challenges and darker skies ahead.