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2022 Municipal Election: Council Races

toaster29

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I disagree, the law is quite clear. It may be 'unfair' though that is clearly a matter of opinion.
What makes you say that it is? What you see as "clear", I see as very unclear. The wording of "before an election" doesn't differentiate between before advanced polling or Election Day. If one considers "election" to be anytime voting can happen (i.e. start of advance polls to end of Election Day), then the rules were not followed. This is as unclear as you can get in public policy.
 
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Richard White

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A vote for Lai would be same as "declining" to vote, "voiding" your vote, or "leaving it blank".

Not really. She was alive when people voted. People had intended to vote for her.

What makes you say that it's? What you see as "clear", I see as very unclear. The wording of "before an election" doesn't differentiate between before advanced polling or Election Day. If one considers "election" to be anytime voting can happen (i.e. start of advance polls to end of Election Day), then the rules were not followed. This is as unclear as you can get in public policy.

This was my point. Advance and Mail-In Ballots had already commenced when she went to the council chamber in the sky. Her death DID NOT come before an election, it came AFTER voting had already commenced.
 

DSC

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What makes you say that it is? What you see as "clear", I see as very unclear. The wording of "before an election" doesn't differentiate between before advanced polling or Election Day. If one considers "election" to be anytime voting can happen (i.e. start of advance polls to end of Election Day), then the rules were not followed. This is as unclear as you can get in public policy.
You need to look at the Municipal Elections Act. It does not say "before an election', it reads:

Death or ineligibility of candidate​

39 If a certified candidate for an office, before the close of voting on voting day, dies or becomes ineligible to hold the office,

(a) if no candidate would be elected by acclamation as a result of the death or ineligibility,

(i) the election shall proceed as if the candidate had not been nominated, and

(ii) the clerk shall omit the candidate’s name from the ballots or, if they have already been printed, shall cause notice of the candidate’s death or ineligibility to be made available to the public in every voting place;

(b) if another candidate would be elected by acclamation as a result of the death or ineligibility, the election is void and a by-election shall be held to fill the office. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 8 (21); 2016, c. 15, s. 27.

You may think this is unfair (and I might agree with you) but it is not unclear.
 

PinkLucy

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And to add to that, "voting day" is the day designated for the election. It isn't advanced voting day or online voting day.
 

toaster29

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Thanks for providing that, makes more sense. Doesn't mean it can't be taken to court, though. Bylaws and legislature can always brought to court for many reasons, including human rights violations. I still think there's a legitimate case to be made.
 

adma

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I'm very surprised it was so close. I assumed Horwath would have a cakewalk since Hamilton was always her support base as NDP leader.

But keep in mind that Hamilton's in the same jam as Ottawa--a Harris-created unitary-authority Frankenstein that seems designed to kneecap left-of-centre mayoral bids through a whole lot of left-phobic rural/suburban hinterland. (Which David Christopherson found out the hard way when *he* tried for the mega-Hamilton mayoralty in '03.)

Of course, that hasn't prevented NDP from tallying an Queen's Park plurality under Horwath within the same boundaries--but maybe that involves a different "electoral scale"...
 

DirectionNorth

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It was everywhere. People need to realize that municipal governments are important!
Municipal governments are no less important in our daily lives than federal governments, though they typically get less media attention/voter turnout ... but the recent low turnouts are a disgrace, no matter the (edit: level) government.
 
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PinkLucy

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Municipal governments are no less important in our daily lives than federal governments, though they typically get less media attention/voter turnout ... but the recent low turnouts are a disgrace, no matter the government.
I would say that they are more important given the day to day of their decisions. Or perhaps “differently important”.
 

TossYourJacket

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The turnout rate is pretty embarrassing tbh... lack of media coverage? No decent candidates? A real shame for the City really
The answer IMO is no real candidates, plus a broken electoral system. Most people who were elected were either an incumbent, or the chosen heir to an outgoing incumbent. Hell, the Councillor and School Trustee in my ward (Toronto Centre) ran a joint campaign, as they were both the chosen candidates by their predecessors. Combined with the mayoral election for Tory being effectively a coronation, I know a lot of people living in my ward who are normally very politically interested and politically active, who skipped the election because they felt it wasn't worth their time to go vote in something that felt like it had such an obviously pre-determined outcome for every race. Simply, we have made it nearly impossible to run against an incumbent in Toronto (with rare exceptions like Grimes losing, but that isn't common), and people are losing interest in elections that feel like an appointment of the chosen candidate by the establishment. And to be fair, if you look at the wards where there was competition (Ward 3 for example), they largely have better voter turnout than the non-competitive races. We need there to be serious competition in every race if we want voter turnout to go up.

Part of the problem here is we run our elections like we're some small town where the mayoral candidates can knock on everyone's door during the campaign. That simply isn't possible in a city of 3 million people. Even councillors are all responsible for over 100,000 people at this point. Most voters don't know who the candidates are, what they stand for, and somewhat understandably, people aren't generally interested enough to take time to research 31 mayoral candidates, plus council candidates, plus school trustees (and if you don't have kids, how motivated are you gonna be to research several school board trustee platforms?). In contrast, a provincial or federal election gives you 3-4 major options and you have a base idea what they are about due to party affiliation. Our elections require much more work on the part of the voter to stay informed. I had 31 mayoral candidates, 9 council candidates, and 7 trustee candidates IIRC. That's a lot of platforms to look into! Plus without the machine of political parties, it's a lot harder to have the infrastructure to challenge an incumbent. Not sure if political parties are the answer here, but our current system is completely broken in terms of voter engagement, and if we want to improve turnout, we need it to be both more competitive, and more accessible to the average person, not just us politics nerds on the internet. Otherwise people will continue to do one of two things, vote for the incumbent cus it's easier, or stay home.
 
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Northern Light

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The answer IMO is no real candidates, plus a broken electoral system. Most people who were elected were either an incumbent, or the chosen heir to an outgoing incumbent. Hell, the Councillor and School Trustee in my ward (Toronto Centre) ran a joint campaign, as they were both the chosen candidates by their predecessors. Combined with the mayoral election for Tory being effectively a coronation, I know a lot of people living in my ward who are normally very politically interested and politically active, who skipped the election because they felt it wasn't worth their time to go vote in something that felt like it had such an obviously pre-determined outcome for every race. Simply, we have made it nearly impossible to run against an incumbent in Toronto (with rare exceptions like Grimes losing, but that isn't common), and people are losing interest in elections that feel like an appointment of the chosen candidate by the establishment. And to be fair, if you look at the wards where there was competition (Ward 3 for example), they largely have better voter turnout than the non-competitive races. We need there to be serious competition in every race if we want voter turnout to go up.

Part of the problem here is we run our elections like we're some small town where the mayoral candidates can knock on everyone's door during the campaign. That simply isn't possible in a city of 3 million people. Even councillors are all responsible for over 100,000 people at this point. Most voters don't know who the candidates are, what they stand for, and somewhat understandably, people aren't generally interested enough to take time to research 31 mayoral candidates, plus council candidates, plus school trustees (and if you don't have kids, how motivated are you gonna be to research several school board trustee platforms?). In contrast, a provincial or federal election gives you 3-4 major options and you have a base idea what they are about due to party affiliation. Our elections require much more work on the part of the voter to stay informed. I had 31 mayoral candidates, 9 council candidates, and 7 trustee candidates IIRC. That's a lot of platforms to look into! Plus without the machine of political parties, it's a lot harder to have the infrastructure to challenge an incumbent. Not sure if political parties are the answer here, but our current system is completely broken in terms of voter engagement, and if we want to improve turnout, we need it to be both more competitive, and more accessible to the average person, not just us politics nerds on the internet. Otherwise people will continue to do one of two things, vote for the incumbent cus it's easier, or stay home.

There are lots of issues at play in terms of low voter turnout. I think you've done a good job summarizing many; but let me take a stab at it myself.

- At all levels of government, people have difficulty believing that their vote matters. There is a belief that whoever one elects things don't really get better, they simply vary slightly. That view is overly simplistic/naive, borderline dangerous, entirely unhelpful............and yet........understandable. Median standard of living has not taken a material jump in two generations. That's a problem. Media's crisis-of-the-week reporting leads to even greater disillusionment.

- People believe (not wrongly) upsetting the incumbent/voting against the likely winner is unlikely to make a difference. Most acutely true in municipal politics; but one could argue a similar tack in the last provincial election where the media led people to believe a Doug Ford victory was inevitable.

- Politicians, in part, have themselves to blame, under achievement is partly the issue, so is over promising and under delivering, along with the wobble between Doug Ford-style 'what platform?' and an opposition party with 150 pages of policy-wonking that I'm one of 18 people in the entire province to have read, and that includes the people who wrote it..............

- We also need ward and riding sizes that connect people w/their elected representative as much as is possible. Areas of 100,000+ are very challenging to achieve that. I'm not saying we need an infinite number of politicians, but I think we probably need more than we have in some respects.

- Responsive government means bringing more decision making close to the people, where possible. Sure it may lead to Nimby-ism or a whole host of other parochial nonsense, but it also leads to higher engagement.

I'll give some thoughts in a future post about what I think some remedies might be.
 
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toaster29

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This is maybe the saddest result of the night.
Sad and close night, but Nunziata got 47% of the vote. That's a significant amount, much higher than Asuma Malik, Gord Perks, Saxe, and Crawford. I guess because the alternative was 1 person as opposed to a few, it hurts a little more? But I wouldn't say someone getting 47% of the vote is indicative of not having support of her community. If we are going to talk about people candidates squeaking by, those 4 . Especially Malik, Cressy got over 55% of the vote in 2018, so to lose almost 20%, not great for "progressives" there.
 

smably

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Sad and close night, but Nunziata got 47% of the vote. That's a significant amount, much higher than Asuma Malik, Gord Perks, Saxe, and Crawford. I guess because the alternative was 1 person as opposed to a few, it hurts a little more? But I wouldn't say someone getting 47% of the vote is indicative of not having support of her community. If we are going to talk about people candidates squeaking by, those 4 . Especially Malik, Cressy got over 55% of the vote in 2018, so to lose almost 20%, not great for "progressives" there.
A compelling argument for ranked ballots! 63% of Toronto Centre voters didn't need to throw their vote away, and yet they did.
 

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