I've lived in Toronto most of my life and love this city. I would not want to live anywhere else, although I've travelled to many countries and explored cities like London, New York, and Paris, among others. However, I find living here becoming more and more stressful. It's not the pace of the big city versus old hogtown that makes it more stressful; it's what the politicians that we have elected have turned it into.
I trace Toronto's decline back to Mayor Art Eggleton. He perfected the art of doing nothing, coasting on the successes of previous Mayors and city bureacrats. Like anything that's well-run and well-designed that can work for years without anyone performing maintenance, the city kept ticking along; but eventually like the subway crash in the Spadina Line tunnel, the little nicks, the little scrapes, the little gouches, suddenly erupted into a filthy city full of grumbling, stressed, unhappy citizens. This is where Toronto is at. It is now out in the open that other communities, our own province which we are the capital of, and our country hate us and will not support us, whether it's bidding for Expo or getting back on track with subway building. They feel comfortable enough in showing us this openly because our Mayor is too weak to stop it or hold a mirror up to them and because they know Torontonians will shrug their shoulders and go to work, that we will do nothing.
Unlike the French, we won't riot in the streets until the government listens. Unlike Hungarians and Ukrainians, we won't protest en masse day after day. Unlike the Israelis, we won't re-evaluate our politicians and vote accordingly. No, we will re-elect the leaders who have not achieved anything for us, who have watched our city continue to deteriorate while declaring things are better, who have worsened our relationship with surrounding communities and the higher levels of government. We will re-elect them because they're familiar to us and because they spout the right-sounding words. We will re-elect them because the idealogues will ensure they'll get out the vote, knowing that most of us won't bother. We will re-elect them because we try to rationalize doing the easy thing: In the words of one person, though David Miller has been a disappointment, he has built a strong foundation. That's an oxymoron. How can one be a disappointment and be able to build a foundation at the same time? But that's the definition of insanity: doing the same thing again and expecting a different result this time. Insanity is easy.
If Torontonians want a vibrant, livable city again, they have to get out, vote, and toss out the incumbents. We have to gird our loins and not be afraid to vote for someone who may actually take bold actions, to vote for a Mayoral candidate who has outlined concrete actions, not the Mayor who gushes the familiar words that make us feel good, but who did not even achieve the one thing he declared he was most passionate about -- stopping the expansion of the Toronto Island airport. His failure has cost us $35 million. Re-electing him will cost us this city.