Chow for mayor? Don’t bet on it.

The pollsters are telling us that Olivia Chow can be mayor of Toronto after the next municipal election—more than a year from now. The only problem is that the polls are meaningless. They are based on too many suppositions. There are just too many ‘ifs.’

And who is surprised to see that polls show Rob Ford’s base vote is holding? What point is an automated telephone poll of a sample of voters when you know that less than four out of ten people will vote? And you have absolutely no idea what will motivate people to get out and vote a year from now.

All the polls show at this time is that there is a substantial anyone-but-Ford attitude in Toronto. The high figure for Chow is what is referred to as a ‘parked vote.’ These are respondents who know they do not want to vote for Ford and will indicate the alternative that is offered—even though they would not vote for that person if they thought about it.

It is just that it is far too early to think about it. Ask people where they are headed after Labour Day next September. That is when their opinions will start to formulate. It is when you hope that the number of voters who will vote for or against something specific will exceed the number of voters who vote because they are supposed to vote and have no clue as to why they are going to vote for Tom, Dick or Harriet.

Municipal elections in Ontario are nothing better than a crapshoot. They are easy to win if you are serious. They are a road hazard if your objective is to unseat someone. In an open race without an incumbent, the mathematics is easy. All you have to do is multiply each of you serious workers by 30 to 40 and that will tell you your vote number.

It is reported that Olivia Chow has even had a book produced in support of her campaign. The danger with that tactic is that the hardcover will probably be remaindered prior to the election. And it is extremely rare that type of book makes it into mass-market paperback. It all depends on how fictional it might be.

The one thing we know is that Olivia Chow is no leader. Ford has many more problems.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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