Monday, September 18, 2006

Nomination Local Pol of the Year #2

Politics has always had its share of rule benders and dirty tricksters particularly at election time.

In the past the worst of such adolescent behaviour has been wrought on opponents’ election signs.

As the internet becomes more and more a campaign tool, some new tricks are being devised.

E-Tomfoolery in Vaughan

Peter Meffe, incumbent Ward One Councillor in Vaughan, has a challenger in Mary Ruffolo.

Councillor Meffe was first elected to City Council in 1988 and is now serving his fourth term.

According to her website, Ruffolo, the challenger, has spent the past eight years in municipal government working within the Planning & Development Department in Vaughan.

It is her website that is at issue here because, if you had gone to it earlier this month, you would have been redirected to Meffe's site. Ruffolo was miffed.

Figure This One Out

Rocco Panacci, a resident of Richmond Hill set up a website for both Meffe (with his permission) and for Ruffolo (without her permission.)

Panacci, apparently a paid campaign worker for Meffe, recently told the Toronto Star that he is managing Meffe's website and had agreed to set up the site that used Ruffolo's name.

While Panacci told the Star he had done nothing illegal and denied anyone had asked him to set up Ruffolo's - I mean Meffe's website - the site was quickly taken down after the story.

Looks like an interesting election in Vaughan. We'll keep our eye on Meffe as an early front runner for Local Politician of The Year.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Canadian Sport Celebrities in Charge

Last year many were caught by surprise when a rumour circulated that
Michael Clemons was considering a run at the Toronto mayor's seat.

Not us.

Michael (41), aka Pinball, a graduate of Georgia’s William and Mary University, CFL star for twelve years, is head coach of the Toronto Argonauts these days.

Is he mayoral material? We could do worse. In fact, we may be seeing a trend. Picture our athletes running our politics.

Imagine This

Waiting too long in Emerg? Dispatch George Chuvalo to expedite things.

Violent Crime is rampant. Let’s get former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi to sort this out.

Photo radar works, but public support, especially the fast driving male public, is thin. How about asking Champ Car racer Paul Tracy, the “Thrill from West Hill,” to lead an awareness raising campaign on the dangers of aggressive driving?

Premier McGuinty can start delivering on his promises by naming Eddie Shack as the Minister of Education so as to seriously address our high drop out rate.

And the feds should call back Old #99 from Phoenix to resolve the softwood lumber dispute with the Yanks. Go Wayne go.

Patronage appointments can be controversial. But who’d argue with Don Cherry as Ambassador to Sweden; former NHL Players’ Association leader Alan Eagleson as Ethics Commissioner; or ex-Jays pitching ace Roger Clemens as our next Lieutenant Governor.

Our politicians have failed to deliver a January holiday. Let’s celebrate Canadian teamwork, dedication and selfishness by honouring Raptor great Vince Carter on his birthday (January 26).

Yes, our politics would look a lot different with Canadian sport celebrities in charge.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Burlington Election #2

In an earlier posting I took a shot at predicting what this year's election issues might be in my town - Burlington. I'm going to give this some additional thought.


Back Down to Earth

While I, an interim councillor, am not running this year and thus not obligated to knock on doors, I'm remain keenly interested in what others are hearing on the hustings.

So when a veteran Council colleague reported to me that he had started canvassing this week I was all ears.

Of 150 homes visited by the Councillor only three (3) residents were aware that a municipal election was taking place this fall.

On reflection I conclude that:

1. It is early days and interest will pick up.

2. The concept that municipal government, of all levels of government, is the most popular and closest to the people may need some rethinking.

3. The Councillor had stumbled on to a problem identified earlier this summer - too many deceased individuals on the voter's list.

But seriously, for those who live and breathe municipal politics it is always worth remembering this: A majority of our constituents have lives far removed from our Silly Halls.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Nominations Call - Local Politician of the Year

Local Pols deserve recognition, right?

Take Paul Ainslie, Councillor for Ward 41 in Toronto.

Ainslie, appointed to this post in February, has registered to run in Ward 43 in this November's election.

This has surprised some observers who mistakenly thought that, prior to the appointment, Ainslie had promised not to run this fall.

No, says Ainslie, I just committed to not running in Ward 41.

"There are two things that are important in politics: your reputation and your friends," Ainslie apparently said earlier this year. "If you go back on either, you are cooked."


In March 2006 your reporter made a similar promise. Don't worry, there is no Ward 43 in Burlington.

We'll have more nominations later. Any ideas?