Toronto newspapers on their choice for mayor

Image by Fabiola Carletti

As a displaced Torontonian in Vancouver, I’ve been watching my city’s election coverage from afar.

Although polls are far from perfect, it’s been interesting to follow the numbers and try to guess at what the final tally will look like. For some time now, it’s been two-choice chatter in the T-dot: Will the next mayor be Rob Ford or George Smitherman? (Joe Pantalone being the only other highly-visible contender to have kept his name in the hat.)

I, for one, am not a betting woman. Suspense gives me the spins, so someone please tell me when it’s safe to look.

Anyway, since voting day is only one sleep away, I thought I’d round up the endorsement editorials of the four mainstream Toronto newspapers to save you a few google searches.

I’ve only included the beginning of the articles, and encourage you to click through for the full editorial.

Another day, another mayor.

George Smitherman. Photo by Shaun Merritt on Flickr.

The Toronto Star: George Smitherman

With eight days left in the municipal election campaign, three main candidates remain standing in the race for the Toronto mayoralty: Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone and George Smitherman. Each has endured the rigours of a gruelling, months-long campaign in a bid to serve Toronto’s 2.6 million people. Each deserves respect for his effort. But only one candidate has the proven political skill, government experience, commitment to change, negotiating ability, compassion, drive, determination and charisma that — taken together — would amount to an effective mayor. George Smitherman is that candidate. (Continue reading…)

The Globe and Mail: George Smitherman

Toronto is a city suffering from structural problems that need to be overcome over the next mayor’s four-year term. The voters now have a choice between two flawed candidates, neither of whom has a convincing account of how he will bring about these changes; a third does not accept the fact that the city is in any trouble.

Rob Ford’s standing in the polls is a loud and clear message from the citizens that all is not well – in particular that they are at the limit of their toleration for new taxes and tax increases. More than any other candidate, he has captured the mood of voters, who are frustrated, even angry. (Continue reading…)

Rob Ford. Photo by Shaun Merritt on Flickr.

The National Post: Rob Ford

Toronto desperately needs change at City Hall. Spending has increased 43% since outgoing mayor David Miller took office — salaries and benefits by 47%. Over that same time, revenue from user fees and permits rose nearly 30% and property tax revenue by nearly a quarter — far outstripping the city’s population growth. The city has anywhere from 15% to 25% more employees than it did in 1998, depending on whose numbers you go by, and very little to show for it. All candidates in this campaign agree the city faces a $503-million budget shortfall for 2011. (Continue reading…)

The Toronto Sun: Rob Ford

The current political regime in charge of City Hall needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into a new era where taxpayers come first. In this election, there is only one candidate running for mayor who is both promising that kind of profound change and who has a credible record indicating he’ll deliver it. That’s Rob Ford. He’s the only person running for mayor who can get this enormous job done. (Continue reading…)

So, who will be able to print the “we-told-you-so” headlines? In such a tight race, it’s hard to say.

Worth noting, though: when discussing the widespread “guesstimating” with a Calgarian friend, she reminded me of a simple point: Pollsters tend to call residential house phones and, as she asked matter-of-factly, “how many people under 30 do you know who have land lines?”

But does this mean the cell-phone-touting teens and twenty-somethings will show up in droves and confound the pollsters as they seem to have done (at least partially) for Nenshi in Calgary? Or will they vote for “x-men”?

(I know one 19-year-old who seriously plans to do just that.)

As much as I hate ending posts this way: only time will tell.