Is Smitherman blackmailing voters?

I was looking forward to watching the debate at the 519 tonight. Toronto candidates for Mayor were to be there and address issues as the queer community thought important.

Rob Ford declined. Of course he would as he has little hope of gaining gay votes and he may actually say something which would rattle some of his less conservative supporters. Too risky, so good call Rob, we don't like you much either.

The debate was scheduled for 90 minutes. It lasted 30 minutes as George Smitherman had to go to pick up his endorsement from Montreal Liberal MP, Justin Trudeau.

Obviously the debate couldn't go on with just Joe Pantalone. Too bad the queer communities debate was cut off before a full airing of the communities issues could happen. Is George taking our vote for granted? Its looking like its going to be close election, not the time to piss off potential or leaning voters.

We it seems are being blackmailed by the George Smitherman team. They are guessing that we have only one person to vote for because as he lays it out, if you don't vote for him Rob Ford wins.

That's a compelling line. Very few in the queer community want to see Rob Ford win. Still as one queer voice, said on twitter tonight "I appreciate @'s outness, but when he open his mouth, he turns me off. Why can't @ be doing better in the polls?"

Tonight was one of the last opportunities for Smitherman to demonstrate leadership. He was in a friendly room at the 519. That same room was friendly to Pantalone who they know has demonstrated support for our communities in over 20+ years on council.

My plan for Smitherman would have been to avoid attacks on Joe, (after all you want his supporters to vote for you), accept your disagreements, remind the group why you deserve their support and end the evening welcoming people to come join your team.

Instead Smitherman comes off as a guy desperately seeking power, you're either with us or against us. The last guy to say that made a horrible mess of the world. Smitherman was last seen dashing out the door to a waiting car so he could be sure to not keep Prince Justin waiting.

You can watch the debate on video at Xtra here. I just checked it and unfortunately they cut off Joe's opening remarks. Now I am sure it was a mistake but could it be this that saw the video shortened, I'm just sayin.... Maybe Xtra can clear this up.


Skinny Dipper said...

I wish I could understand your frustration of being short-shifted by Smitherman. However, I'm guessing that the Smitherman campaign team knows that the target audience at any event is not the actual audience in a venue, but those who consume media coverage such as The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, The Toronto Sun, and National Post. The audience members at a debate or other events are merely props. Justin Trudeau's endorsement is worth more to Smitherman than a debate at 519 Church Street. Smitherman may lose a few voters because he left 519 early; however, he will gain more with Trudeau's support because of media exposure.

Rick Barnes said...

Smitherman basically told the gay community you don't matter to me anymore. It was disrespectful to cut and run. He could have easily finished the debate, then gone over to pick up Trudeau's endorsement. It amounted to giving the gay community about 60 minutes more of his time.

He got in the game because gays voted to elect him the first time out. He went on from there and now he dosen't need us i guess.