September 28, 2010

Sarah Thomson drops out of mayoral race

CANADA - Sarah Thomson, the only female in the big five contenders to become Toronto's next mayor, has dropped out of the mayoral race. She was unable to break to break 7% in poll popularity and instead has decided to throw her support behind rival George Smitherman for fear that Rob Ford might actually become mayor of Toronto.

She announced her decision 5 hours ago (10 AM) today at her Church Street campaign headquarters. “While acknowledging this great opportunity for change and growth, I also realize that our city faces a great peril,” says Thomson, obviously referring to local "village idiot" Rob Ford who stands a good chance of winning. “We risk handing over the office of greatest local influence on the basis of anger and reaction – not that of responsible thought and mature policy..."

Thomson is the publisher of Women's Post, a general purpose magazine catering to Toronto women (sounds similar to the Lilith eZine, doesn't it?) Thomson entered the mayoral race and kickstarted the debate with her idea of subway expansion, economic development and controversial road tolls during rush hour on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway.

Since then the other mayoral candidates basically all stole her ideas and tried to improve upon them, setting the tone for this mayoral election campaign.

“I have watched George Smitherman in action, listened to his experience, and I am inspired by his ideas and his passion for change,” says Thomson. She described Smitherman, the former Ontario deputy premier as “a deeply experienced administrator and a consummate Toronto booster... [who will be a] mayor who builds on our strengths and not one who leverages our differences.” and will be “a viable and responsible alternative to the message of anger.”

In other words she is so afraid of Rob Ford winning that she is throwing her support behind Smitherman because he is the only one who stands a chance of beating Rob Ford.

According to a campaign staffer there was serious discussion of her dropping out of the mayoral race when Ford took a huge lead in the polls while Thomson still couldn't break past 7% in the polls.

There was a leak last week that Thomson might drop out and support rival Rocco Rossi, but he is also expected to drop out and is likely expected to endorse Smitherman or Pantalone as well in an effort to provide Torontonians an alternative to Rob Ford.

Thomson noted that Smitherman, like herself, has promised not to sell Toronto Hydro, something which Rob Ford might be tempted to do.

In fact all four of the other major candidates are unanimous in their plea: DON'T VOTE FOR ROB FORD.

New Ispos Reid poll results released yesterday show the following:

Rob Ford 28%
George Smitherman 23%
Joe Pantalone 10%
Rocco Rossi 7%
Sarah Thomson 7%
Undecided/Other 25%

Which was a big shift from last week's poll which showed only decided voters and ignored undecided voters & other candidates:

Rob Ford — 45.8%;
George Smitherman — 21.3%;
Joe Pantalone —16.8%;
Rocco Rossi — 9.7%;
Sarah Thomson — 6.4%.

So there is a chance George Smitherman could now beat Rob Ford if enough candidates drop out... HOWEVER it should be noted its too late for them to be removed from the ballot, which means anyone voting for a dropped candidate will essentially be wasting a vote.

If you want to register to vote in the Toronto mayoral election there is still time. Visit Toronto City Hall between 9 AM and 4 PM, Monday to Friday and go to the Elections Canada office on the first floor.

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