London’s Next Chapter

Tomorrow is election day in London and it feels like it’s been a very different campaign season.

Ranked ballots did some of what we anticipated, it seemed to take some of the animosity out of the debates but there are still a lot of old-school campaign teams that simply couldn’t adapt to the new opportunities that were afforded them – dinosaurs will be dinosaurs I guess. Nobody thought that everything would improve in one election with one change but I think it’s been a net positive so far and the eyes of the country are upon us to see how the election results play out.

It has been a one-issue election and unfortunately it’s been the wrong issue. Debating a decided matter and threatening to kill thousands of years of employment is one of the worst campaign ploys that I can recall. Reopening this issue will distract council and city staff for hundreds and hundreds of hours while other serious issues go unaddressed. London really needs to start looking to the future and that’s not where a lot of these candidates want to take us. Never before has our leadership deficit been quite as apparent to me, I hope the next generation does better because we have clearly failed.

Unfortunately I had way less money to donate this election but did my best to put more legwork into campaigns for candidates who I support. On the whole I would say that it’s been a much more fulfilling experience and I highly recommend that everybody embrace the opportunity to pitch in during the next election.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for London’s 2018 municipal election:

Trustee – Thames Valley District School Board, Wards 1, 11, 12, 14

Trustee – Thames Valley District School Board, Wards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Trustee – Thames Valley District School Board, Wards 7, 8, 9, 10, 13

Councillor – Ward 1

  1. Melanie O’Brien

Councillor – Ward 2

  1. Bill Armstrong*

Councillor – Ward 3

  1. Mohamed Salih

Councillor – Ward 4

  1. Jesse Helmer

Councillor – Ward 5

  1. Maureen Cassidy
  2. Shane Clarke

Councillor – Ward 6

  1. Mike Bloxam

Councillor – Ward 7

  1. Josh Morgan

Councillor – Ward 8

  1. Morena Hernandez
  2. Matt Reid

Councillor – Ward 9

  1. Anna Hopkins

Councillor – Ward 10

  1. Virginia Ridley
  2. Kevin May

Councillor – Ward 11

  1. Stephen Turner
  2. Paul-Michael Anderson
  3. Vicki Van Linden

Councillor – Ward 12

  1. Elizabeth Peloza

Councillor – Ward 13

  1. Arielle Kayabaga
  2. Jonathan Hughes
  3. Kevin Wilbee

Councillor – Ward 14

  1. Jared Zaifman


  1. Tanya Park
  2. Sean O’Connell**
  3. Ed Holder***

Please, please get out to vote tomorrow. All eyes are on our city and your vote can make a huge difference.

A note: We’ve seen blatant political-party-inspired-alliances on the conservative side of the ticket for the first time since I’ve been paying attention to municipal elections. It’s seems pretty clear that Downshift was laying groundwork for a slate of wedge issue candidates and later we saw another tagalong “strategy” group organizing a large number of council and school trustee candidates. On top of those campaigns this so-called strategy company are working behind the scenes on an astroturf anti-BRT “group” and one mayoral candidate (which makes my mayoral choice tomorrow very agonizing). Sure, all of this stuff is lazy, shady and regressive campaigning but it was well funded by rich business people and the development community and anyone can spread a narrative of fear, uncertainty and doubt with enough money and half a brain. On the downside for them, you only get to pull sleazy stuff like this once, the next election is going to be a completely different ballgame.

* Not my first choice but the best candidate dropped out of the race.

** Sean is a brilliant guy and I wish he had the money and a larger team behind him to have run a really top notch campaign. I give him a lot of respect for playing the game his way and not caving into pressure from guys like me to do it differently. I think he would probably be right up there with Helmer and Turner if he had a term to shine on council.

*** In placing a vote for Ed Holder I’m deciding on which of the front-runners will do the least damage to the city. This isn’t what I would call a ringing endorsement, more of a strategic vote.