Relax Sarah Thomson boosters, it's just a question! And a fair question if you ask me...
After her sad sad performance last night in the first televised Toronto Mayoral Debate of 2010 (Toronto 2010 Mayoral TV Debate #1 - Here's the Video Link...), are you really surprised that this subject has come up?
The thing is, we have 26 Candidates for the next Mayor of Toronto (2010 Mayor of Toronto Election - Official Candidates List. Here's the link.), and given that including more than 6 candidates in these debates would be utter chaos (if it's not already), we need to carefully select the key candidates that Torontonians need to hear from. -And after last night, that definitely isn't Sarah Thomson.
Now, before you go crazy and exclaim BIAS, just note that I'm not the only one who feels that way. Actually, there are "Municipal Politics Experts" who are saying the exact same thing.
Here's the story from the Globe and Mail:
Toronto’s mayoral debates: Too much of a good thing?
Tuesday night’s CP24 showdown was the first of six on the all-news station alone. Like most of the debates that preceded it, it starred a largely arbitrary roster of six contenders.
The community groups, business improvement areas, schools, local television stations and other organizations hosting Toronto’s debates simply decide which of the 26 candidates registered for mayor they’d like to invite.
This year, a consensus has emerged around six contenders: George Smitherman, Rob Ford, Rocco Rossi, Joe Pantalone, Giorgio Mammoliti and Sarah Thomson.
“Six candidates is pretty unwieldy,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a municipal politics expert at Ryerson University. “There is a point where just because you’ve held public office of some sort, should that be a guarantee of a seat at every debate? I don’t think so.”
Prof. Siemiatycki questioned two candidates’ qualifications for the top tier: Mr. Mammoliti and Ms. Thomson. Both are polling in the single digits. If they are admitted, he asked, why not Rocco Achampong, the 31-year-old Osgoode Hall graduate and former president of the University of Toronto Students’ Administrative Council?
...Then there's Ms. Thomson, a businesswoman who owns the Women’s Post, a slim niche publication that comes out six times a year. “In reality, I think Ms. Thomson is there primarily because she’s a woman and there’s the awkward reality that [if she wasn’t] then there would be five guys,” the professor said.
Hey, the Ryerson University Prof. and Municipal Politics Expert said it, I didn't.
But, given what he said about for example, Rocco Achampong, doesn't Mr. Achampong deserve just as much a right to participate in the debates as Ms. Thomson? Don't we deserve to actually hear something of significance from a candidate, other than the same slim plan that Sarah Thomson spouts out every time she's questioned?
And again, when she failed to take the silver platter opportunity to lash Smitherman in the CP24 debate, and almost looked weak and in awe of Smitherman, eventually deciding simply to get his approval of her subway plan - something I don't think any other Candidate in the history of democracy has ever done during an election campaign with a serious competitor - she just showed that she has absolutely no place in a serious political arena.
Anyway, everyone has their opinion, and that's mine.
So, let me ask you, who do you think is debate-worthy in this year's mayoral race? And who do you think isn't? If you could remove any of the current key 6 candidates, who would you remove? Who would you replace them with?
I'm sure Toronto would love to hear it. In fact, I think Toronto needs to hear it.
PS: Yes, yes, read it, not hear it... You know what I mean...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobolink/4615817369/sizes/l/ by Bobolink on flickr