Graphology, anyone? City’s media struggle to find something new to say about mayoral race

Graphology, anyone? City’s media struggle to find something new to say about mayoral race

(Image: Rupert Scammell) 

If it’s hard to believe that there’s still more than a month left in this municipal election, it’s because the press covering it seems to be running out of steam. And who can blame them? Endless debates that rarely depart from talking points, a front-runner who’s held the lead for a while now, not to mention candidates coming up with wacky ideas that the media has to treat semi-seriously. (You’ll build a huge subway tunnel? I’ll see that and raise you a highway tunnel!) So maybe it was inevitable that the city would see this: the Toronto Star has asked a “certified graphologist”—someone who analyzes signatures for a living—what she thinks of the candidates’ scrawls.

If Elaine Charal was voting based on handwriting, she’d go with Rob Ford’s unapologetic signature or Joe Pantalone’s dynamic John Hancock.

Charal, a certified graphologist, has been interpreting handwriting for 15 years.

While the mayoral candidates wax poetic about transit and gravy trains, the signatures on their election papers tell us about their self-image, she says.

Of course, this kind of thing gets trotted out every election—here’s a video from Radar Magazine about the 2008 presidential election, which, in retrospect, should be taken extremely seriously, especially the part about then–Senator Obama’s “phallic B.” After we’ve exhausted this totally scientific and not at all quacky field, we can move on to phrenology. (Smitherman and Rossi both kindly make their skulls easy to examine.)

Hey, it’s been a long year, and this election is interminable. The Star piece is a good bit of fun, and also a huge relief: nobody signed their papers with an X.

• Handwriting expert analyzes Toronto mayoral candidates [Toronto Star]