End-game: in last hours of election, things get even uglier
Like February 29th for the perpetually cynical, election day is that one moment every four years when municipal politics junkies get their fix. With any luck, today’s excitement will tide us over until 2014, assuming the world doesn’t end before then. It’s hard to recall a time before this election season—we believe Rocco Rossi announced sometime in 1973—so we’re already starting to miss the daily sniping, the desperate wait for new polls and the unending debates. Even this past weekend, the race heated up even further. According to the Toronto Star, some Rob Ford supporters apparently posted signs asking if Muslims should vote for a gay man, and a Tamil-language radio ad explicitly said traditional Tamils shouldn’t vote for George Smitherman because he’s gay (a full translation is available here, from Xtra).
“That ad in no way reflects the views of Tamil Canadians, who embrace inclusion and diversity,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, national youth representative of the National Council of Canadian Tamils. Added York University student Amiththan Sebarajah, also a Tamil, “let’s face it; this ad isn’t just about the values of the Tamil community; it’s about Toronto, and Rob Ford should say he’s not behind it.”
While it is not clear who paid for the ad — station officials could not be reached for comment — Ford issued a statement saying “I do not condone the recent Tamil radio ad. I support diversity and have no issue with others’ lifestyle choices.”
Of course, referring to a gay man as having made a “lifestyle choice” set off a whole new tweetstorm.
Meanwhile, anti-Ford signs making note of his various encounters with the law were apparently spotted. (Smitherman condemned those posters like he did those ones on University Avenue a few weeks ago.) While none of the campaigns seem to be directly responsible for any of this, we can’t help but wish they’d taken the gloves off earlier. Now we’ll have to wait for Stephen Harper to cook up Canada’s version of the “Chinese Professor” ad.
All right, Toronto, it’s been a long race, but it’s almost over. The polls are open until 8 p.m. Go vote.
• Nasty campaign signs pop up throughout GTA [Toronto Star]
• Toronto mayoral campaign ends on a hateful note [Globe and Mail]
• Toronto voters to head to polls as race turns ugly [CTV News]