The Morning After – the Joys of Municipal Politics


Apologies to our friends south of the border who no doubt had to endure hours of television coverage about the municipal elections up here in Ontario last night…. Oh wait, come to think of it – most of our own local television stations couldn’t even be bothered to cover them in any sort of detail so I doubt you guys got any of it.

To it’s credit CityTV dedicated an hour of programming to it but they clearly didn’t realize none of the other networks were covering it as they rushed to declare David Miller the winner in the first sentence of the broadcast – it had all the impact of someone celebrating calling “Shotgun!” before anyone else when they’re the only passenger.

I mean we’re talking before they even ran the opening credits bumper on their coverage. Talk about anti-climatic – they could have easily teased us along for the first few minutes. Not that the Toronto race was to finish in any more an exciting fashion then it had plodded along for the past few weeks. It really was a battle of the least objectionable. I would hazard a guess that had an option on the ballot been “Let’s try running without a mayor for this term” it may well have run away with the race.

Out in my neck of the woods, Burlington, things were even less “covered”. In CityTV’s case the world ends at Oakville and CH Tv in Hamilton (now run by the CanWest Global folks) had decided that “Deal or No Deal” was a better programming option (The seem to now only be interested in being a “Community Station” when it comes to keeping the CRTC happy).

Thankfully Cogeco Cable‘s public TV station had found a couple of old guys in the nursing home, cleaned them up, put them in some suits and pointed a camera at them. After some 30 minute long interview with some very uninteresting women (our outgoing Region chair or something) they thought that it was maybe a good time to show us some results – which consisted of these guys reading the person’s name, the number of votes they have and something along the lines of “Oh, he’s a nice guy”, “Lovely woman, met her once” etc.

As a last resort I tried the Burlington website – unfortunately due to the atrocious television coverage appeared to be getting hammered. After about ten minutes I got a brief glimpse of some results and then I never could get it to spit anything out for the rest of the night.

By 9pm “Heroes” was on and I had lost all interest in scavenging for results. Between the two old guys and half a screen of results I got the impression that three of my candidates had lost, and it looked like Cam Jackson was heading towards a victory as mayor (the one bright point of the evening).

And they wonder why no one cares about municipal politics…

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