Ontario's liberal Deputy Premier George Smitherman jumped into the Toronto mayoralty race today, portraying himself as the man who can become the "strong mayor" that Toronto needs, a hero in other words.
The last thing that Toronto needs is another extremely left-wing mayor who is determined to fix things that aren't broken.
David Miller has already spent over $100 million dollars supposedly fixing St. Clair by removing two lanes of traffic. And that's just the start. Look out Scarborough and Don Mills, David Miller has already had the plans drawn up to fix your neighborhoods too. He's already "fixed" Lansdowne, Runnymeade, Bloor, Dupont, Rogers Road and Jarvis, just to name a few, all of which have had traffic lanes removed at great expense on the weakest pretenses.
Why am I so sure that Smitherman is just another David Miller, despite Smitherman's claim to be a "candidate of the broad centre?"
Well it could be that until this week he was deputy premier of a liberal government that has spent so heavily that they make Bob's Rae's NDP government back in the early '90s look like a pack of fiscal conservatives.
It could be that Smitherman is the man who oversaw the e-health debacle, getting out of the health portfolio with just enough time left to let his successor, David Caplan, take the fall. Or perhaps it's Smitherman's love of wind mills, solar power and expensive electricity while he has been Energy and Infrastructure minister that has me concerned.
But what really made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end was the Obamaesque quote that Smitherman wanted to bring a "post-ideological" consensus-building approach to city hall.
Yeah right. Sentiments like that from left wing politicians can usually be translated to read: I'm reasonable. As long as the Right Wing does everything I say we'll all get along. If not all the fighting from here on is their fault.
Worse, Smitherman has promised to fix Toronto's massive budget shortfall with a "dose of fiscal reality," when what it really needs is several massive cuts. Tweaks on the budget won't cut it.
Toronto needs a realist, not a hero.