Toronto Danforth By-Election Date March 19, 2012 – All Candidates Debate March 15/12

Bulletin!! Candidate information for the March 15/12 – Toronto Danforth Debate


– what the parties are saying!

– what the candidates are doing!

– what the voters are thinking!

Toronto Danforth Candidates Debate – Thursday March 15, 2012 – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Don Mills United Church – 126 O’Connor

Meet Your Candidates

The date is rapidly approaching. Toronto Danforth is headed for another election to replace Jack Layton. The sentiment is that whoever replaces Jack will have “big shoes to fill”. Well maybe, but remember that the new MP for Toronto Danforth will NOT be a party leader. As a result,  this upcoming by-election is an opportunity for Toronto Danforth to elect an MP who will represent Toronto Danforth. Because of Jack’s responsibilities as NDP leader, Jack focused his energy on being NDP leader. He did not participate in the Toronto Danforth election debates. His non-attendance triggered resentment among (at least some) Toronto Danforth residents. But, it’s time to move on and elect a new MP. Toronto Danforth has an interesting and engaging group of candidates. Let’s also hope for a higher voter turnout. Come meet your candidates in the March 15 Toronto Danforht All Candidates Debate as follows:

Thursday March 15 – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Don Mills United Church – 126 O’Connor

Ten of the eleven candidates have confirmed their attendance – Conservative Andrew Keyes has not yet confirmed

Here is the list of candidates who have registered with Elections Canada. To learn more about our candidates read on Continue reading Toronto Danforth By-Election Date March 19, 2012 – All Candidates Debate March 15/12

Toronto Danforth mystery candidate …

In the 2006 and 2008 elections the Conservative Party garnered roughly 10% of the vote.  Of course they have never tried very hard in Toronto Danforth. I suspect  that  if they ran a strong candidate they would do much better. For 2011 the Conservatives have a “name on the ballot” and nothing more.

Check  out the following article:

“Not long after she was invited to the debate for Toronto-Danforth, Conservative candidate Katarina von Koenig sent her regrets.

“It was almost instant, within 24 hours,” …

Read the complete article  here.

Jack Layton hosts “Town Hall” meeting in Toronto Centre instead of in Toronto Danforth

Mr. Layton was unwilling to attend a Candidates in his own riding of Toronto Danforth. He was however willing to host a “town hall” event in the neighbouring riding of Toronto Centre. This took place on Tuesday April 26/11.  Why not hold this in Toronto Danforth? It’s hard to not see as holding his own riding in contempt!

Continue reading Jack Layton hosts “Town Hall” meeting in Toronto Centre instead of in Toronto Danforth

The Polls Summary – Candidates, Leaders and Parties – It Has Been Interesting

The Toronto Danforth Candidates debate is tomorrow night – April  28, 2011 starting at 8:00 p.m. The doors will be  open by 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your questions. Once again the location is:

Don Mills United  Church – 126 O’Connor

As part of  the process  of organizing this event (and it has not always been easy) we have presented  you with a series of polls. For the most  part  these polls have  been to learn views about what is most  important in the campaign. Is it  the party, the leader or  the candidate? Should your MP live in your riding? The questions and results have been interesting.

Here are the questions and responses:

Should your MP live  in the Toronto Danforth  riding?

This was evenly split between  those  who think residency should be a requirement and those who don’t think the question was  relevant. A small  minority (1 in 9) think that the candidate should not be required to live  in the riding. For the record, three of the five candidates live  in Toronto  Danforth. These are the three who will be participating in the debate.

Should “All” candidates  be invited to a Candidates debate?

Two thirds think  that all candidates  should be  invited and one  third  think that only the candidates of registered parties  should  be invited. Of course we invited all five candidates to participate. The Conservative and NDP candidates declined our invitation. Interestingly, neither the Conservative nor NDP candidate appeared on the Goldhawk debate on April  26. In some ridings, it  has been very difficult for  Independent and “Fringe Party” (whatever that means – did the Conservatives become a “Fringe Party” in 1993?) candidates to participate.

On this note – here is an excerpt from one of the posts on this blog:

All-candidate meetings/debates should be for all registered candidates. Independent candidates are a truer species of democratic candidate and should always be encouraged to participate.”

Should candidates be required  to attend candidates’ debates?

A full 88.89% think that candidates should be  required  to attend. The  remaining minority think it should be  a decision of the candidate. We agree. It’s too bad that Toronto  Danforth residents will not get the chance to see all  the candidates together. Hey, we tried.

Should candidates make themselves available to the media?

80% of you think candidates should make  themselves available  to the media. The remaining think that  the party should  control whether candidates  engage with the media. We have  been unable to locate a single appearance or media interview  that  included  the Conservative candidate in Toronto Danforth.

Should the name of the party (party affiliation) be placed  beside the name of the candidate on the ballot?

Interestingly 2/3  think  that the party affiliation should be  place  beside the candidate. 1/6 think that only  the name of the Candidate should appear.  Interestingly, 1/6 think that only the name of the party leader should  appear. As  you know that party affiliation of the candidate will  appear  on the ballot. You might not  know, that  this is a fairly recent development. Prior to 1972 only the name  of the candidate was  on the ballot. Does that suggest (as many think it does) that the individual candidates have become less  and less relevant?

Did you miss the Toronto Danforth Debate on Goldhawk?

If you did, not to worry.

It will be shown again at 9:00 a.m. – Wednesday April 27 – Rogers Cable 10

Neither the Conservatives nor the NDP bothered to appear on Goldhawk.  The NDP and Conservative candidates continue their status as being:

“names on the ballot” but not “candidates”.

If you missed Goldhawk – check it out on April 27 at 9:00 a.m.

Should candidates make themselves available to the media?

“In Toronto-Danforth, NDP leader Jack Layton’s riding, the Starwas not able to visit Conservative candidate Katarina Von Koenig’s campaign office. A staffer said she does not yet have one.

The staffer declined to let Von Koenig be interviewed in person “on the advice of my national headquarters,” offering instead to submit written questions to the candidate through him.

The Star did not accept. Most other downtown Conservative candidates agreed to be interviewed face to face, some with no advance warning.”

Continue reading Should candidates make themselves available to the media?

Should candidates be required to attend debates?

Debates are a very important part of the democratic process.  That said, it is clear  that debates  are used and manipulated  by parties  and candidates to improve  their  position.  Some candidates simply refuse  to appear. It  is next to impossible to find a  Conservative Party candidate appearing at any debate  in Toronto.  It  is no surprise that the Conservative “Candidate” in  Toronto Danforth has refused  to appear in the April 28 Toronto  Danforth All  Candidates debate. She has nothing to lose  but everything to gain – don’t  know  why she won’t appear.

Once again, the NDP “Candidate”  Jack Layton has refused to appear in any debates  in Toronto Danforth. I  suppose that Mr. Layton feels that he has  nothing to gain and only something to lose. He seems  to have  forgotten that his primary that he has a seat in the House  of Commons only because of the  voters of Toronto  Danforth. (By  the way he was also  offered the opportunity to appear by Skype)  – but  the message from Mr.  Layton’s campaign team is clear:

Jack Layton will  not appear in an all  candidates debate in Toronto Danforth. Once again,  his will be an empty seat.

What are  your thoughts? Express them in the poll above.

Debates, Democracy and Debates About Democracy

Debates As  A Tool For  Election Strategy

The Federal election (or non-election) of 2011 will be remembered for many things. One of the most interesting aspects is the focus on Candidates and Leader debates. What are  they for? Whose interest do they serve? Should all candidates on the ballot be allowed  to participate. Does it matter  whether somebody is a “party candidate?” If so, which party? Should only those  party candidates that have Official  Party status be allowed  to participate?  For that  matter,  should  candidates on the ballot  be required  to participate?

What About Candidates Who Do Not Appear In Debates?

Candidates do not appear for one  of two reasons:

1. They are excluded

2. They refuse to appear

Those  who are excluded from debates, often feel  that  their exclusion hampers their  ability to  run as a candidate.

Those who refuse to attend debates often do so for reasons related  to their campaign. But,  are the debates to serve the interests  of: the parties, the candidates or the voters.

Democracy is not  a spectator  sport.  It requires public participation. This participation requires  that people to vote. But,  it also requires that voters have the opportunity to engage  with their candidates. To put it simply: the debates are  a  part of the democratic process  that belong to the voters. Incredibly, the  parties seem to think that  the debates are part of their  campaign strategy which are to be manipulated  for  their  benefit.

Examples  of manipulation include:

– the failure of candidates to  appear  at debates they have been invited to. It is a rare event to find a Conservative Candidate appearing at a debate in Toronto. For example, on April 15 Toronto Centre Conservative Candidate Kevin Moore failed to appear at an All Candidates Debate. On the other  hand, Independent Candidate Bahman Yazdanfar had  to work hard  in order  to be included. Continue reading Debates, Democracy and Debates About Democracy

Should your MP live in our Toronto Danforth Riding?

It’s interesting that there is no requirement that a candidate for Toronto Danforth actually live in the riding. This was also an issue in the recent municipal election.  There are some who attribute Jane Pitfield’s loss in Toronto Ward 29 to the fact that she did not live in Ward 29. The issue of residency in the ward was discussed in all three All Candidates  Debates.

There are five candidates in Toronto Danforth.  Andrew Lang, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, and Marie Crawford live in Toronto Danforth.  There is no evidence that either Jack Laytonor Katarina von Koenig appear  live in Toronto Danforth.  Maybe, they do – but the evidence is hard to find.  It’s interesting that the three candidates who have addresses in Toronto Danforth have confirmed that they are attending the All Candidates Debate on April 28.  Katarina von Koenig has indicated that she will not attend. Jack Layton won’t even respond to the invitation. Jack Layton’s failure to attend riding debates was an issue in the 2008 election. Jack’s seat was empty. In fact, to add insult to injury, Jack dispatched his provincial  NDP counterpart Peter Taubuns to replace him.  In a rare display of  “Grass Roots”, Peter Taubuns participation was rejected by the voters.

We can’t even get Ms. Katarina and Mr. Layton to visit Toronto Danoforth during the election. There is a difference between having your name on the ballot and being a candidate!

Thursday April 28/11 – 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Doors Open at 7:30

Please  note time change! – Doors Open at 7:30 p.m. – Have Your Questions  Ready

The Candidates – All Invited To Participate:

Marie Crawford – Resides in Toronto Danforth – Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada*

Andrew Lang – Resides in Toronto Danforth – Liberal Party of Canada*

Jack Layton – Does NOT reside in Toronto Danforth – New Democratic Party of Canada****

Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu – Resides in Toronto Danforth – Green Party of Canada*

Katarina von Koenig – Does NOT reside in Toronto Danforth – Conservative Party of Canada***

* Invited and attendance confirmed

*** Invited – campaign manger replied indicating that the candidate  will not  be  participating in the debate.

**** Invited – campaign manager replied indicating he could not attend. He was then offered the opportunity  to appear by Skype. He still would not attend. On April 26/11 Jack Layton ran his own “Town Hall” meeting in Toronto Centre. Don’t know why this could not have been run in Toronto Danforth!

When: Thursday April 28, 2011 – 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Doors open at  7:30 p.m. – Bring Your Questions!

Where: Don Mills United Church 0f Canada – 126 O’Connor Dr. – Toronto, Ontario M4K 2K7

Everyone is welcome – encouraged  to attend – ask questions to and listen to the Candidates in Toronto Danforth.