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Duly Quoted: David Soknacki, on Why Torontonians Shouldn’t Vote Strategically

Mayoral candidate reminds people on Reddit AMA that early frontrunners don't always win elections.

“I think Rob Ford is pretty capable of ruining his own chances, don’t you? I think the people of Toronto should support whoever best fits their criteria for an ideal mayor. Don’t vote out of fear, or compromise. Vote for the mayor this city deserves. If only early frontrunners won elections then we wouldn’t have had David Miller or Naheed Nenshi or Bill de Blasio as mayors. I know people are anxious to end this sad and distracting period in our city’s history, but we can do it with the integrity of our own votes intact.”

—Mayoral candidate David Soknacki, responding to a question—”What would you say to people who want to vote for you but are concerned that you don’t have the support to win? If you were in our shoes, wouldn’t you vote for whomever could unseat Rob Ford?—today during a Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”). Soknacki has already answered more questions than Kathleen Wynne did during her Reddit AMA in February. Wynne’s foray into Reddit was widely criticized, as she managed to reply to only ten questions, and did so using what many users disparaged as canned “non-statements.”


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    We thought he’d ruin his chances last time too.

    • dsmithhfx

      Joe P. to the rescue…

    • OgtheDim

      He’s under a tad more scrutiny this time. And he’s not sticking to the simplistic message as much.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      He nearly did several times. But in 2010 Ford was kept on a short leash by Nick Kouvalis. This time he has only Doug the Bombastic Loose Cannon at his side. Ford will eventually sink his own ship.

    • John Duncan

      Nah. The last election was fought on a different set of issues.

      2010 saw the left’s anointed candidate drop out because of personal ethical failings, and the rest of the field going out of its way to run against David Miller. Portrayals of Miller as a corrupt, wasteful, union-owned, downtown elite who cared nothing for the inner suburbs were all that we heard out of the Smitherman, Rossi and Thomson camps from the start, and that set the tone of the election.

      When Ford tossed his hat in the ring with the same pitch, the voters compared the candidates and went for the most “authentic” of them. Smitherman (health tax, eHealth boondoggle, power suit) wasn’t remotely believable vs. Ford on a man-of-the-people cut-your-taxes platform.

      • rich1299

        What always got me about the way Miller was portrayed was that he did more for the inner suburbs than he did for the downtown and old city of Toronto. Transit City, priority neighbourhoods, and to a lesser extent the tower renewal program was all mostly about helping the inner suburbs with transit, social infrastructure, and housing. The extension to the University-Spadina subway was also for the benefit of the inner suburbs, though taking cars off the road is good for the entire city.

        Yet the portrayal of Miller not caring about the inner suburbs stuck for some reason despite reality. Its just another example of facts not mattering in politics, they should but they don’t.

        • Steveinto

          I have yet to meet someone who is critical of David Miller to explain those criticisms with actual reasons and facts. They usually end up resorting to unfounded rhetoric.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            I was informed in a reply to this message that the facts don’t matter: Ford Nation et al perceived Miller was ignoring them, as they had been ignored “for decades”, and that’s all that matters.

        • tomwest

          You can’t win elections campaigns with facts.

  • 4ChanApologist

    I urge everyone to take 10 minutes and actually learn about this guy. He looks like he could be a fantastic, consensus building candidate that would reunite the city instead of continuing the downtown-vs-suburbs class war.

    • McKingford

      By having different parts of the city pay different levels of property tax…that’ll be sure to bring people together!

      • dsmithhfx

        De-amalgamation lite. At least it’s a new idea.

      • tomwest

        If they have different levels of service (and are happy with that as expressed through their elected representatives), then why not?

  • amugsgame

    We wouldn’t even need to have this conversation if we had ranked choice voting in Toronto (“Ranked Ballots”). Luckily, Bill 166, the Toronto Ranked Ballots Elections Act, is currently in committee and is very close to being passed. But it can’t get there without some pressure, so please call your MPP and give them some heat!

    • HotDang

      Ranked ballots don’t theoretically remove the possibility that strategic voting is the best way to achieve your desired results. It would be a huge improvement though.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Strategic voting is still possible with ranked ballots – I want X to win, but they probably won’t so I want Y to be my second choice so Z doesn’t win; or, I don’t want Z to win, so I’m putting Y first even though I’d rather X win. It’s always possible to vote strategically as long as there’s more than two options on the ballot.

  • Bink

    You realize, that this comment is just pre-emptive damage control, in response to all the widespread support and excitement over Olivia Chow’s candidacy announcement, right?

    • OgtheDim

      Umm….he was pretty much giving a straight up response to a question on Reddit.

      His point was straight back at people in the Tory and OC campaign who insist that there is some sort of “The Highlander” thing going on. The idea that there can/should be only one non-Ford candidate is flawed.

      • Bink

        Yes, this was a response to a question on reddit… as part of his mayoral campaign. He’s pitting himself against the other candidates in this statement/response, with the front runner comment. He is not a front runner, while Ford and Chow are. Much of the city’s population are afraid of Ford getting re-elected, and I’m sure Solnacki’s worried people will vote for the strongest candidate that is not Ford, simply to get Ford out. Personally, I think Soknacki is a decent candidate, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that this is pre-emptive damage control. Solnacki’s quoted response decrying strategic voting by the populus is campaign strategy to get votes.

        • OgtheDim

          Damage from what? You are assuming most people are actually watching the election shenanigans. Its too freaking cold still, and spring really hasn’t gotten here yet. And the cute polar bear is getting too big to be cute.

          Where are the freaking snow drops?

          People will start to think about the election in May. Until then, he’s doing what the rest are doing – responding to questions and framing them back.

  • Mark

    People campaign strategically and politicians govern strategically, but we can’t vote strategically? In fact, Soknacki’s position here is a *strategy* to get votes. (All that said, I currently think Soknacki’s the best candidate.)

  • Pete

    David Soknacki will get my vote ~ without any need for RoboCalls like RoboChow or RoboFord (please!)