polls

The Informer

Toronto Election 2014

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New poll puts Chow, Tory and Ford in a virtual tie

(Image: Chow: Olivia Chow/Facebook; Tory: Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Ford: Christopher Drost)

(Image: Chow: Olivia Chow/Facebook; Tory: Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Ford: Christopher Drost)

With about three months to go until election day, a new poll by Forum Research suggests that the mayoral race no longer has a clear frontrunner. Because of some apparent erosion in voter support for Olivia Chow, she, John Tory and Rob Ford all pulled roughly equal numbers in the July 21 phone survey, which canvassed 1063 Toronto residents.

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The Informer

Toronto Election 2014

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Poll puts Rob Ford, John Tory and Olivia Chow in a virtual dead heat

(Image: Ontario Chamber of Commerce)

John Tory. (Image: Ontario Chamber of Commerce)

With the 2014 mayoral campaign officially underway, the time has come for a pre-election ritual: a cavalcade of opinion polls measuring relative levels of support for each candidate.

This early in the game, it’s wise to be wary of polls. The candidates haven’t had time to introduce themselves to the public, so much of what’s being measured is name recognition. (Back in 2003, David Miller did terribly in the polls until just before he was elected mayor.) All we can hope for at this point in time is a reasonably accurate snapshot of voter sentiment right now.

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The Informer

Politics

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Sarah Palin would beat Rob Ford in a race for the U.S. presidency, says weird poll

(Image: Ford: Christopher Drost; Palin: David Shankbone)

(Image: Ford: Christopher Drost; Palin: David Shankbone)

Wondering whether Rob Ford could win the American presidency against an equally divisive candidate is sort of like wondering whether The Flash could beat Superman in a footrace: it’s a contest that can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t ever occur. And yet, for some reason, a U.S. polling company spent some of its valuable time asking 845 American voters whether they’d support mayor Ford if he were to run against Sarah Palin.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Toronto (still) sandwiched between Vancouver and Calgary in list of most livable cities

It’s been just over a month since the release of last big livability ranking of the world’s cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and already they’ve issued another edition (although that last one experimented with seven new indicators of livability, which produced decidedly sketchy results). This time around, looking at 140 cities across 30 metrics (which fall under the categories of stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure) produced…the exact same results for the top 65 as six months ago. This means Melbourne, Australia, still tops the list with a score of 97.5 out of a possible 100, while Toronto places fourth with 97.2—making the city just slightly less livable than Vancouver, which placed third at 97.3 (Calgary ranked fifth with 96.6). Suggestions for ways to nudge Toronto up and over its West Coast rival are welcome. [The Economist]

The Informer

Random Stuff

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Toronto is the world’s eighth most livable city (if you don’t count Vancouver)

As the news cycle slows for the summer, reporters are leaning heavily on a pair of old standbys: polls and lists (a close cousin to polls). On that note, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently ranked the world’s top cities in a livability survey, and Toronto came in a middling eighth, losing points for sprawl and limited “cultural assets.” Despite their city falling several places from its spot in previous livability rankings, Torontonians may not want to start with the usual self-deprecation—even the surveyors admitted the whole exercise was weird. Previously, the survey used 30 weighted indicators in five broad areas, including categories like infrastructure and culture. This year, the unit decided to shake things up by considering spatial qualities like isolation, pollution and sprawl instead, but they say the new features “may not have been applied in quite the right way” (for instance, pollution-plagued Hong Kong came in first). Plus, Vancouver wasn’t even considered, which is odd considering it usually scores well. If this list doesn’t help Toronto compare itself to its West Coast rival, then, really, what good is it? [The Economist]

The Informer

Politics

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There’s a stripper poll on the City of Toronto website

(Image: screen shot from the City of Toronto website)

City staff have posted an online “Adult Entertainment Parlour Regulation Survey” (yes, actually) that asks the public to weigh in on whether strip club clientele should be allowed to touch exotic dancers. (While you’ve probably heard the no-touching-the-dancers spiel before—from watching a lot of TV, of course!—it may not have been apparent that this is actually a city-mandated rule and not just something imposed by club bouncers.) The Adult Entertainment Association of Canada is fighting to change the current by-law, which forbids any physical contact between dancers and their clients, calling the rules “onerous and archaic” and just plain unenforceable. Though several councillors have already survived a committee-meeting pole dance in the name of progress, the poll’s formal language (“burlesque entertainers” and “no-touch provisions,” for instance) makes us think there will be a lot of uncomfortable seat-shifting when the matter is brought up at council. Good luck to the soul whose job it will be to translate the sure-to-be-colourful survey responses into city-hall speak. [Toronto Sun]


The Informer

Politics

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Etobicoke has fallen out of love with Rob Ford since his reporter-chasing hijinks

(Image: The City of Toronto)

Funnily enough (or sadly enough, from the perspective of civic engagement), the ridiculous Daniel Dale incident seems to have affected Rob Ford’s approval rating more than any of his decisive political defeats from earlier this spring. Poll results released today show that 40 per cent of Toronto residents approve of the job Ford is doing, down seven percentage points since last month and 20 percentage points since his early days as mayor. And in his home turf of Etobicoke, Ford’s approval rating plummeted 15 percentage points to 33 per cent. Lorne Bozinoff, the president of Forum Research, who conducted the survey, suggested Torontonians are not impressed with Ford’s attempt to buy the parkland abutting his house and the brouhaha that followed. Bozinoff also said west-enders might be feeling snubbed since Ford has ignored his former ward, focusing his attention across town to bring subways subways subways to Scarborough. Still, we thought Etobicoke residents wouldn’t turn away from Ford until hell froze over, pigs flew and the sky started to fall—oh, right. [National Post]

The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to Eat Now 2012: Vote on the 10 trends in dining that we love and hate

Where to Eat Now 2012: Vote on the 10 trends we love/hate

We picked out ten trends that helped define dining in Toronto in 2012, and pronounced whether we loved them, hated them or had a love-hate relationship with them. Now you can have your say.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to Eat Now 2012: 10 trends in dining that we love and hate (or have a love-hate relationship with)

Where to Eat Now 2012: 10 Trends We Love/Hate

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The Informer

Culture

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PANCAKE POLL: Who looks more appetizing—Justin Bieber or Ryan Gosling?

Ryan Gosling and Justin Bieber each have a legion of adoring fans proclaiming how hot they are to the world (even though Gosling was robbed for People’s Sexiest Man Alive). But now a rogue element has upset the balance: pancakes. While we’d gladly take a bite out of the Almighty Goz, we think Bieber might have the edge in pure numbers. We put it to you: who looks tastier?

Who would you rather eat for a Sunday breakfast?

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(Images: Katherine Kalnes)

The Informer

Politics

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Apparently, 13,000 Torontonians are the victims of union bullying

After this week’s news regarding the mayor’s plummeting support, Rob Ford told reporters the only poll that matters is the one on election day. Unfortunately for the incumbent mayor, if that day were tomorrow, it looks like only 27 per cent of voters would cast a ballot for Ford and 77 per cent want their local councillors to vote against Ford’s proposed cuts, according to a recent poll of 13,000 Toronto residents by Forum Research. Sobering news, no doubt, and we wonder how Ford will play this one (of course, given that the Forum poll in question was paid for by CUPE Local 79—we’re guessing he’ll reach for the union trickery card). And, really, the question posed about city service cuts is indeed leading. The question about an election, however, is pretty straightforward. Lucky for Ford, he doesn’t have to worry about that for a few more years. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

The Informer

Politics

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Apparently, Rob Ford’s proposed budget cuts are about as popular as a civic workers’ strike

A poll released today reveals that Rob Ford’s approval ratings are dropping—fast—which, really, shouldn’t be much of a surprise given that it was conducted immediately after Monday’s announcement of the proposed cuts at city hall. A survey of over 1,000 Torontonians has Ford’s approval rating at 42 per cent, and with the cuts still in the proposal stage, Ford’s support could continue to plummet. But most surprising—and interesting—is Ford’s dwindling popularity in the suburbs, an area that has been a bastion of support for the mayor and one that he seems to lavish with attention. As a point of comparison, David Miller had an 82 per cent approval rating in May 2004 and a 69 per cent rating two years into his first term. Ford’s approval rating, at 57 per cent in June, is on par with Miller’s during the 2009 municipal workers’ strike. So there you have it: the proposed budget cuts are about as popular as parks and skating rinks packed with trash bags. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

The Informer

Politics

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Toronto is shaping up to be a battleground for the provincial election (but where’s Ford Nation?)

A raft of new polls on the provincial election race is showing the same thing over and over: where once it looked like Tim Hudak could win the election in a cakewalk, it now appears there is a genuine race to form government in Ontario (in one poll, by polling firm Forum Research, only five points separated Hudak from Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty, with NDP leader Andrea Horwath running a strong third). But there is one player who’s noticeable because of the surprisingly weak effect he’s having on the race—Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford.

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford says he won’t be marching in this year’s Pride Parade—somehow, we’re not shocked

Neither the mayor nor his finger puppet will be at Pride (Image: Shaun Merritt)

We’re curious to see how this one plays out in the polls: today, the mayor’s office announced that Rob Ford won’t be marching in this year’s Pride Parade. For more than a decade, the city’s mayors have appeared in the annual event—Barbara Hall, Mel Lastman and David Miller all marched—but apparently Ford has other plans that weekend (turns out he leaves town on the gayest day of the year, every year). Of course, given Ford’s previous relationship with Pride, none of this should really come as a surprise.

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The Informer

Politics

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Election day: Could Michael Ignatieff play kingmaker?

Could Ignatieff be a kingmaker? (Image: William Pitcher)

Covering election day—as opposed to the far more thrilling election night—presents a bit of a problem for reporters, the biggest being that the story doesn’t really start until the polls close in Ontario (sorry, Rest of Canada). The result is a day filled with ho-hum photo-ops of party leaders voting, and, of course, rampant speculation. For the record, Jack Layton and Olivia Chow voted in their riding of Trinity-Spadina, Ignatieff voted in his Etobicoke riding, and it’s still early in Calgary. With that out of the way, we can skip straight to the fun stuff: namely, wondering what Michael Ignatieff will do once the ballots are cast and his party is left on the outside looking in.

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