Rob Ford, sadly, has set aside pressing municipal issues, and has already begun his campaign for the 2014 Toronto mayoralty election.

I can’t imagine another 4 years of, beyond left-right divisions, incredibly thoughtless, incompetent leadership.

But, unfortunately, I feel another Rob Ford victory is indeed possible.

If you looked at a map of last election’s votes, you would find that suburban voters voted for Ford, while downtown voters cast the other candidates.

It’s unfortunate that voting in Toronto is so geographically polarized. We all live in the same city after all, and are inevitably subscribers to the same services.

It’s also important to note that Toronto’s working class and immigrant population largely live in the suburbs now, pushed out of the core due to high rents. For a lot of people, where they live isn’t a choice, and just because they happen to live in suburbia, doesn’t mean they are evil, or anti-progressive. They do, however, have the same needs — especially those who rely on transit to negotiate the city.

As Rob Ford is already looking ahead to 2014, I think we as voters, should proactively look ahead too.

Thoughtful, competent, transit-oriented and positive city building and leadership is needed by all Torontonians, not just downtowners. This doesn’t have to come in the form of a radical Left Wing progressive leader — it’s just that kind of leader (though hardly radical) — David Miller — that provoked a “voter revolution” leading to the election of Rob Ford.

We need a solid leader, as my father has suggested, a centrist, who is able to appeal to all political sides.

But before a solid leader, we need to have a solid conversation — between the suburbanites and downtowners — a dialogue that will explore our shared vision of Toronto, and how we can reach that.

It starts now — this is the beginning of the 2014 Suburbs-Downtown Coalition for Good Leadership.

May we vote well, be happy, and keep Toronto a healthy, happy and well lead city!

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