Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

August 30, 2010 14:53 ET

Rossi Would Bring Voter Recall to Toronto

Mayoral Candidate's Proposed 3 R's of Voter Reform (Respect, Results and Recall) Would End Four Year Blank Cheques to Politicians and Let Torontonians "Take Back City Hall"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2010) - Citing the need to restore trust between angry voters and City Hall, Toronto mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi threw a curve into the mayor's race today by announcing he would allow Toronto voters to recall their mayor and members of city council if they fail to live up to their promises.

"The contract that exists between voters and politicians cannot depend on trust alone," said Rossi. "It must come with rights as well, including the right of recall."

Rossi said that within six months of his election, Toronto City Council would forward a motion to Queen's Park requesting the implementation of voter recall legislation in the city.

"How we do it -- what it looks like -- and how it works -- will all be developed by the citizens of Toronto in town halls and panels across the city," said Rossi. "So let's start talking about it -- now and for the rest of the campaign. Voter recall is a tool to channel our disappointment into action -- because action is what is needed at City Hall."

Recall legislation, which has been introduced in 40 jurisdictions in North America including British Columbia and California, allows voters to remove elected politicians from office if they are not performing as promised. Rossi guaranteed that the threshold for recall would be a classic Toronto middle of the road compromise -- "not too low to paralyze government, but not too high to protect politicians." He said this radical change in Toronto democracy would increase voter turnout and address the frustration and anger that Torontonians have with City Hall.

"It's easier to return a broken blender in this town than it is to recall a rogue politician. And that's not right," Rossi told reporters. "Under the current system, voters cast their ballot and hope for the best. It's a four-year blank cheque. And all too often voters are disappointed. […] Public service becomes a career and not a calling."

Rossi announced that when he is mayor, citizens will enjoy the "Three Rs": Respect, Results and Recall. "Every Toronto voter has the right to be treated respectfully by their mayor and councillor. Every Toronto voter has the right to results. They have the right to measure performance against promise, and results against expectations."

Rossi, who is not a career politician, has spent his career running successful business and non-profit organizations. He said he anticipates complaints and criticism from the long-time politicians at City Hall, some of whom are his rivals for the mayor's job. But Rossi says Toronto voters deserve better than they have been getting.

"Many Toronto politicians have grown used to having a four-year blank cheque to do whatever they please," said Rossi. "The party's over. The slogan of my campaign is Take Back City Hall. And Taking Back City Hall starts with the right to Take Back Your Vote."

To view Rocco Rossi's speech from this morning, please click the following link:


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