Montreal is neither the largest nor the wealthiest city in Canada. It is not the capital of the province or of the country. But it is the city that is emblematic of what Canada aspires to be as a nation: bilingual, multicultural, and influential beyond its borders.
Ours is a very liveable city. Former Montrealers hold a special place for it in their hearts. People who move here quickly adapt, and adopt the city as their own in no time.
The mayor is elected directly by the people, and to that extent, has greater democratic legitimacy than a prime minister or premier in our Westminster system of government. Both mayoralty candidates have enjoyed the privilege. Neither has earned it.
Mayor Plante has demonstrated autocratic tendencies, implementing projects that are too left of centre, and alienating businesspeople in the process. Mayor Coderre has an authoritarian streak and a populist bent, placing him on the centre-right of the spectrum. He is too cozy with the business class.
More important than who is the next mayor is how strong the opposition is at city council. Neither candidate deserves a strong mandate.