September 24th, 2010
ARTSVOTE: What Happened?
An Open Letter To The Voters of Toronto
Dear Friends, Supporters, Fans and Lovers of Art in Toronto,
The recent ArtsVote online poll was a complete fiasco as many of you have heard. Yes, I did indeed ‘win’ the initial online poll with 1,934 votes – thank you all for your support. So this open letter is not written as ‘sour grapes’ but to inform you as to what took place, a general timeline and what is next for my Mayoral Campaign.
Over the weekend of September 18th / 19th The ArtsVote online was poll corrupted, hijacked, made vulnerable or however you want to spell it or look at it – someone cheated and the numbers from the initial poll were indeed faked and trumped up. ArtsVote did not take care to make their online poll valid and break in proof – it was simple to manipulate, with the most basic functions of anything done online left open for theft or cheating (they locked the back door but left the front door wide open with a sign saying “Break In. It Is Easy. The Front Door Is Open Wide. And We Are Not Home”). Once discovered by ArtsVote organizers, they (ArtsVote) contacted the Mayoral Candidates whose names were on the online polll on Monday September 20th. By this time myself and several others knew The ArtsVote online poll was invalid, corrupted and the numbers for all were incorrect – in short, The ArtsVote online poll had become a joke, a bit of a sad joke and serving no purpose except to prove that if you ever set up an online poll – make sure it works correctly.
Many people voted with trust and confidence that their single vote would be tallied and calculated and respected. Unfortunately this was not the case. Your vote was not respected. The initial online poll was tossed aside by ArtsVote and a new poll was set up to replace the corrupted one. This replacement poll is the one that I refused to be a part of. People voted for me in the initial poll in good faith and with trust and that trust was violated by ArtsVote – your initial vote was never properly counted, recorded – it was tossed away like it never happened as they should have been – the numbers were fake and incorrect. ArtsVote has failed voters and Democracy with their short sightedness. You, the voters, took the time to go online and vote – ArtsVote did not respect your choice, your time and your vote. Their poll was sub-standard – even I was able to go into the system and hijack it once I was shown how. For those of you who know me – computers are not my thing – if I could corrupt it – anyone could. And they did.
People have been expressing their anger with me for the last two days – they feel that I am not outraged enough at ArtsVote and they have more anger towards ArtsVote than I. This is simply not the case. I am furious with ArtsVote and I have expressed my anger repeatedly with them via emails and a telephone call (which was never returned).
ArtsVote knows they have failed us – the arts community and voters in general and they are not taking responsibility for their reckless and disrespectful actions. They (ArtsVote) have been ‘busted’ and they know it.
The fight is not over. I am still a very strong Mayoral Candidate and my campaign is going full steam ahead right until Election Day (Monday October 25th). The ArtsVote disaster does not reflect badly on me at all – in fact, it is a positive. I am thankful for all the people who voted for me and I know that I ‘won’ the poll and the community wants me to participate at The ArtsVote debate on September 29th but alas, it will not happen. Your outpouring of support for me has been amazing – again, I realize that some people are angry with me in that they feel ArtsVote has let me down and my supporters and voters down as well. Not to mention the arts community – but it is not over yet.
ArtsVote only saw the ‘cost’ of me participating in The ArtsVote debate on the 29th but they did not look far enough ahead to see the benefit – the benefits far outweigh the costs.
With one month until the election – here is the plan. Toss your vote to me. I am the only candidate who can block Ford – it we all come together and toss your vote my way a clear and loud message will be sent. Please remember to vote on Monday October 25th.
Yes, I can be dangerous.
Politics can be very dangerous.
Art should always be dangerous.
As a final thought I would like to share with you a couple lines of an email (below) that I received a few weeks ago from ArtsVote organizers. I am still unclear if Smitherman, Ford, Thomson, Pantalone and Rossi received this same passive / aggressive bitch slap – or if it was directly sent to me – perhaps as a warning. I have asked ArtsVote for a direct answer to a direct question but I have not received an answer as of yet. What do you think?
“Keith, it was generally acknowledged at the table today that you are extremely likely to be the sixth candidate, because of your extensive networks. I do hope that you’ll take the opportunity to help promote the importance of all the artists in Toronto voting as you campaign for Mayor.”
Jacoba (and Camilla)
Thank you all again for your continued support