The upcoming New York City mayoral election could be looked at like every other political election, a Democrat v. Republican. On one side is Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Republican candidate who has served as New York City’s mayor for the past eight years, doing what many would consider a tremendous job.
On the other side is Bill Thompson, a Democrat and native New Yorker who’s served as the city’s Comptroller since 2002 and who runs with President Obama’sendorsement. Chances are very good that like every other election you’ll ever participate in, your political affiliation will determine which candidate you cast a vote for. People have their biased leaning, and there’s little point in trying to convince a dog to fly.
However, this election is different. There is one simple reason why Bloomberg should not receive a majority vote, and it has little to do with his political party.
When Bloomberg’s current stint as the city’s mayor comes to a close in a few weeks, he will have completed two full terms in office dating back to 2002. This would ordinarily mean the end of Bloomberg’s service as mayor, according to the term limit set in place two decades ago. But last year, in a desperate maneuver to be eligible for re-election, Bloomberg successfully “convinced” City Council to remove the two term limit on the office, allowing New York’s wealthiest man to run for a third term as mayor.
What’s worse, Bloomberg has been a strong advocate of term limits for his entire political career. Such hypocrisy undermines his own politics, the essence of democracy, and the many New Yorkers who have voted many times in the past in favor of term limits. Though Bloomberg may be a fine mayor, his actions to remain in office mimic those of an excessively rich monarch, yanking at the rules and manipulating his constituents to stay in power as long as possible. Democracy calls for a new face every certain amount of years, not a perpetual candidate who decides for himself when his eligibility to run for office has expired.
Bill Thompson is a candidate that represents the opposite of Bloomberg’s antics. Associated simultaneously alongside the Democrats with the Working Families Party, Thompson represents the workers and middle class voters of New York City.
His main promises involve revitalizing small business and equipping residents with the skills and education needed to build valuable careers. Tackling the housing crisis, improving schools and following the President’s health care reform are issues Thompson has chose to build his platform around. Thompson is the standard people’s Democrat, the right choice for New York’s mayoral vote.
In recent months leading up to next month’s election, Thompson has quietly cut Bloomberg’s poll popularity in half, gaining momentum gradually. The New York Times has described him as “the stealth candidate” in the upcoming election.
Clearly Thompson’s quest for mayor faces an uphill battle in dislodging the beloved Bloomberg from his post. But while the task is daunting, this is a chance for the people of New York to display the ideals of democracy. Hopefully, you watched last night’s mayoral debate between the candidates in order to decide whether Thompson’s politics fit your liking.
Consider their plans and qualifications, but keep in mind the true ideals that each candidate’s campaign represents.