It’s January 4th. The gates have flung open and the fake rabbit is running for its pretend life. Nomination papers and fees are now being accepted, meaning that the October 25th municipal elections across the province of Ontario are officially underway. Let the excitement commence!!
Here in Toronto, it has been a fall and winter of intense speculation after our incumbent mayor, David Miller, announced his decision not to seek a third term. A few folks have already tossed their hats into the ring, with a few more certain to do so in the coming days and weeks. So we here at All Fired Up…begin our posting in what won’t be, hopefully, a trademark negative fashion in listing off who and what we will not be looking for in a mayoral candidate.
1) John Tory.
Fuzzy conventional wisdom has it that Tory took a spirited run at the job in 2003, losing a close race to the eventual winner, David Miller. Well, at least the last bit is true. It was close, 43% to 38%, but the fact of the matter is that it was Tory’s race to lose. And he lost. A higher profile candidate usually always translates into a win at the municipal level but Tory was simply out-thought and out-campaigned by a relatively obscure councilman.
It is a trend that continued in Tory’s subsequently brief political career as MPP and provincial Conservative leader. In the 2007 election, running against a Liberal government with soft support, he chose to run on a single issue platform of extending funding to religious schools. I mean, wh-wh-WHAT?!? That was the burning issue he felt would rally Ontario voters would rally `round the Conservative banner? After failing to secure a seat in the legislature in a by-election, Tory was chased from the party.. err… retired. This is a man who could not corral a dispirited but homogenous caucus like the provincial Conservatives. How on earth could he handle a much more fractious, divergent city council?
My advice? Stick with radio, John, where we can continue to ignore you.
2) Anyone who ever had anything whatsoever to do with the bumbling, idiotic, lamentable, bat shit crazy Mel Lastman regime. (That’s at least strike 3 against John Tory who was a certified — certifiable? — member of Lastman’s “kitchen cabinet”.) While there’s been much empty, idle chatter about the mess left behind by Mayor Miller, just cast your mind back to 2003. City Hall was a putrid, corrupt, dysfunctional operation. Toronto was an international joke. Who the hell’s the W.H.O. anyway? The best thing Lastman ever did for this city was go over to Africa to woo delegates for Toronto’s ill-fated 2008 Olympic bid. When he started yammering on about cannibals and being boiled for soup, he secured Beijing the games, thereby getting us off the hook for the inevitable transfer of millions, if not billions, of dollars from the public purse to private hands for the honour of hosting the Olympics.
So any of you out there who hitched your political wagon to the Lastman star and are thinking of running for mayor… don’t! Nobody but your family, the insane and some guy named Yorrick M. Buntleyfomstaderam III is going to vote for you. NOOOOOO-BODY!!!
3) Candidates running on a platform against “tax & spenders” and who vow “to get city hall’s fiscal house in order”, along with every other neo-conservative bromide that is as empty as the head (or as bald) that spouts them. Toronto, like most sizeable municipalities in the province, country, and continent, see substantially more money exit their jurisdictions and into the coffers of senior levels of government than it gets back in terms of cash and services provided. No “trimming of the fat” or “belt tightening” or union busting is going to change that fact. And until this is addressed and cities given the comprehensive fiscal and governing tools necessary to function properly, there’s always going to be annual budgetary crises and threats to services that make a city livable.
So, we want to hear it. Tell us… oh, candidates for the office of Mayor in 2010… tell us how you’re going to fix that situation. Are you going to stand up to the provincial and federal governments and demand an equal seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect your city? Give us your vision about repositioning our city in terms of political power sharing. How do you think the 2006 City of Toronto Act can be better utilized to secure the tools to keep this city prospering, vital, and equitable for all of its citizens, both downtown and in the fraying suburbs? Talk to us like we’re engaged citizens and not drooling infants, easily impressed with easy answers and shiny objects.
— so says Cityslikr