The Tory Brand

John Tory is a terrible candidate for mayor. Just awful. rottenthingtosayIf he goes on to win in October, and governs like he’s campaigning, he’ll be a terrible mayor.

Here’s how he responded last week to fellow mayoral candidate Ari Goldkind’s proposal to reinstate the Vehcle Registration Tax:

I’m trying to make the city more affordable and I hear every day from people about the taxation overall that they face and I plan to keep property taxes at or below the rate of inflation. I think I’m not going to be doing anybody a favour in terms of the struggle the taxpayers are facing if I were to bring back or bring in any tax like that.

Throw in a couple folks’s there and exclaim some Respect for Taxpayers, and it might as well be Rob Ford talking.

These are not the words of John Tory CivicAction city-builder. fordnationIt is a.m. radio talk show host John Tory speaking, getting all faux-populist, anti-tax, Rob Ford like. `… I plan to keep property taxes at or below the rate of inflation…not doing anybody a favour…if I were to bring back or bring in any tax like that.’

Taxation as a burden. The city does not have a revenue problem. Investment in services and programs will in no way help struggling taxpayers.

What exactly is John Tory putting on the table for anyone to rally around and champion?

Oh. He doesn’t smoke crack and he’ll attend pride events. questionmarkSlow clap. Bravo.

Not that he was alone among the mayoral frontrunners in rejecting the idea of re-introducing the VRT out of hand. “…under no circumstances,” declared Karen Stintz. A VRT is not part of David Soknacki’s budget plan. Rob Ford? See John Tory’s response.

Most disappointingly (at least from my personal political standpoint) is Olivia Chow, once more skittish about casting any shadow from the left. ‘…councillors have already made a decision on the car tax and she wouldn’t bring it back.’ So while Ms. Chow seems perfectly comfortable revisiting the Scarborough subway decision city council has already made, it’s hands off the VRT.

It might’ve been nice to see the Chow campaign use this opportunity to show she isn’t as reflexively anti-tax as the next candidate to her right. In theory, at least, all the main contenders are to Olivia Chow’s right. scaredofhisownshadow“While the VRT may have been poorly implemented,” the Chow camp could’ve said, “and unfairly targeted car drivers for an annual infusion into the city’s general revenue, I think we cannot ideologically reject the city’s need for additional revenue as almost all of my opponents seem to be doing.”

But that’s a conversation the Chow campaign seems hell bent on avoiding, lest it open itself up to a tax-and-spend, NDP candidate attack from the right and, once more, falling into the trap left-of-centre candidates regular fall into of allowing themselves to be defined by their opponents. It concedes ground without putting up a fight. Yeah, you’re right. Taxes are a burden, never giving back anything in return.johntorycricket1

It puts no daylight between Olivia Chow and John Tory, allowing him to undeservedly claim territory he has no right to claim. I can be disappointed in the Chow campaign so far, but that in no way confers on John Tory the status of viable, progressive alternative. He’s done little to distinguish himself from his political past; the distant, as an unofficial advisor in the Mel Lastman administration in the early days of amalgamation, to the very recent past, with his full-throated and open wallet support of Team Ford.

The problems Toronto faces very much have John Tory’s fingerprints all over them. He’s offered no real solutions in addressing them, only more of the same tired rhetoric. johntorycricketLow taxes, finding efficiencies and almost every other chapter from the Rob Ford campaign handbook, slightly warmed-over and spit-polished to give it a fresh sheen of respectability and thoughtfulness.

John Tory seems to think the message is fine. The only problem’s been the messenger. He’ll get lots of support, campaigning that way. Just let’s not pretend he represents anything other than that. Don’t allow him to get away professing he’s something or someone he’s not.

unimpressedly submitted by Cityslikr

7 Responses to The Tory Brand

  1. Tory + Kouvalis = “Ford Lite” branding like they are trying to sell “New Coke”.

    A case where you need to “Judge a man by the Company he keeps”.

  2. Sonny says:

    Went to Goldkind’s Accessibility Town Hall at Motorama on the Danforth before the Taste…
    Mostly women, a few with seeing eye dogs or sticks and one in a scooter. Ari gave shout outs to Andray Domise(W2) and Dan Fox(W24) Talked about hiring his first secretary back when he was a Corporate lawyer…
    Himy Syed also showed up and left before the Q & A which Goldkind limited to 3 because of the heat.
    I asked him how he is going to fund and implement his accessibility plan?

  3. Sonny says:

    In the Debates; Chow goes after Ford the incumbent, Tory goes after Chow the frontrunner and Ford goes after everyone because he’s Ford. Goldkind wants to get in to the 40 so debates…

    The City would save $1 Billion by not going with the Bloor Danforth extension and likely another $500 Million for rest of Canada.

    Chow who siting on a large sum of donations will focus more on Tory after Ford’s name is locked into the ballot September.

  4. Simon Says says:

    Sorry, the vehicle registration tax is stupid because it does not address the fact that congestion is caused by people coming into the city.

    Taxes, fees, levies is not the solution to everything.

    If all the do-gooders want to give the city more money, let the do-gooders pay more by opting in to a “revenue tool”. This will be the true test of everyone who stomps their feet and demands more fees and taxes. They can put their money where their mouths are.

  5. Simon Says says:

    Somehow the darling of TO has fallen into third place in the lastest poll numbers…

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