What’s The Story With John Tory?

October 17, 2010

I was asked the other day what it was we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke would write about after October 25th. Pointing out that life does go on after an election, and a city will be run – for good or ill — regardless of who does the winning next Monday, so it will probably be more important to follow what’s going from that point than it was throughout the campaign. That’s when they can do the most damage.

“One thing I definitely won’t be doing after October 25th,” I went on, “is listening to another single word that comes out of John Tory’s mouth.” Unless I were to find myself mysteriously trapped inside a demonically possessed car during a weekday sometime between the hours of 4 and 7 pm, the radio dial refusing to budge from Newstalk 1010, driving me to the brink of insanity. I rule nothing out. Odder things have happened.

It seems almost as if we’ve come full circle since our debut post, way back on the first official day of campaign 2010. We exhorted Mr. Tory not to enter the race as we believed that he really brought nothing but baggage to the table. It was nip and tuck there for awhile, as he hummed and hawed, Hamlet-style, before officially declining sometime in late August. Pheee-ew, we thought. That’s that.

And yet the man hung around, always lurking near the spotlight, a regular debate moderator. Now, I realize Tory’s a Toronto media figure and wasn’t the only one of that breed who took part in the process. But he was treated as something more, like some civic sage, successor of David Pecault at the helm of the Toronto City Summit Alliance. An agent positive change.

Now come the much heralded and desirable John Tory endorsements. Candidates (challengers and incumbents alike) flaunting His benevolent tap on their shoulder as the chosen one of their respective ward. Vote For Us Because John Tory Would If He Lived Here.

Can I just take a moment and remind everyone that JOHN TORY WAS NEVER MAYOR! He lost the 2003 election after which, he did not stick around to contribute to the general well being of the city, but moved on to bumble and stumble through the vast wilderness of provincial politics, before getting chewed up and spit out back here. You don’t like the notion of a career politician? How do you feel about a failed career politician?

As a professional pontificator doing his schtick on the talk radio circuit, Tory has done his part to create the atmosphere of Toronto being a failed city under the Miller administration. Wise, objective truth telling or a little personal score settling; burnishing his own halo as the one that got away? If only we’d voted for John Tory in 2003, things would be so much better now…

A second reminder, folks. Before declaring himself a candidate for mayor back in 2003, a certain John Tory was a member of the infamous Mel Lastman ‘kitchen cabinet’. Ahhhh, Mel Lastman. Remember that guy? He and his cronies bear much responsibility for whatever financial straits the city finds itself in now with their ill-advised property tax freeze (hello, George Smitherman) and outright refusal to deal with the financial realities taking shape under amalgamation. As corrupt (of the official, MFP kind as opposed to the Rob Ford pretend stuff) as it was inept, it left behind a city reeling under not only weak governance but more than a little red-faced out there on the international stage. From that, we are to somehow jump to the conclusion that John Tory would’ve made a great mayor.

No, in more perfect world, a John Tory endorsement would be treated as pure poison to any candidacy. Yeah, thanks for that, Mr. Tory. But you know, my opponent has a lot to offer too. Here, take a look at their campaign literature. You’re going to like what you see. Instead, it’s a big deal to be trumpeted, perhaps even a game-changer in a close race. That says as much about the truly twisted nature of this campaign than even the fact of Rob Ford being one of the front runners. Unimaginable, lamentable and more than a little unsettling.

exasperatedly submitted by Cityslikr


Tory Comes To His Senses

January 11, 2010

Not to come off sounding like some jaded crank but who aside from the precious few wanting to recreate the almost magic of 2003 were the least bit surprised by John Tory’s announcement that he would not be running for mayor this time around? I’d say that after 6 years or so absorbing some fairly grueling political bruising, the man simply came to his senses. Surely there must be a better way to give oneself over to civic duty than going toe-to-toe with mean-spirited pissants and two-bit opportunists.

It seems that the true path to an enlightened public life revealed itself when David Pecault, before succumbing to cancer in December, suggested Tory take over his position as volunteer chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance. Since Pecault appears destined for sainthood because of his work on this project as well as his general all round Toronto boosterism, it must’ve been an opportunity Tory simply could not pass up. A chance to leave his mark on this city without having to endure the senseless rigours of campaigning. Other than perhaps living in his predecessor’s giant shadow, there really isn’t a downside for Tory in choosing this route.

Besides taking over his position at the TCSA, Tory also appears ready to inherit the mantle of The Greatest Mayor Toronto Never Had that had only just recently been bestowed upon Pecault. What’s not to like about that? It’s certainly better than The Greatest Flop of a Mayor Toronto Ever Had (a phrase being bandied around about our incumbent mayor by those who evidently crawled out from under their respective rocks sometime after 2003). Or The Guy Who Couldn’t Get Elected Mayor of Toronto.

Clearly it was a no-brainer for Tory. My only question? What took him so long to decide?

opined by Urban Sophisticat