Municipal Election Viewpoint

Voting will take place in a few days and the campaigns for Council and Mayor will soon be history. The endless campaigning has produced a few surprises, one of which was the collapse of the Olivia Chow campaign. Before nominations opened, the Mayor’s job was waiting for her and the campaign seemed a formality that would end with an inevitable coronation. At the end of last year, my wife and I saw Ms. Chow lose a crowd of ardent supporters after speaking for only a couple of minutes. As she rambled on, the crowd began to murmur and my wife (who has an annoying habit of being correct) confidently predicted that Ms. Chow’s charisma shortfall would result in an unsuccessful campaign. The collapse of support for Ms. Chow has disappointed many who are leery of John Tory and more particularly, Doug Ford. While Mr Tory is undoubtedly a decent man, his natural inclination leans towards business interests and his ideas on transit and transportation are poorly thought out. It seems likely he will win as the alternative spectre of Doug Ford makes a vote for Olivia too risky for many. The Provincial Liberals have committed themselves to implementing ranked balloting which will finally eliminate the need for strategic voting in the future. For now, John Tory is probably the safest candidate to choose.

In Ward 11, WestonWeb was despairing that any candidates would step forward to oppose longtime incumbent Frances Nunziata. Eventually a couple signed up, Jose Garcia and Dory Chalhoub. These two unknowns were seen as incredible long shots against the veteran of several successful campaigns stretching back decades. One candidate has used the long period of campaigning to his advantage; Dory Chaloub, whose confidence has grown as his talking points have resonated with voters. In particular, Mr Chaloub is articulate and has been able to connect the dismal state of the ward directly to the inability of Ms. Nunziata to lift York South-Weston out of its deep and decades-long malaise. In addition, Ms. Nunziata’s increased profile as Council Speaker has exposed her flaws to a wider audience. Although there is not much to choose from politically between the two, Mr. Chalhoub understands that York South-Weston needs change and is not stuck in denial about the status quo. He has a background in business and seems intelligent and assertive enough to deserve a chance. Ms. Nunziata sees no problems and therefore seeks no solutions. Her political ambitions lie in city hall; focussing on improving York South-Weston only gets in the way. It’s time for a change.

Ford endorses Nunziata

Mayor Rob Ford no longer has his radio show, or television show, or the support of the “biased media”¹, but he’s never allowed a little thing like support to stop him from doing whatever the id demands. So now he and his brother have taken to “the YouTube” (Doug’s words), to communicate their idea directly to their supporter.²

This week, the Fords released six videos. In one of them, Rob Ford lists the councillors he wants defeated—and the ones he thinks shouldn’t be. Frances Nunziata, our councillor, makes his short list of core supporters: she is one of only four he thinks deserves reëlection.

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¹ These are Doug’s words. I know you know, but the “biased media” argument is the last refuge of a nutter. We’re witnessing the final thrashings of a man dragged into the light. Look at the backdrop of the video. It’s a wrinkly vinyl sign. My god; it’s Shakespeare. Ford had to hide under a vinyl sign in his final days—it is his family standard and his father’s blanket.  Listen to the video. They sound like they’re far away and echoey. Ford Nation is produced by Wayne’s World local access cable—if Wayne were bereft of wit and irony.

² Sons should call their mothers.