Oh, and kudos to Toronto for having such a energetic and fascinating municipal election campaign (in spite of the nonsense that went on). Impressive to see a good turnout of over 60 percent in Toronto. That’s a heck of a lot better than the dismal non-interest we get around here for municipal elections. Good job, Toronto. And that is all for tonight.
It was a lot closer than a lot of people thought, but the networks have now projected that John Tory has indeed ended Ford Nation rule in the mayor’s chair and has been elected mayor of Toronto.
And yes, I have to say I’m delighted. Great night for the city of Toronto.
So it is not just Toronto that is going to the polls; places like Mississauga, Brampton, London, Hamilton, Ottawa etc. are electing civic officials too. In fact, not only is this the first time in decades that the Mississauga has had a real race for mayor, but this race between Bonnie Crombie and Steve Mahoney is actually pretty close.
But the media attention has all been on Toronto’s race — mainly due to the ongoing circus act of the last few years involving two guys named Rob and Doug Ford.
Unfortunately for Doug, that is exactly his problem. The craziness of the Rob Ford candidacy has not stopped with Doug in the race. Instead, he’s continued to get in the same sorts of trouble as his brother. The biggest low point for him was that debate where Doug got foot-in-mouth disease and made some comments about Jewish people that did not go over well with the audience. That was followed up by his claim that his wife is Jewish, which provoked some skepticism there, too.
Whatever Doug Ford thinks about Jewish people is beside the point. The point is this controversy make it look like the circus act was continuing with him. This was more of the same nonsense people had seen from his brother Rob, and people were fed up with it. Even though there was one Forum poll that put Doug Ford two points behind John Tory in the mayor’s race around this time as well, Doug’s momentum came to a halt after this episode.
In general, it really has been a gaffe-filled campaign on Ford’s part, characterized by attacks and made-up controversies about rival Tory that went nowhere. Ford first tried to trash Tory for not having enough experience, and then he tried to make an issue about the “gap in Tory’s resume” in reference to Tory being on the board of Charter Communications which went belly-up. Then he tried to turn Tory’s 2010 endorsement of Ford’s own council run into an endorsement of him this time for mayor.
Too bad he hasn’t been able to find anyone important this time to give him a real endorsement. Meanwhile Tory has been picking up one endorsement after another lately. Just the other day, outgoing Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion endorsed him. Doug says it doesn’t matter and that he has the endorsement that really matters — from the people. We’ll see about that one Monday.
Meanwhile, the Olivia Chow campaign has continued to be a sinking ship. It’s quite sad, actually. As predicted by myself, her campaign has gotten more and more desperate the last few weeks.
She basically made a point of attacking Tory at every turn, slamming his SmartTrack transit plans and claiming there was no difference between him and the Fords, what with the “Doug Tory” references and so on. That then prompted people to criticize Ms. Chow for dragging down Tory and making it possible for Ford to get in instead.
Anyway, that is the sort of campaign it has been for Chow. The “air of death” has taken over, and there is a full-on reverse bandwagon effect going on, with people bailing on Chow to vote Tory in order to stop Ford.
All in all, I think everyone in Toronto is glad this race is almost over and glad these debates are over, along with all the controversies associated with them — about candidates not showing up for all of them and so on. There have been too many of these controversies, and too many debates to begin with. If people in Toronto say they don’t have the information to make a decision, they clearly had their head in the sand the last few months.
The last few days have been notable because Tory pulled off a clean sweep of endorsements of the four major Toronto newspapers, which came as a surprise to me because I thought there was no way the Toronto “Red” Star would endorse him. I thought those lefty-libs over there would endorse Olivia, but the fact that they endorsed Tory clearly shows they think Chow’s cause is hopeless.
The Globe and the National Post are less of a surprise. As for the Toronto Sun, their editorial endorsement of Tory is notable because their major columnists like Joe Warmington, Mike Strobel and Sue-Ann Levy seemed to be Ford Nation people all the way. And the paper has given the Fords no end of coverage lately. So for their editorial board to turn around and endorse Tory, four years after that same paper endorsed Rob Ford, shows you how much trouble Ford Nation is in.
The latest round of polls have given Tory a lead of anywhere between six and 14 points over Ford. It would be a real surprise to me if there is any result other than a Tory victory on Monday, simply because I think so many people are going to vote for him to toss Ford Nation out.
All in all, this race has not gone the way anyone expected, due to Ms. Chow’s campaign implosion as well as the onset of Mayor Rob Ford’s health problems in the middle of his re-election race, forcing him to pull out and for Doug to enter instead. As an aside, Mayor Ford is on the ballot in Ward 2 for council and he could still come back to council for more fun, assuming he wins his cancer fight.
We will see what transpires Monday. Hopefully I will put up another post tomorrow with a few more links to some articles about the campaign. On Monday night, I intend to be here for some election coverage of my own, but it will have to be for only a little while because later that evening I will need to head off to cover — that’s right — a city council meeting. It figures.
It’s not just the debates that are a gong show in Toronto, it’s the entire mayor’s race.
Today, Doug Ford called a press conference and wasted everyone’s time by bashing John Tory and claiming he was not qualified to be mayor, and declared Sept. 26 as Take John Tory to Work Day.
I notice a lot of people on Twitter were unimpressed and thought Ford’s news conference bordered on the slanderous. Tory, on the other hand, was at a debate Ford skipped earlier today where he repeatedly bashed Ford, and he decried Ford’s bully tactics when speaking to reporters later.
All in all, just another day at the office in Toronto politics. Someone should have declared this to be “Listen to Doug Ford’s Hot Air Day”, or something.
Oh, and here’s what Christie Blatchford had to say about last night’s debacle of a debate. In yet another controversy from that farce of a night, one of the hecklers there — a Ford Nation supporter apparently — had stood up and yelled at Olivia Chow to “go back to China”.
Way to keep things classy.
How much longer until Election Day? October 27? Really, we are in for another month of this nonsense?!
Good heavens, you have to feel sorry for folks in Toronto, having to put up with this.
The Toronto mayor’s debate tonight was heavily built up as being this potential game-changer because it was the first one for Doug Ford.
And you sure could tell, because it was the typical gong show we have come to expect any time anyone named Ford enters a room anywhere in Toronto.
The only way to describe this debate, based on what I saw online, is by using the word “unruly”. No other word fits.
The lowest point came very early on when the meeting was totally disrupted by some crazed woman in the audience who stood up and shouted a bunch of incendiary sentiments that disrupted the debate, and then she got into a shouting match with another woman in the audience. The shouting got so bad that Olivia Chow got drowned out by it and couldn’t speak. The heckler ended up being escorted out by security.
Then the debate resumed, and it was just a shoutfest with all the candidates bashing each other, and with the crowd drowning out both John Tory and Olivia Chow at times with intense booing. In all, the maturity level of many in the audience left a lot to be desired.
While some of the “Ford Nation” people, I’m sure, thought Doug landed knock-out punches, the problem is that so many knockout punches were being thrown at everyone by everyone that it muted Ford’s blows, so they didn’t have the impact. It was that sort of night. And may I add, the unruly crowd, which looked like it was filled with Ford Nation people, was not the sort of atmosphere that helps Doug Ford. People are clearly tired of all the nonsense associated with all the Fords. Ford desperately has to get away from the circus atmosphere that has characterized him and Mayor Rob Ford for four years. It didn’t happen tonight.
All in all, this debate tonight was an embarrassment, truly at the level of the Jerry Springer Show. Which, by the way, ought to surprise nobody since Springer was once mayor of Cincinnati.
Springer should move to Toronto and run for mayor – he’d fit right in. This is what Toronto politics has been reduced to, folks.
And as an aside, Ford used the word “folks” a lot tonight. Folks in Toronto need to grow up, clearly, based on tonight.
For a full recap, here it is from CTV Toronto. Have a good one.
I was hoping to put an end to the mayor’s race coverage for a bit and focus on Film Festival celebrities, except these other celebrities in the Toronto mayor’s race were going at each other today in a wild and entertaining affair before the Toronto Region Board of Trade.
The debate was co-sponsored by the Globe and Mail and you can read their account here.
As for highlights, gee, it is sure hard to pick just one.
It sure looked to me like Rob Ford was having a hard time getting any traction. Then again, maybe he was rusty because he skipped out on some other debates this week.
At one point he was asking John Tory if he had done anything at Queen’s Park to save taxpayers money and Tory had to keep on reminding him “I was the opposition leader” — as if Ford didn’t realize that Tory wasn’t in power. Another time Ford was touting his relationships with all these political leaders including the Prime Minister, and Tory’s response was “are you kidding me?”
And when Ford was talking about his subway plans David Soknacki was calling them “fantasies”. All in all, Ford took a pounding today, but I honestly don’t think it matters much because Ford’s own voters simply couldn’t care less about this debate anyway.
Anyway, check the debate out for yourself, it’s not another one of these dull and boring snoozefests, believe me. (I wish our local politics were as exciting as this, then maybe people here might actually be interested enough to vote for a change.)
Municipal election update out of Toronto. A new poll came out overnight from Forum Research on the state of the race. The poll, published in the Toronto Star, has John Tory leading with 34 percent but Mayor Rob Ford has gained ground to 31 percent.
That poll has everyone in the other campaigns all freaked out over the prospect of Ford winning the election and plunging the city into four more years of chaos. The other reason everyone was freaked was because a big column ran in the Star by somebody predicting Ford will win.
Actually, the poll is not as rosy for Ford as it appears. Ford still has very little growth potential. His negatives are still through the roof, and approximately 61 percent of people still have an unfavourable view of him. Also, news stories like the one circulating today about his football coaching activities continue to be of no help. As long as the “circus” continues around Ford, I think he will continue to have trouble.
The real story of the poll, though, is not Ford’s numbers but those of Olivia Chow.
She is now down to 23 percent, says Forum, and has been consistently dropping in the polls now for weeks. It doesn’t surprise me — her campaign has struck me as negative from the start. Plus, Warren Kinsella said a few things about Tory’s transit plan that embarrassed the campaign, and now Kinsella has left the campaign entirely.
I think the pressure is really going to be on. The problem is that I think the number of people supporting Chow on her own merits is vastly outnumbered by the people who all-out hate Rob Ford and want him out as mayor under any circumstances. The Ford haters are bound to reassess their support of Chow given that her campaign increasingly is looking like a sinking ship. It would not surprise me to see people defect to Tory to stop Ford from winning, simply out of fear.
As for David Soknacki it’s pretty obvious from the numbers that pretty much all his supporters hate Ford, too. The Tory and Chow camps will want Soknacki to throw in the towel soon, too, just like Karen Stintz. Without Soknacki in the race, Tory would rise to 36 percent and Chow to 26.
I think what you’ll see happen in the next few weeks is that the Tory campaign will be stepping up efforts to bleed the anti-Ford vote away from Chow and Soknacki and try and consolidate them in their own camp. I also fully expect the Chow campaign to become more and more desperate in the days ahead.
I think it’s likely in the upcoming debates they will channel their immediate energies at Ford, just so they can try and get back into second place again and be seen as the alternative to Tory. But I’m not so sure anything Chow tries will work anymore. Anyhow, that is how I see the state of the race at the moment.
Did any of you watch the CityNews Toronto mayoral debate last night? Let me tell you, it was far wilder than any of what has been served up lately in the Quebec election. And the good news is, it is still early days yet, which means several more debates until October.
Honestly, though, it really was a shoutfest, with these candidates all yelling at each other. A lot of people thought Rob Ford did well by standing his ground. Others thought all the other candidates dropped the ball by not going after Ford hard enough on the crack cocaine issue.
Others claim they thought Olivia Chow won, but honestly, I do not see why. All she really did was bash Ford and say what a disaster he has been as mayor. It looks to me like Chow wants to turn this race into a two-way Chow-Ford slugfest, and figures the best way to do that is bash Ford all the time.
As for John Tory, I think maybe he is sitting back waiting for Chow and Ford to bludgeon each other so that he can look like he is above the fray and the real alternative to all this left-right partisan nonsense going on at Toronto City Hall. We’ll see.
One person really interested in last night’s debate, I notice, was our friend Jimmy Kimmel .
He showed a clip of all the yelling going on in the debate, and then showed another clip from later on when Pam Seatle of CityNews was interviewing these other also-rans who are in the mayor’s race. They showed one guy with a beard in the back who was going to absurd lengths to get his face seen on TV. Funny stuff.
Anyway, check it out. This Toronto election really does have the WWE beat for entertainment.
As many people know by now, Monday was a big day in the Toronto mayor’s race. The filing of Karen Stintz’s candidacy was upstaged quickly with news that John Tory had entered the race. The story here.
Tory’s entry marks a major blow to Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election chances, as Tory is bound to take a good deal of voters who had cast votes for Ford in 2010. The only reason they voted for Ford was for no other reason than because there was no one else to vote for. Of course, the Ford people are now going around trying to play the anti-establishment card and are saying Tory is part of the political tax and spend establishment.
The problem with that line of baloney is that Tory hasn’t been in charge of anything at Toronto City Hall for the last decade. Rob Ford has, and so has his predecessor David Miller.
Tory, on the other hand, spent that time hard at work losing elections. Opponents have used that fact against him before, but in a way, it’s now something Tory can maybe use to his advantage. He can say voters tried Miller, and then tried Ford, and look what happened. These people had their chance, and they screwed it up, so why not give Tory a chance. Surely he can’t be any worse than the current joker in charge.
As for Mayor Ford, I notice he was busy on TV today, talking to Matt Lauer on the Today Show.. He told Lauer he didn’t do drugs, and then the mayor later stormed out of a press conference at City Hall in which he was bombarded again with questions on the subject of drugs. Yes, the fun times continue in “Ford Nation.” This guy Ford will have no problems keeping American late night comedians busy for the next several months, all the way until the election.