07.29.2010 06:40 AM

Johnny, come lately

Sun headline writers are the best.  No debate.


Johnny, come lately.

Better lately than never. But step lively. We need you, real bad.

We need your charisma. (I can’t believe I just said that. John Tory is to charisma what a Habs fan is to table manners.)

But, man, this mayoralty race sucks.

It’s silly. It’s given me a headache and a recurring nightmare in which David Miller smirks, proclaims ‘what the hell, this’ll be a cakewalk’ and rejoins the fray. I awake in a cold sweat.

So, jump in, John. The water’s warm.

Five good reasons right off the bat: George Smitherman, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, Rob Ford, Sarah Thomson. Ten others:

1. You’ll win.

2. We Canadians appreciate losers who don’t quit. Classy, likeable losers. The Jamaican bobsled team. Joe Clark. You, John.

In Toronto, especially, losing is no shame, it’s just good experience. We’ve lost more Olympics, world’s fairs and hockey games than you can shake a stick at.

Yet Ivanka Trump sashays into town this week to tour her daddy’s new skyscraper, calls us “one of the world’s greatest cities,” and we beam.

So what if you’re 0-for-3 against David Miller and a couple of measly provincial Liberals?

They sure giants compared to this lot. My neighbour’s chihuahua could be mayor in a romp, except he’s busy crapping on the sidewalk. But he would not beat you, John.

3. Run now, and Rob Ford can gracefully bow out and retake his council seat in Etobicoke.

We do not want Mayor Ford. Sorry, Rob. It’s just not your schtick. Your destiny is to be our civic balloon-pricker, our ant at the City Hall picnic. Boss of a megacity? Uh-uh. Keep pricking.

Mayor Tory would actually heed you, not sneer at you like Mayor Miller’s pinkish mob.

4. Headline writers will love you, JT. “Tory.” It’s short and snappy and has many rhymes. Gory, sorry, glory, quarry, lavatory. John Tory Is Hunky-Dory.

Smitherman? Too long. Here’s the headline: Furious George Fizzles Out.

Plus, a skinhead hasn’t won anything meaningful since Mussolini. That also bodes badly for bald Rocco Rossi. Sarah Thomson? Or is it Thompson? Ford’s a good headline name. In the car section.

5. You’re media savvy. (Let’s ignore your PR pratfall on religious school funding from Queen’s Park).

Your radio spot is good training. We know we’ll hear your calming voice in times of crisis. We haven’t heard from the incumbent since, oh, last fall, which is maybe just as well.

6. Sandra Bussin. Remember her “anonymous” crank call to your show to defend pal Miller? I would pay to see her face at your first council meeting.

Mayor Tory: “Chair recognizes ‘Sandra From Toronto.’”

Counc. Bussin: “Actually, I don’t work for the city.”

“Then what the heck you doing here?”

“Beats me. But good luck to you, John, because you’re a three-time loser. And I don’t see you being successful in the future.”


7. I just can’t take another TV debate with these idiots. They wail, moan, gnash teeth, throw napkins and gang up on each other. Which is fine, if you’re running for mayor of your daycare. I can’t imagine you sticking out your tongue, John Tory.

8. You’re not a bully like Smitherman and that incumbent guy. You’re not a tax-and-spend zombie like Joe Pants. You’re not a slob like Rob. You’re not a backroom boy like Rocco. You’re not a…whatever Sarah Thomson is.

9. I know you’ll reverse those moronic bike lanes on Jarvis St. and Eastern Ave. I just know you will.

10. Mike From Toronto will vote for you.

Run, Johnny, run.


  1. Anonymously Posted says:

    If Tory jumps in, can Mel Lastman be far behind?

  2. Brad says:

    I had the pleasure of growing up in Etobicoke near the Ford family and attending the same middle & high school as them. Thugs and buffoons.

    I don’t live in TO anymore, if he gets to be mayor, I feel sorry for anyone that does, I cannot believe it would happen.

  3. bigcitylib says:

    That was very entertaining.

  4. James Bow says:

    John Tory would be the best choice for mayor, in my opinion, especially in the face of the current field. However, I would caution that even if Tory had won in 2003, I think Toronto would be in roughly the same shape, now. Which is to say, mixed. We are dealing with the only governmental jurisdiction in this country, it seems, to be running a surplus. We seem to be avoiding the recession. But there are challenges ahead, for sure. We aren’t spending enough on public transit in this city, and hard work is needed to ensure that the infrastructure the province has committed to gets built.

    One thing I’d like to note is that, in 2003, there was considerable respect between David Miller and John Tory supporters for their respective opposing candidates. For Miller supporters like myself, Tory was our second choice, and from what I heard among many Tory supporters, Miller was the second choice among their camp. They shared some similarities. Both were outsiders, starting from single digit support in their respective campaigns. Miller was standing up to an establishment embroiled in scandal (Mel Lastman’s tirade, “you’ll never be mayor! never!” basically made Miller mayor), and Tory was basically standing up and putting his money where his mouth was when it came to civic leadership. Both knew that the city was in trouble, and they were putting themselves in one of the hottest seats in the country. Sure, McGuinty and Harper wield far more responsibility, but they have far more power, and the decisions they make rarely are felt so directly by constituents as, say, whether garbage gets collected once a week or two, or whether the sidewalks get cleared of snow.

    Toronto in 2003 had serious structural problems that assured it would always struggle for funds in the face of an incredible infrastructure deficit. Miller helped spearhead a number of changes which made the mayor better able to respond to issues — thanks, in part, to working with McGuinty on a new City of Toronto act. Tory would have done the same, in my opinion. Like Miller, he would have done much good for the city. But the challenges we face today remain.

    Two terms on, it may be time for a change. For all the good that Miller has done, and for all of the challenges he has faced, he has spent considerable political capital to get there, and the well may be running dry. Unfortunately, it seems like our current field of candidates are standing up to perfectly good ideas like Transit City simply because Miller supported them. Talk about poisoning the well for the future.

    To my mind, the candidate best suited for continuing Miller’s work in building Toronto, giving it more power to determine its own future and working through the challenges in infrastructure and a council that’s still highly dysfunctional, is a man who is as intelligent, and more of a consensus builder, and one who has, by and large, stayed out of the political fray on city council over the past seven years. That man is Tory. I hope he reenters the ring.

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