10.25.2010 10:58 PM

Election Toronto: My take in the Sun

His Worship.

Here’s what a Rob Ford victory is going to mean for different political players.

Ford ran a disciplined and organized campaign and he stuck to a simple message. George Smitherman didn’t.

But what of others? Who benefits from a Ford win? Who doesn’t?


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    Ghoris says:

    Jeez, Warren, looking at the comments on the Sun site on your article kind of makes me wonder if you have a masochistic streak in accepting an assignment there – or maybe you see your role as something of a missionary? 😉 But I digress…

    While I agree with you that it’s tempting to read too much into the Ford victory, particularly in terms of its implication for the provincial scene, I can’t shake the memory of Winnipeg’s municipal elections in 1998, where the election of a left-leaning mayor and several left-leaning councillors foreshadowed the city’s abandonment of the Filmon Tories and embrace of the NDP in the provincial election less than a year later…

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    Andrew says:

    Your analysis is on the premise that Rob Ford will make a mess of the City in one year prior to the Provincial election. The reality, is that any policy/agenda changes at city hall won’t trickle down to voters for at least 18 months as the the new council doesn’t sit officially until Jan 2011. Leaving less than 10 months till the election and then Mayor Ford would have to make things visibly bad in six months for the Liberals to capitalize on it.

    Liberals are more worried about the mood of change.

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    DL says:

    Another winner tonight is Jack Layton and the NDP. His son swept in in Trinity-Spadina which is good for Olivia Chow and NDPer Mary Fragedakis won big in Danforth giving Layton an ally representing the other half of his riding, in addition to Paula Fletcher. It was also good to see NDPers Sarah Doucette win in High Park and Kristyn Wong-Tam win in Toronto Centre, these are all important beach heads – and worth far more than the loss of Sandra Bussin – who was not all that well liked in the first place. On top of that Smitherman has been a mortal enemy of the NDP his entire political career – so I suspect that there is a fair amount of “schadenfreude” and NDP HQ over him losing. If he had won, he would have used the office of mayor in a very partisan way and would have been much more able to bully a majority of council to support his rightwing policies than Ford ever will. Now, the “official opposition” to Ford will be a wall of NDPers and NDPers in all but name (like Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carroll). and being the opposition to Ford will be like shooting fish in a barrel!

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      scanner says:

      Bang on DL. The next six moths are going to be very interesting as His Honor learns how much work a mayor has to do. You can’t skip meetings when you’re the chair. I look forward to screaming matches between His Honor and several council members that will add to the wealth of Youtube embarrassments already online cause the screaming will be on one side. The next election begins today, folks.

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    V. Malaise says:

    The talking head on CBC’s The National tonight said something to the effect that TO’s left-wingers were “beside themselves” at Ford’s election victory. Too bad for them, to quote one J. Chretien.
    A lot of the things being said about Ford were the same things assorted people and organizations said about one R. Klein when first running for Mayor of Calgary. Most of them chowed down on their own words, big time.
    Ford will likely get things down the same way every other big city Mayor does. By making deals with city council.
    I’m inclined to judge Mr. Ford by the quality and quantity of his political enemies.
    They all sound like someone pee-ed on their Cheerios.

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    Frank Bedek says:

    V. Malaise,

    “They all sound like someone pee-ed on their Cheerios.”

    That’s rich, coming from a guy who says he supports Rob Ford, a spoiled brat whose whole shtick is to scream and rant and abuse people. The hypocrisy of the right-wing is about the only thing bigger than their inability to admit their incompetence.

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    JStanton says:

    … yeah, no question, Warren has baited the rabble, and they are out for his blood.

    Interestingly, the common thread, regardless of the points made in the Sun article, is that “the people have spoken”. The implication is that any limit on Mr. Ford’s free reign is undemocratic. Even the democratic institutions of checks and balances.

    It’s as if these folks didn’t quite get the civics lessons in grade school. And that is how tyrants, dictators, fascists and all-round bad-niks seize power. The suspension of democratic institutions to “enable the will of the people”.

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    Robert says:

    Calgary – winner. After electing Mayor Nenshi, Calgary looks open-minded, tolerant and progressive. By comparison to Toronto, With their election of Ford, Calgary looks like an international-scale cosmopolitan. I know this is the outcome Warren was trying to avoid, and I think I see why. O
    To listen to the political class, progressives from Toronto are welcome to relocate to Calgary. Knim, delicious irony.

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    Paul R Martin says:

    There were interesting races in other parts of the GTA. Vaughn has a new Mayor who is not tainted by recent City Hall infighting. Carolyn Parrish lost her council seat in Mississauga. No changes in Brampton where I live, but Mayor Susan Fennell saw a big drop in her support from last time. She should be vulnerable next time out. There was an interesting upset in Hamilton as the previous 2 mayors duked it out and lost to a “broadcaster”.

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      The Other Jim says:

      The Barrie race was fascinating as well.

      Jeff Lehman (a Liberal) ran a dynamic, modern campaign (like Ford & Nenshi) and trounced the competition. Lehman defeated long-time Barrie MPP (and uncle of the current MP) Joe Tascona by a margin of 39%-27%. Former mayor Rob Hamilton was third with just 15% and the incumbent mayor, David Aspden was way back in fifth with a puny 3.59% of the vote.


      Really interesting stuff.

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    Dave says:

    Has ANYONE ever seen Rob Ford and Violent J in the same room together? Huh? Huh?

    Didn’t think so.

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      Steve Gallagher says:


      You’ve discovered Rob’s secret life!

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    DL says:

    Four years ago Larry O’Brien (aka “Larry the mayor”) was swept in as mayor of Ottawa in a Rob Ford-like rightwing populist wave. His reign turned out to be a predictable fiasco and last night he was literally vomited up by the people of Ottawa losing by more than a 2-1 margin. As Ottawa goes, so will go Toronto.

    “A lot of the things being said about Ford were the same things assorted people and organizations said about one R. Klein when first running for Mayor of Calgary. ”

    Actually, NO. Ralph Klein was a municipal affairs reporter for a TV station before he was elected mayor of Calgary and he was widely viewed as a Liberal and a liberal when he was mayor of Calgary.

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      The Other Jim says:

      I’m not convinced that Ford will be a failure, but the Ottawa template was also evident in Barrie’s 2006/2010 elections.

      Dave Aspden defeated the incumbent mayor (Rob Hamilton) in 2006. As a councilor, Aspden had a Rob Ford type of image; the lone wolf banging away at the “Elite”. He captured just over 50% of the popular vote but was a disaster in office. He couldn’t work with council (and blamed council for that right to the bitter end), was repeatedly involved in self-inflicted scandals (generally caused by his tendency to do things beyond his authority as mayor) and basically just spun the city’s wheels for four years. Seriously, he was the beta Rob Ford.

      He lost last night (no surprise, as Barrie has turfed the incumbent mayor in four straight elections), but the margin of his defeat was astounding. In 2006, 14616 people voted for him. In 2010, just 1249 did. That’s a 91% drop in popular vote. Staggering when you think of it!

      I think that Ford’s team will shelter him from being an Aspden type of failure, but he will have a tough road ahead.

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        Warren says:

        That’s fascinating. Can I post that?

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    The Other Jim says:


    There’s a small story about Aspden in today’s examiner (http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2816086). Another article indicated that it was the worst defeat for a Barrie incumbent in a “quarter of a century”, but I suspect that observation is a bit conservative.

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    Karen says:

    You say that “we have a collective memory of about 5 minutes.” And in the next sentence you refer to fear mongering about the Mike Harris era. How can we have a 5 minute memory and still remember a Premier that was in office 2 terms ago? Thank God Toronto finally saw the light. Tell your friend Dalton, he’s next. I remember everything that Dalton has done. NO NEW TAXES!!! 1 billion dollar e-health. Catering to unions, especially Teachers. Banning pitbulls, pesticides and almost sushi. Eco fiasco. HST. Ridiculous hydro bills. I love watching commercials during prime time television paid for the taxpayers of Ontario. Possibly allowing Muslim woman to cover their faces while testifying in court. He almost alllowed Sharia law. What we need are fewer bureaucrats. The size of government on every level needs to be drastically reduced. Government of all levels seem to be the only ones hiring right now. ENOUGH please! Taxes need to be cut across the board. Allow people to keep more of the money they work hard to earn. We have witnessed too many boondoggles. Ok, maybe I can’t remember everything but enough to make me anxious for an election.

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      Derek Pearce says:

      The veils-in-court thing is totally outside of Dalton’s bailiwick so you can’t pin that on him. Banning pitbulls was a good idea, same with pesticides (unless you want your kids having a higher likelihood of cancer, in which case spray away). He most emphatically DID NOT allow sharia law– he abolished ALL religious tribunals saying “there is one law for all Ontarians.” All governments advertise on TV– where was your kvetching about Tory Economic Actin Plan ads playing non-stop over the past year? In general, I think North Americans I are whiney whiners who pay a totally decent amount of tax but shreik about taxation as if they lived in Zimbabwe or something. We are ignorant to how we have it so good.

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        Karen says:

        Dalton runs the province – thus has influence over the Ontario Court system. Re pitbulls, not my favourite breed but where does the banning end? It’s not the dog, it’s the owner. Pesticides, if I can’t use them then neither should golf courses, sod farms and farmers. I realize he DID NOT allow Sharia law BUT he was thinking about it. How do you know that I did not kvetch the Tories regarding their TV ads? I don’t like any level of gov’t using my money to advertise on TV. I am not ignorant regarding how well I live. What I want and apparently, Toronto wants as well, is for gov’t to stop spending our money like it is their own. There is too much waste, too much entitlement and it’s time to stop. Europe is starting to catch on and is starting the painful job of cutting back. Just because we have it good, means we shouldn’t complain? You like giving 50% of your wages to gov’t?

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    Eric says:

    Another Loser – The Taxpayers of the Rest of Ontario

    Who are going to have to step in a fill the budget shortfall after Ford drops the car registrations and land transfer taxes and realizes that there aren’t enought doughnuts and paperclips to cut from the budget to make up the difference.

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    keyrocks says:

    Rob Ford most of the traits I’ve recognized working with several other municipal politicians that rose to the top like used engine oil in a coffee cup… wouldn’t look at their meeting packages till they walked into the meetings… hooted (outrageously) about matters they’d never take the time to undertand… never understood how municipal budgets were put together… never read the Municipal Act (much less the City of Toronto Act or the Planning Act)… knew nothing of the advantages of working with colleagues rather than against them… rose to the top with catchy slogans and made completes asses of themselves as Mayor.

    Rob Ford wanted the Mayor’s job and he won it. He now faces the biggest learning curve of his life. It will be a sobering experience, for Rob and those who voted for him. It will strain his intellectual capacities to the max. He’ll learn that most of what he promised to accomplish isn’t realistically achievable. Those who must work with him (councillors and senior staff) will grow individually stronger in spite of him. Four years from now Torontonians will be glad to have the chance to vote him out of office… and the bad dream will end.

    About the only good side for Ford is that he’ll lose some weight running in circles; he won’t have time to pick up those BBQ’d chickens on the way to City Hall anymore.

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    hitfan says:

    Rob Ford is a conservative?

    Naheed Nenshi is a liberal?

    I live in Calgary, voted Reform/Canadian Alliance/Conservative all my life and I voted for Nenshi because I figured that if he really is an incense-burning vegan hippie like the libloggers claim he is, then he might just put a stop on suburban sprawl which means that my house will go up even high in value 🙂

    Kidding aside, I hate how Calgary has become. The mayor (Bronconnier–who actually ran as a Liberal prior to running for mayor) was the go-to guy for the Homebuilders’ Association and just rubberstamped everything they asked for. Ric McIver, the alleged ‘conservative’ opposition to Bronconnier’s tenure as mayor was going to do much of the same in regards to sprawl.

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