09.23.2014 07:51 AM

#topoli question

When you have:

• an experienced, respected campaign manager
• an amazing, professional campaign staff
• terrific fundraising success
• great online presence
• a huge army of enthusiastic volunteers
• popular and tested key messages
• costed, do-able policies
• and the best war room around (excluding its volunteer manager, that is)

…and you’re losing.

Whose fault is that?


  1. doconnor says:

    These “costed, do-able policies” will get you every time.

    Of course being from the NDP, they are held to a much higher standard of fiscal responsibility thanks to the myth that they are fiscally irresponsible.

  2. My Name is Andy says:

    From the start, Olivia Chow has come across as the “reluctant candidate”, asked over and over to be the saviour that frees Toronto from the perils of Rob Ford. People can tell when someone is not into it. It really showed in her press conference announcing her transit plan and trying to keep her message on track.

  3. Mark says:

    Chow’s biggest problem is that she is not a good oral campaigner and communicator. Yes, this societal shallowness is wrong and should not matter at all. But, people seem to think you have to sound good, look good and smell good to be a good leader, when all you should need is one great idea or priority that resonates with voters, and a strong team to back you up.

  4. Matt says:

    I think she’s finding out that what sells in Trinity Spadina, people in the rest of the city aren’t buying.

    Or, all the polls are wrong.

    • Lavar says:

      This exactly, as it pertains to process. She’s running a Trinity-Spadina campaign city-wide.

      She might get thronged by people at each street festival or public event, but those people represent only a fraction of potential voters.

  5. MississaugaPeter says:

    Not perceived physically as an ALPHA.

    People expect their leaders to be ALPHAs.

    Yes, Kathleen is an ALPHA by the way she talks and by commercials that showed she was strong physically (jogging up hills, walking swiftly down a street with no sidewalk, etc.)

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      If she was an ALPHA she would have had the confidence to support you.

      But she isn’t.

      And thus didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t defend you.

  6. patrick says:

    She’s a lousy campaigner. She has absolutely no presence. Speaks poorly and conveys nothing personally when she talks. Has obviously ridden on her husbands coattails all these years. So another perfect storm elects someone who should be unelectable. Fortunately he will be better than than Ford.

  7. Lance says:

    I find the similarities to Stephane Dion striking – affable, gregarious, dedicated, bright, principled……..but wooden as hell.

  8. atom says:

    The NDP brand’s fault. Straight up.

  9. Lavar says:

    Her top skill as a politician is relatability and empathy.

    Relatability and empathy can win you smaller races with local dynamics where personal contact and one-on-one voter experience plays a large role.

    In wider races where the connection with voters is made through the media, these skills are not as useful. As others have noted, Chow’s ability to communicate is widely viewed as terrible, even if that is an unfair judgment. That being said, none of the current candidates are effective communicators. Tory’s just the best of the worst – if he had an accent, he’d never be a candidate, ever.

  10. Stephanie Powers says:

    Simple. A majority of Torontonians do not want to go back to the David Miller days. They (rightly) see NDP candidates as sympathetic to unions, willing to impose higher taxes and more eager to embrace causes outside of the commonly accepted role of municipal government. You’d think with two right wing candidates splitting the vote, a left-wing candidate would stroll up the middle to victory. Has less to do with Chow’s alleged poor campaigning, and more to do with the legacy of Miller, Vaughn, Moscoe et al.

    • Jackal says:

      If that was true then she would not have been the front runner until June.

    • Lavar says:

      This isn’t a race about political ideology. It’s a race about economic class distinctions.

      2010 was the same. Smitherman and Pantalone thought it was a race on party lines and Rob showed them that, by and large, there was a large swath of people that were just really angry about something the city had done and he subsequently ate both their lunches.

      In an increasingly economically polarized city, Chow appeals to the smallest societal slice of the three candidates. Her inability to communicate to the expectations of Torontonians means that she is having difficulty broadening her appeal or blunting Tory’s increasing inroads into her core vote.

      I’d also say that there is a bit of lovable loser syndrome with Tory, particularly after the Ford years, a kinda “aww that poor guy, he isn’t so bad after all…he deserves a shot, particularly compared to those Ford guys. Imagine how we’d be with him instead of Rob?” The amount of goodwill he has built up for essentially being a failure is impressive.

  11. As a guy living in Saskatchewan but still an observer of politics in Canada, might I offer that, to me at least, Ms. Chow does not possess any H.O.A.G. – I think that’s why she’s losing.

  12. As a guy living in Saskatchewan and an observer of politics in Canada, might I offer that, to me at least, Ms. Chow does not possess any H.O.A.G. – I think that’s why she’s losing.

  13. socks clinton says:

    She has no connection to the common people in her constituency. When Rob Ford privatized Toronto garbage collection a couple of years ago what was the first thing she tweeted, “My mother is in an extra bad mood today. The garbage hasn’t been picked up yet – the wonder of privatization.”

  14. Corey says:

    The candidate’s fault

  15. Bill From Willowdale says:

    I’m hearing very few ads from Chow and the ones I am hearing don’t attack Tory. When you’re in third place you have to try and undermine your opponents. At this point, why play nice?

  16. Ridiculosity says:

    There’s a simple solution. Unleash the hounds.

    The campaign needs to stop the annoying habit of over-scripting everything she says and does. She’s a passionate, intelligent, experienced politician.

    Let Olivia talk about “her” vision for Toronto. Instead of delivering sound bites that are either hackneyed or boring or both.

    People don’t vote with their head. They vote with their heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *