So, Lisa and me are going to this Liberal-ish thing tonight where John Tory will apparently be present. If and when he runs for Toronto’s mayor again, he’s the guy I’ll be voting for.
There’s ten reasons for that.
- He’s an adult. After the Ford Nation chaos, Toronto needed someone who was decent, thoughtful, and a grown-up. Tory is all that, and then some.
- He’s better than the alternatives on the Right. Most reasonable folks agree the Ford Nation thing was a big, big (big) mistake. They don’t want to go back to it. It’s that simple.
- He’s better than the alternatives on the Left. My friends Layton and Cressy need to figure out which of them is running. Neither is as well-known as they need to be, yet. Their time may well come, but it isn’t now.
- He’s a centrist. That’s where most residents of Toronto are, and that’s where Tory is, too. He doesn’t ever go too far Left or too far Right. That’s why he’s still got approval numbers that are up in the stratosphere – he knows that the safest place to drive is within the lines.
- He’s smart. I helped out on his 2003 mayoral campaign, and I got to know him pretty well. He is, as noted, a decidedly thoughtful person. He doesn’t rush to judgment, and he isn’t an ideologue.
- He’s decent. When my Dad died, my family heard from lots of folks – Stephen Harper called my Mom, Justin Trudeau sent along some beautiful flowers and some great advice, Jean Chretien came to the funeral and they all made us feel a lot better. But John Tory? He sent my Mom a long handwritten letter that she has read many times since. It is an extraordinary letter, and it frankly shines with John’s decency and kindness. It’s like him.
- He’s done what he said he’d do. He said he’d build SmartTrack: it’s being built. He promised to scrupulously follow a code of conduct: he’s done that, and then some. He said he’d keep taxes down, and he’s done that. He said he’d aggressively go after the feds and the province for housing help: he’s done that, too. He’s kept his word, I think.
- He believes in redemption. Some political folks – like Yours Truly, too often – never forget and rarely forgive. Not Tory. When I made a stupid, thoughtless, unfunny tweet during 2014’s race, John accepted my apology – and we resumed our friendship. He’s been like that with others, too: when they make mistakes, and make amends, John gives them a second chance. It’s a good thing.
- He’s prepared to fight for the city. I can attest to the fact that John Tory has been unafraid to give Hell to Justin Trudeau – and, before him, Stephen Harper. He’s done likewise with the province. Even though he and Harper belonged to the same party – and even though he and Trudeau share the same vote in Toronto – Tory has always been ready, willing and able to fight for what this city needs. His partisanship is Toronto.
- He’s a likeable. In politics, even in the Trump era, that still matters. The ones who tend to do well are the ones – like Chretien, like Trudeau, like Tory – who treat others (even adversaries) with respect. That’s the John Tory I’ve known for a decade-and-a-half. He’s a HOAG – a Hell Of A Guy.
And it’s why I’m voting for the guy again. And it’s why you should too.
(If he runs again, that is. Which I hope he does.)