Monday, 13 October 2014

Why I Will Support John Tory for Mayor of Toronto

In two weeks, Toronto will vote for a new mayor and council.  It's been a tumultuous four years in Toronto's municipal politics, to say the least.  Four years ago, Rob Ford coasted to victory on a platform of respect for taxpayers' dollars, using the slogan, "stop the gravy train".  I was one of the many people who voted for Ford because I was tired of the reckless spending, the pandering to unions and special interest groups, and the general inability of city politicians to solve the city's problems.  I continued to support him well into his mandate because he seemed to be doing good things for the city.  He contracted out garbage west of Yonge St.; he persuaded the province to declare the TTC an essential service so that riders would never again have to go through another transit strike; and perhaps most importantly, he didn't cave in to the relentless opposition of left-wing councillors, public sector unions and the myriad of special interest groups - you know, the folks that have been leading Toronto to ruin.  But then of course came the videos - clips of our mayor smoking crack, being drunk, spewing racist and homophobic comments, and basically acting like a complete idiot - not something we want in a mayor.  Eventually, Fords antics were too much for me and I decided that I would no longer support him.  At the end of the day, Rob Ford had simply replaced the leftists' gravy train with a giant circus tent that enveloped the whole of Toronto, making it a laughingstock both here in Canada and around the world.  Fortunately, the upcoming election gives us the chance to change this.

Olivia Chow and Doug Ford: Polar Opposites Who Will Both Steer Toronto in the Wrong Direction

Early on in the campaign, it seemed that leftist candidate Olivia Chow would win by a landslide.  Thank goodness Torontonians have been thinking differently lately.  Voting in Chow as mayor would basically mean a return to the gravy train - the train that Toronto voters sought to derail by voting in Rob Ford.  Chow represents the culture of reckless spending and pandering to unions and other special interest groups that prevailed during the dark days of David Miller's mayoralty.  Electing her would mean a return to those dark days, because the only thing Chow is good at is spending taxpayers' dollars.  How would she spend them, you might ask?  She would spend them on her friends of course - the unions, the starving artists, the unemployable professional protestors that frequent City Hall, and so forth.

In contrast, Doug Ford, who has recently taken Rob's place in the campaign after Rob was diagnosed with cancer, represents a continuation of the circus that has become Toronto politics.  Yes, I understand that it wasn't him in those clips smoking crack or being drunk, but he has been the mayor's staunchest defender.  He is the mayor's brother, after all.  Still, if your own flesh and blood can't tell you that the way you're behaving is wrong, then who can?  Moreover, Doug shares the same problem as his brother in being a very divisive politician who can't work with anyone who thinks differently than him.

John Tory - For Those Who Don't Want to Choose Between the Circus Tent or the Gravy Train

Photo: Tomorrow, October 1st, at 10:30 pm we will be gathering across the city in preparation for our midnight sign blitz. 

We need your help! Sign up to be part of the John Tory sign crew:  

Once you sign up someone from the team will contact you with details! Let's get Toronto back on track! #onetoronto #topoli

Toronto does not need a return to the gravy train, nor does it need to continue hosting the Ford brothers' circus act.  What Toronto needs is a mayor that is going to unite the city; someone who doesn't just serve downtown or the suburbs; someone who is not a die-hard leftist or a hardcore conservative; and someone who can work with the city's other politicians, left, right and centre.  I believe that John Tory is that someone - or at least, he's the closest person there is that has any chance of winning this election.

During the campaign, Tory has been the only candidate to win the support of politicians on both the right and the left, whereas only left-wing politicians have endorsed Chow and no major politicians that I can think of have publicly endorsed Ford.  More importantly, polls show that John Tory has strong support from voters in all parts of Toronto, as opposed to Chow and Ford whose support comes mainly from downtown and the suburbs respectively.  As Tory's campaign has gained momentum, so has criticism of him and his platform.  His two main rivals have pointed out, for example, that Tory has no experience in municipal office.  But I honestly think that's a good thing because many of the folks who do have experience in municipal office, like Chow and Ford, are not part of the solution; they're part of the problem.

My point is that Toronto needs someone new at the helm.  Someone who will move Toronto forward rather than to the right or to the left (I believe Tory himself used similar words to describe his platform).  I just hope that Tory can keep the momentum going for the last two weeks of the campaign.  Unfortunately, he has a history of losing.  He could have been our mayor in 2003, but Toronto voters rejected him in favour of David Miller.  He could have been Ontario's premier in 2007, but lost that election as well.  Poor John Tory has never been given a chance to lead.  Too bad, because I think if he were given that chance, he would do a decent job.  Fortunately, two weeks from now, we can give him that chance.  Let's make up for the mistakes of 2003 and 2007 and give John Tory the opportunity to move Toronto forward.  



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