John Tory is about the last guy I would have expected would lose his gig over a sex scandal, but not long after breezing to a win for his third mandate, it happened and he’s gone. It’s a pity we have to pay for another election, but, at least in my opinion, some new blood was needed in any case. I wish we had a 2 term limit for municipal politicians. When Mr. Tory decided to run for a 3rd term, high profile candidates stayed away. I think this was both because it is tremendously difficult to unseat an incumbent in Toronto municipal politics and because Tory has been a likable guy who appeared to be always on the job, unlike the previous Mayor, who was apparently on the pipe. I think 2 terms is plenty long enough for any politician.
When Tory was first elected, the City was reeling from the bizarre behaviour of a Mayor in crisis. How Mr. Ford ever got himself elected in the first place is a mystery, but today seems to be a good time for populist scaliwags and ne’er-do-wells to gain power. Witness over 70 million of our American friends twice voting for Mr. Trump for President. John Tory was obviously a hard worker. He appeared everywhere and famously rarely slept. However, beyond being a stable administrator after Rob Ford, I’m not sure what he’s actually accomplished. Oh, he was a fast-talker, always doing something or another but after 2-and-a-bit mandates, I’m not convinced he had any kind of strong vision for Toronto.
The last date for candidates to declare for this election will be May 12 for a June 25 election. I think we will see a lot of political jockeying between now and May 12, and close to that date, some big-name candidates will declare, and some other candidates will bail. Some candidates have already declared. These include Gil Penalosa, who came in a distant second to Tory in the last election. Plenty of other potential candidates are thinking about it (translate: drumming up support). Some others have said no way, but don’t be surprised if some of those change their mind close to the deadline.
I don’t have a candidate in mind at this stage. I didn’t vote for Tory last time out, though I wasn’t thrilled with the slate. This time out, I don’t think we need another stodgy businessman, nor an idealogue who will spend his time social engineering. To be frank, none of the names being bandied about are super-inspiring to me, but I’m keeping an open mind.
Have you got a candidate in mind? Is there someone out there with an irresistible vision for The City?