Working for the next Toronto mayor.

Political apparatchik John Laschinger must be looking for business. It is never too early to line up possible contenders for the next mayoralty race in Toronto. It is the best political gig of all. You can get paid for up to nine months of work. John’s only problem though is that he needs to find a better candidate than MP Olivia Chow. John needs to make a comeback after his dismal showing in Toronto’s last municipal election with former Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone.

And it hardly matters that Olivia Chow gets higher recognition than Rob Ford in theoretical polling for mayoralty candidates. While the left wing of council would rally around her as a candidate, the right wing would zero in on her weaknesses in very short order. Her first short coming for the job is her lack of any leadership ability.

But Laschinger should be familiar with that weakness from his experience campaigning with Joe Pantalone. He might have also seen that shallow CBC-TV bio-pic “Jack.” While we all realize how the Harper government has strangled CBC funding, you would think the corporation still had some writing standards. And please do not say there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Maybe John’s problem is that he is just not cut out for left-wing campaigns. He is just too right-wing to understand the needs of such a campaign. It is the same as those of us who have always worked the centre-left. We would have a hard time running a campaign for someone like Rob Ford.

Mind you, as things stand, Rob Ford has an easy ride into the mayor’s chair in October, 2014. There is just no candidate ready in the wings who can take him out. There is no other candidate with the easy access to the news media. There is no city councillor ready to challenge him. There is nobody eager to trade the drive to Queen’s Park for the prime parking spot under Toronto City Hall. And only a very foolish Member of Parliament would resign a federal seat early to take a run at Ford.

And it is important to remember that leadership is not just popularity numbers. A potential mayor of Toronto has to do more than clearly demonstrate leadership. You also have to know where the voters of Toronto want to go. Then you have to take them by the hand and lead them there.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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