The last laugh to Laschinger.

It was during the municipal election in Toronto in 2014 that both Warren Kinsella and John Laschinger were working on Olivia Chow’s campaign for the mayoralty. With Chow a New Democrat, Laschinger a Conservative and Kinsella a Liberal, it seemed like a match made in Heaven.

We were obviously a bit sceptical though as Babel-on-the-Bay’s Morning Line put Chow in third place behind both John Tory and Rob Ford’s brother Doug. Maybe neither Kinsella nor Laschinger had quite as much campaign experience in and around the wards and political ridings that make up the modern City of Toronto.

To do the Morning Line analysis in the summer months before that election, you had to know where the pockets of the suburban Ford Nation are located. The pockets of NDP strength are fewer and concentrated in the Spadina area and Broadview east to the Beach.

But if you draw a line on a city map from Church and Front to Bayview and Steeles, you will have drawn a line through the heart of John Tory’s support. It is this support that put John Tory in the mayor’s chair.

But John Laschinger got the last laugh on us. He got a book out of it.

Our friends at Dundurn Press have never looked as kindly on our book suggestions. To be fair; as soon as we see John’s book being remaindered, we will buy a copy.

It seems John has written a tell-all book that might not tell us everything. It is reputed to tell us about Olivia Chow being confronted by rude and racist supporters of the Ford brothers. It is unlikely that Olivia would have heard anything that she had not heard before and she knows how to handle it. And there are very good reasons an experienced campaign manager never lets a candidate go canvassing or to a political function alone.

Throughout that year-long municipal election in Toronto, we were frankly puzzled by the confidence of Olivia and her supporters. Her failure to rally large numbers of New Democrat supporters to her after the provincial election spoke volumes. It was also very puzzling why she was being touted as a budget expert when that was the last thing her supporters would have told anyone about her.

We hear that John has been involved in some 50 election campaigns over the years. He only claims to have won 30 of them. While that seems like a decent box score, it is always the losses that are most memorable.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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