Beware the politician trying to fly two flags. Torontonians have put up with the lies about what political party mayoralty candidates belong to, for too long. I can assure you, there is no such thing as an independent who can win the mayoralty. In a city of now 2.7 million, you need the support of a well-organized party-based campaign.
What gets my goat though are the foolish politicians who try to ride on the backs of two political parties. Brad Bradford with his alliterative name had a puff-piece in the Toronto Star the other day promoting his candidacy for mayor. He would definitely lose my vote because he is an avid cyclist. I figure anyone who promotes cycling in Toronto’s winter weather and, with all the hills up from the lake, has a screw loose.
But anyone who John Tory backed, and with campaign workers such as conservatives Kory Teneycke, and Jame Watt, can be labelled conservative. He was also supported by John Tory. Of course, many liberals knew John Tory was a conservative, and didn’t care. He was a good mayor and he made that rabble at city hall pay attention.
Before Tory, it was conservative Rob Ford. Before Ford, it was NDPer David Miller. Before Miller, it was conservative Mel Lastman and before Mel, it was liberal Art Eggleton. I go back as far as liberal mayor, my friend Phil Givens, CCF/NDP Bill Denison and conservative Nathan Phillips. And since he was opposed to the Family Compact, Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie was probably a liberal.
The last time I was even peripherally involved in a Toronto mayoralty race, was in the kick-off for my friend David Smith’s bad campaign for the Toronto mayoralty in 1978. The problem was there were three strong candidates, David and Tony O’Donahue, who were both liberals, and John Sewell, who had made a name for himself as a leader of the NDP’s left-wing of council. Smith and O’Donahue split the vote and Sewell squeaked in for a one-term mayoralty of a not-so-good politician.
The problem with David’s campaign was that I only went to one meeting of his campaign committee. It was in a Toronto law office with a very long boardroom table. I think I was the only non-lawyer there and I was less than thrilled with the lawyer chairing the campaign. It felt like a bar admission cramming course and I did not return.
I returned the favour to David though by helping to get him elected to parliament in my federal riding in 1980.
An added note: I hope any real Toronto liberal would keep his/her powder dry until we find out if Mitzie Hunter MPP is going to be in the race to replace John Tory.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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