With 50 people running for many different reasons for the mayoralty in Toronto, one of the problems is finding out which political party each represents. I know there are not supposed to be political parties at city hall but if you barred all members of political parties from the chamber for a council meeting, the council chamber would look very empty.
And there is a simple reason for this. Where do you think council candidates get the physical help they need? The easiest answer to that is you need a group of people who know how to call on their neighbours, ask them to support their candidate in provincial and federal elections and then help them get to the polls on election day.
While using the same boundaries for federal, provincial and municipal elections saves some money, Doug Ford was malicious when he forced Toronto councillors to stay with the federal boundaries when he became premier. The councillors had cut the wards in half in hopes of easing their workload. Ford was just getting even with them for the way they had treated him and his late brother Rob Ford.
The smaller wards would have enabled some independent candidates to win without assistance from a political party. That also was a lost cause.
The other side of the party coin is whether a candidate is or is not an active supporter of the party he or she claims to support. Neither federal nor provincial liberals currently charge a membership fee and all you have to do to be called a liberal is get your name on the e-mail lists to be continuously asked for money.
Frankly, councillors Ana Bailão and Josh Matlow, who claim to be liberals must be from some right-wing pocket of the party that I have never noticed. I think they looked at the lists and noted all the conservatives in the running and decided there were some openings to run as liberals.
Mitzie Hunter is the proven liberal in the race, giving up her seat at Queen’s Park to be able to run for mayor. It might come down to a race between NDP Chow and liberal Hunter. We will have to wait and see.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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