It Can’t Happen Here: Dateline Toronto City Hall
It just did. Toronto just elected a 240 pound Sarah Palin as its next mayor, and in a landslide, no less. Not only did Torontonians elect Rob Ford, city council made a substantial shift to the right, with near-universally reduced majorities for the left-of-centre incumbents who were re-elected and increased majorities for the right wing councilors. Most of the new councilors are on the right, (including Ford’s older brother Doug, with the exceptions being Michael Layton in Ward 19—the ward that Joe Pantalone vacated to make his disastrous attempt to succeed outgoing Mayor David Miller, and Mary-Margaret McMahon, who whupped the slue-footed incumbent Sandra Bussin by 9,000 votes. Layton is the son of national NDP leader Jack Layton, and one can only hope he doesn’t find photo-ops as irresistible as his father and step-mother, Olivia Chow did while they were in city politics, and still do now that they’re in Ottawa running the party into oblivion. If we can chain Mike to his constituency office desk a couple of days a week, he might turn out okay. The only truly good news is that Adam Vaughn was re-elected in Ward 20, and with an increased majority that he truly earned.
It’s hard to say what this will all mean in practice. Ford will get Miller’s wildly unpopular $60 per-vehicle auto tax rescinded, kick the asses of the City’s employees without much reducing their numbers, put a moratorium on the proliferation of bicycle lanes, and, most likely, make a lame-brained attempt to get rid of the street cars. He might also succeed in getting Toronto’s real estate tax killed, but only if Ontario elects a Conservative government in the next provincial election. About the only other certain achievement he’ll have will be that he’ll embarrass the crap out of the city 400 or 500 times in the next four years, and increase the number of hilarious YouTube videos featuring him putting his foot in his mouth.
But as I said a few weeks ago, this election, in the end, was about David Miller and his downtown-centric good-ideas-no-action administration, which alienated the suburbs and those on fixed-incomes, and didn’t even endear itself to the left by flubbing most of the crises that occurred—the most important of which was the garbage strike last year. Mourn that if you must, but get ready for the Dictatorship of the Goofateriat.
400 words, October 25, 2010