::tuesday, november the eleventh, two thousand and three
THE LAST POST
AFTER ELEVEN EXCITING DAYS, I'M RINGING DOWN THE CURTAIN on this blog, as promised. When I started this little forum, with nothing more than a list of blogger e-mails and a few links, I knew the lifespan of Last Chance City would be strictly limited to the final days of the 2003 municipal election.
I've gotten e-mails and blogged requests to keep the site going, but I have to be frank - it would be an exercise in diminishing enthusiasm. It's no rebuke to my conviction that, on a purely practical level, municipal politics is the most important politics of all, despite the inevitable and disappointing voter turnout. It's more an admission of weakness and, perhaps, of vanity; there are already parts of this site that I've neglected for too long, and then there's the motivational wet blanket that will come with the undeniable drop-off in traffic, once the iron cools and enthusiasm for municipal debate wanes.
It would be nice if someone would do a blog devoted to city affairs, but I know that, with a baby daughter and stress at work and the holidays and an unfinished novel and a couple of careers (journalist, photographer) seemingly on hold, I won't have the time to devote to such a noble task. If someone else has the bottle for it, I'll be your most regular reader, you can rely on that. But I'm not that guy.
I think, however, that there's a lot to be said for short-term blogs, that spring up in the fertile ground of an issue or event in full flower, and pack up when the sun sets and the cold wind starts to blow. I've had an awful lot of fun playing Toronto's own Glenn Reynolds for a week and half, and I'd consider doing it again. The federal election, perhaps? If I can summon the enthusiasm, I'm up for it.
I'd like to thank the participants who rose so eagerly to my e-mail challenge to blog and contribute content. To Marc and Adam especially for their "exclusives", and to Kathy, David, Brett, Joey, Anthony, Andrew, Nicholas, Mark, Kate, Angua, David, Lena, Ryan, Joe, Warren, single girl and the armchair garbageman for posting and linking and debating online. Maybe if I do this again, I'll figure out how to put in comments and really stoke the fires.
And thank you all for reading. Good night.
- Rick McGinnis - 12:00pm - link
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THE MORNING AFTER
DAVID JANES OF RANTING AND ROARING looks back on the election, and takes a charitable view of Miller. The glass, at least for now, is half full:
Will Miller clean house? Maybe a little, but I doubt enough. Not from lack of will on his part so much as I believe the problem is inherent in the (current) structure of local government. Here's the solution: totally open government. Publish every e-mail, every expense claim, every contract signed, every salary with name and position, so on and so forth. If you don't, well, cockroaches hide in the dark.There will be less contracting out, which removes one set of temptations, but this saddles us with more unionized employees, which leads to a whole 'nother set of problems. So it goes.
- Rick McGinnis - 11:57pm - link
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ON THE FRINGE: THE WRAP UP
THE SIXTH PLACE FINISHER was Douglas Campbell - who had no web presence to speak of, but would you expect any different from a 73-year-old former sea captain? Campbell is an old-school NDP type who also finished just behind the high-profile top three in 2000 - of course, that group included Enza Supermodel, who failed to unseat Kyle Rae in his/her more modest council bid this year (yet still got half the one-third of the Ward 27 vote Rae didn't). As for Campbell, he scored 8,591 mayoral votes in 2000 vs. 2,196 this year.
Ahmad Shehab came in seventh place. The 39-year-old Kuwait-born printer claims he is a special advisor to the U.N. on Islamic affairs and was looking to have meditation and worship centers in government offices. His copy store on Charles St. was raided immediately post-9/11 (read that story here) and his own campaign website was still a work-in-progress by election day. (It also wasn't showing up on Google before.) Shehab was quoted by the Humber Collge student newspaper for showing up at the full-slate mayoral debate a couple weeks ago: "Some of the candidates here, they are good cooks, but they are not good pilots. Don't make them fly your airplane, they will crash." He also charmed Barbara Hall after handing her a leaf, just for being female.
As for the other candidates with perennial aspirations, Ben Kerr's votecount went from 3,115 in 2000 to 433 this year. (As good a gauge of thedecline of the hopeless intersection of Yonge and Bloor as any.) Kevin Clarke, professional homeless guy, went from 4,147 to 804, Duri Naimji from 1,640 to 568. Gary Benner claimed just 802 votes, in spite of a website that almost looked like it was from a non-fringe candidate, and was even slipping mini-campaign brochures into my apartment building mailboxes at the end of election day. Last out of the 44 in the
mayoral race? 110 votes for Barry Pletch.
- Marc Weisblott - 11:46pm - link
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(HERE'S ADAM SOBOLAK'S WRAP-UP OF THE ELECTION, with some number-crunching, and notes on Jane Jacobs Jacobin revolution. "Jacobin". Damn, that's clever. Wish I'd thought of that. - R.McG.)
NOW THAT HE'S MAYOR, I have some opportunistic, self-aggrandizing anecdotes about David Miller: first, the first political campaign I worked on on my own volition was his unsuccessful bid for Bob Rae's provincial seat in 1996 (basically, as a fly on the wall watching the luminaries roll by). Second, around the summer of '01, already mindful of his mayoral potential, I ran into him on the subway and drew him in some conversation about a Toronto-wide, meta-Jane Jacobs vision, something like that - can't remember what exactly, but he certainly seemed engaged, and for all I know whatever I said made an impact (maybe as early as an op-ed piece he had published in one of the papers a month or two later, which in hindsight was one of his critical stepping stones toward the mayoralty). Perhaps, at some future moment when Mayor Miller pens his autobiography, he will indeed cite that conversation; I don't know...
THE JANE JACOBS CANDIDATE: Don't make too much of Miller's victory - it was more moral than numerical, and his percentage was still lower than Barbara Hall's in 1997, and there are any number of what-if "united fronts" that can be concocted either way to Miller's favour or disfavour. Big deal; that's spin, and anyway, he's in. And a few years ago, doomsayers despaired that in Megacity, it couldn't be done ... a "Jane Jacobs" candidate against the suburb-dominant machine...
Well, the archetype and prototype of the Jane Jacobs mayoralty was David Crombie in the 70s; and the archetype of Jane-Jacobs-to-a-fault was his successor, John Sewell. Yet for all the godlike stature Jacobs earned, her hinterland was effectively confined to the FCOT (Former City Of Toronto); to the political cultures in Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, not to mention almost all Ontario municipalities beyond Metro bounds, she and her beliefs could have been from Mars. And in all too many cases still could be, 30 years later.
And unfortunately, the vast bulk of Toronto Jacobites are plagued by a consequent enlightened-yet-circumscribed vision, to the degree where they confront "outside forces" as a threat, rather than an opportunity. Even in the FCOT, Jacobism was fragile; it was shut out of the mayoralty for 14 years, and its 1994 reinstatement under Barbara Hall came across more as a fluke than as nature reasserting itself.
Consequently, once Megacity reared its ugly head, it looked like Taps - at least, mayoral Taps - for this brave Jacobite experiment in enlightened urbanity. Except that the fight and controversy over Megacity awakened a little something - and with the 1997 Barbara Hall campaign, threat did indeed become opportunity. Maybe a bit prematurely for us all to digest; but her team (and, for that matter, the candidate she was up against) did turn what should have been a whomping defeat into a close race indeed.
And David Miller picked up from that, and ran away with the prize. Remember that a decade ago, such a feat - a Jacobite-Socialist leader for what was then called Metro - was absolutely unimaginable; they had enough problems gaining the FCOT mayoralty as it was.
And you know something? I feel that even through their giddy excitement, the hardcore Jacobites still don't "get it". (Like the hardcore provincial NDPers in 1990.) But David Miller gets it. Heck, so does Jane Jacobs, I'll betcha. That's why a Bob Rae-style "Clampett" disaster isn't likely forthcoming from the Miller mayoralty. Still, comparing the results of various provincial mayor's races, many of which involved upsets, may I give, in advance of 2006, the generic Toronto Sun editorial warning to Miller: they'll be watching you, every breath you take. Remember: they're b*****ds.
COUNCIL: 1/3 changed. And re my almost-as-much-as-half allowance, the following councillors won reelection with either less than 50% or less than 5% margins: Suzan Hall, Luby, McConnell, Altobello, Li Preti.
What's the shift? Of 4 defeated incumbents, 2 (Moeser-Cowbourne, Tziretas-Davis) shifted leftward, one moderately, one radically; the others (Shaw-Del Grande, and of course Johnston-Stintz) shifted rightward (though it can be argued that Karen Stintz might be to the left of the defeated Sherene Shaw).
Re "open" seats, for Millerites, the scariest thing might be what's happened in the West; not so much Miller's own Ward 13 (which has only shifted to "moderate" under Bill Saundercook), but Irene Jones' Ward 6, where the last elected vestige of the NDP in Etobicoke has fallen to Mark Grimes - watch him, he might make for a nasty hard-right Etobi-hat-trick w/Holyday and Ford, and Etobicoke's looking more than ever like a scary rogue-conservative municipal stronghold, our very own Orange County. Mitigated a bit by community council changes--but not by much; in fact, not only has Ward 14 shifted leftward from K-K to Sylvia Watson, she may be the only progressive-esque voice (leaving aside Hizzoner-Elect) remaining in the West.
Otherwise, Ward 17 (Palacio) has stood put, but Ward 18 (Giambrone) has moved left; Ward 30 is status quo or has even (given Paula Fletcher's Communist past) shifted further left; Ward 25 (Jenkins) looked like it was shifting left but is standing pat; Ward 37 (Thompson) is status quo yet Ward 38 (De Baeremaeker) has moved left. Net gain leftward: two. Hardly a major shift in Council. (But I'd love to crunch the full polling figures, esp. for the mayoralty, when they come out...)
MINTOGATE: Well, this is regarding Karen Stintz's defeat of Anne Johnston, and the issue which led up to it, which may be the sleeper of all issues facing the Miller mayoralty: is so-called "architectural quality" enough? Or has there been a hubrissy pattern of using it as a trojan horse for the egregious?
This is a loaded issue, because for all the worthy "neighbourhood preservation" sentiment; it also carries echoes of Mayor Phil Givens being scuttled in 1966 over the Archer controversy; i.e. the philistines telling the elites to stick it up their whoozis. But because it's a matter of architecture and, even more so, urbanism, rather than art per se, it carries a less contemptable and very serious message; that is, building a great city is about more than arbitrarily hiring starchitects. As Deyan Sudjic noted with circumspection in the Guardian on October 25 (mentioning, among other people, Will Alsop--and ironically coinciding with the street party/ceremony for Alsop's OCAD), "Everybody wants an icon now". And it's a little desperate, just like all those verbalized bids to be "world-class". And who cares if Frank Gehry's a native son or Daniel Libeskind's a native son-in-law; the chasing is sillier than the end result.
I still feel the argument against Minto (and Johnston, for that matter) is trumped-up - at least, the spot argument on grounds of height and scale. But the fact that, already, other 500-footers are reportedly being mooted for less appropriate places in the neighbourhood (including the site of North Toronto Collegiate) shows how dangerous and abuse-prone a trojan horse can be...
Okay. That's my weary day after talk. Awaiting the full figures; maybe someone can later give me the polling numbers to crunch...
- Adam Sobolak - 11:37pm - link
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WARREN KINSELLA SEES ROUGH ROAD AHEAD; needless to say, he's not a Miller supporter:
As I said to Liberal pals at the John Tory party (and it was a hell of a party): “They've just elected the leader of the opposition. The NDP is going to use City Hall as a base of operations to pick off Liberal MPPs and MPs. And he's going to be at war with business and police in no time.”
And, oh yes, your taxes are going up. And crime is going to get worse.
Apart from that, it is going to be just ducky.
"Liberal pals at the John Tory party..." I'd just like to repeat that phrase to anyone who thinks that Canadian politics are stricly bipolar.
And in no time at all, Andrew Spicer responds to Kinsella:
As for picking off Liberal MPPs and MPs - I really do think that David Miller is going to continue to put the interests of the City of Toronto first - exactly as he should - and not some other agenda. If Liberal MPPs and MPs lose out because they don't represent their ridings, then too bad. And I say this as someone who has almost always voted Liberal (but who doesn't have a Liberal membership card, in case anyone now wanted me to rip it up).
- Rick McGinnis - 4:42pm - link
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MARK WICKENS POINTS OUT "AN EMBARASSINGLY FAWNING ODE" to Miller by the Globe's John Barber. For the second day running, someone took my morning paper, but I've just gotten a new one, and he's right: it's pretty embarassing.
Although any reasonably good mayor can expect at least two terms in office - count on Mr. Miller to serve three - the 2003 election has written the new book on how power will change hands in the future.
Barely twenty-four hours into his term of office, and Barber already has him twice an incumbent. This is where journalistic "objectivity" wakes up to find itself locked in the trunk of a sedan, heading out to a secluded spot.
- Rick McGinnis - 10:37am - link
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ANTHONY OF THE MEATRIARCHY does a post-mortem on the election, in response to my own post on why I voted for Miller
And as for Rick's contention that Toronto is a city held hostage by developers it's hard to believe that a city that has exploded in population over the past 30 years and yet built only one major highway (the 407 toll road which is technically not part of Toronto) is held hostage by anyone other than a collection of dewy eyed utopians and "not in my backyard types".
The former tenants of the Parkdale apartment where my wife and I live - a lawyer and an academic, both adamantly of the left - moved just across the street into a lovely Romanesque Victorian when we moved in here. After living in Parkdale for years, and buying a house a couple of dozen yards away from where they rented, they put themselves on the forefront of a movement to re-route the Lansdowne bus off of our street to make its turn on some other Parkdale street. Classic NIMBY politics: "We knew the bus was here, but we still want it moved. For the children." So I know the sort of people Anthony is talking about. I call them "the communists".
I also know that they've had far less influence at City Hall than Anthony suspects, even in the dark days of the 70s, to which Anthony fears we're returning. Sure, they get thrown a bone every now and then, and even manage to commandeer a debate. Sometimes they actually do the right thing, like stopping high rise development near High Park or killing the Spadina Expressway, way back in the stygian 70s. (Though I'd venture to say that the latter had less to do with "dewy eyed utopians" than upper-middle class homeowners in the Forest Hill area, the NIMBY version of the 500 lb. gorilla.)
I don't want to get drawn into debates about green space or public transit - these terms are like "God" or "quality of life"; they mean something different to everyone who uses them, and there's no space here, not today, to bother with definitions. I've come to realize that high rises on the waterfront are inevitable: they're called a skyline, and every city has one. But I also know that managing their construction and placement can be done well (Chicago - that oft-cited paragon), or it can be done badly (Harbourfront). And I know that it's a stretch to blame our development eyesores on "dewy-eyed utopians".
I don't think public transit is a vision of heaven on earth, though I take it every day, and I think that "being crammed onto subway cars with drunks, druggies and violent perverts" is more an expression of misanthropy than anything else. I support public transit because I take it, and because cities need it, especially cities with rising population density downtown and scant opportunities to create new roads or widen existing ones. (Any way you look at it, downtown Toronto is a 19th century city built for buggies and carts, its "garden suburbs" now transformed into "urban neighbourhoods".)
Anthony writes that "smaller cities in Europe have much more than we do but Europe had way more railway tracks already built". Toronto actually has miles of railroad lines - the old CP, CN and Grand Trunk lines that radiate out from Union Station and cut across midtown. We already blew one chance to turn the disused Belt Line into transit; I've been suggesting for years the the right-of-way afforded by the rail lines can be turned into transit. Do I think Miller's the man to do this? Hell, I don't care if Doug Holyday or Olivia Chow does it, as long as it gets done. It's easy enough to blame the utopians on the left for the city's failings, but the ideology-free developers and the politicans who love them deserve as much blame.
- Rick McGinnis - 10:28am - link
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THANKS TO MARC WEISBLOTT'S TIRELESS ADVOCACY, this blog gets mentioned in Antonia Zerbisias' Toronto Star column:
Meanwhile, the bloggers (web loggers) sunk their fangs into the election, with Rick McGinnis' Last Chance City (http://www.rickmcginnis.com/toronto/election/) a daily must-read forum. (And thanks to reader/blogger Marc Weisblott for bringing it to my attention.)
I'm grateful for the shout-out, but it's sort of a shame that it comes on the blog's last day. It's also depressing to hear that voter turnout was, once again, less than 40%. A word to the 60%: You've given up your right to complain, you pathetic goldbricks. Not a word from you on municipal politics till next election.
- Rick McGinnis - 9:50am - link
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KATHY SHAIDLE ON OUR NEW MAYOR:
Torontonians have elected a man whose heroes are pompous blowhard Bruce Springsteen and two-faced millionaire RFK Jr. I wonder how long the heroin shooting galleries will take to show up in Parkdale storefronts.
- Rick McGinnis - 9:43am - link
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I VOTED FOR MILLER. I knew I would vote for Miller the moment he declared he was running, and probably about two and a half years ago when I followed him around council for a day, writing a piece for a local alt weekly. He's not a perfect candidate by any means - my distrust of the left only deepens with every passing day, but my grandfather was a CCF organizer, so I have time for a man with a Tommy Douglas poster (two, actually) on his office wall.
Sentiment aside, the one thing I want to see Miller do - the thing that, if he fails, I'll never forgive him for failing - is clean out City Hall. It's a banner headline, populist sort of mandate, but it's exactly what he's promised to do, and what he told me he thought had to be done, two and a half years ago, when the MFP scandal was just breaking, before Union Station, in the age of the f**king Municipal Moose.
If Miller sets a bunch of fibreglass moose, or wicker dingoes, or plaster marmosets loose on the city, I swear to God I'll be voting for the dourest, meanest, anti-"progressive" right-wing tax-cutter in the next election. Just watch me, cheese - my wrath is simmering, and it'll only take one more public explosion of "world class" clown show theatrics to set it to boil.
I don't think Miller will do that. I don't think John Tory would have, either, but that wasn't enough to make me vote for him. I was actually wavering, considering the Darth Vader-esque call to "come over to the dark side", about halfway through the race, around the time the whole road toll "scandal" hit the airwaves. Miller, called upon to think of ways he'd raise money if promised federal and provincial money wasn't forthcoming, suggested tolls on major commuter routes like the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner. John Tory, aided by talk radio show hosts, exploded in outrage, ramping up the volume every time Miller repeated that he would only look into tolls if the feds and McGuinty's Liberals zipped their purses shut, the equivalent of "Canada to Toronto: Drop Dead".
Frankly, Tory would have been forced to do the same thing himself, were he mayor, but Tory's campaign fell back on "never mind what I'd do - it's what HE'D do" rhetoric. Both candidates daily flooded my work e-mail with campaign spam, but it was Tory's - sent by someone named Brendan Howe or, less frequently, one Catherine Pringle, the "good cop" to Howe's "bad cop" - that had the most hectoring tone, and spent more time attacking Miller than articulating his policy by contrast. It was dreary stuff, written in all-caps subject lines and thick with wholesale outrage.
Road tolls were, and are, a red herring. So, as far as I'm concerned, is the island airport. The real issue - the elephant in the living room that was barely addressed in any meaningful way during the whole election, is that municipal corruption has reached critical mass in our city, and it's only a long tradition of discretion and civic polity that's kept it from turning the place into the filthy, crime-ridden, Detroit manque that the worst election rhetoric - issued by all of the candidates - painted so vividly.
Toronto is - probably always has been - a city run by developers. Denying or ignoring this fact is as ridiculous as acknowledging it but declaring that a better world is just around the corner: weasel talk versus bonehead idealism. The dismal fact is that a city with a tax base as rich as Toronto's, even after amalgamation, is incapable of realistically entertaining the necessity for building more subway lines. Most cities of comparable or smaller size have more subway lines than we do (Montreal, Barcelona), and the fact that we killed the one we needed (Eglinton) to build the one we didn't (Sheppard) is proof that something - something as big as a stadium and as pungent as a bag of octopus sitting in the sun - truly, utterly stinks. The now-obvious fact that city employees supervised the hemhorrage of millions of dollars into cooked contracts, and oversaw rigged bids for public projects is only the embarrased face of this rot.
For some reason, no one with any power in this city has been able to convince our developing class that they'd do just as well to help build subways as white elephant sport facilities, or endless variations on the same condo towers or stingy townhomes. A subway line, once built, changes the real estate potential of everything it passes beneath. A stadium, once completed, only bides its time until its inevitable obsolescence. But the simple truths of urban mechanics seem to have been left to be elaborated into baroque fairy stories by weekend broadsheet columnists, and the sort of people who mark their summer weekends by neighbourhood walking tours and open houses. I do think Jane Jacobs is an important writer, but she's become a beloved, well-pawed dolly for these people, and seeing her onstage with Miller at Trampoline Hall's love-in made my blood run cold.
In Toronto, for a generation or more, and long before amalgamation and the lamentable reign of Mel Lastman, we've been treated to an endless slide show of architect's drawings that delight in showcasing euro-evocative boulevard street scenes and tidy, generic parkettes in order to distract us from yet another clump of high rises. It reached a point of farce with the grand plans for the Olympic Village, and the endless muttering embarassment that is Robert Fung's Waterfront Commission. If we stand a chance of getting anything done, or regaining our self-respect as a city, we should just euthanize these municipal farragoes and start again.
Not that I imagine Miller can manage to muscle the rudder toward this sort of radical change of course. But I think the city stands a better chance of being shocked into confronting its long legacy of failure with him as mayor, even if it means only one, frustrating term for Miller. Unless I read him utterly wrong - like I mostly misread George W. Bush, I suppose - I didn't see John Tory as that sort of mayor.
I know one thing: if I see Miller preside over the opening of one more precious parkette, like the Yo-Yo Ma musical shrub farm at Harbourfront, carved out of a bit of public space in front of a wall of condos, I'll utterly regret my vote.
- Rick McGinnis - 2:30am - link
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THE RESULTS ARE IN, and here's the breakdown, taken from the city's official election website. At work tonight, a winner was declared fifteen minutes after the polls closed - the electronic polling machines have certainly made the process instant, but am I alone in thinking that a lot of the drama is gone?
Here's the results of the mayoral contest, broken down by the top five candidates:
DAVID MILLER: 285,286 votes (43.58% of total)
JOHN TORY: 250,960 votes (38.33%)
BARBARA HALL: 60,423 votes (9.23%)
JOHN NUNZIATA: 34,359 votes (5.24%)
TOM JAKOBEK: 4,690 votes (0.71%)
In the end, the advance poll results very neatly predicted the Miller and Tory returns. It's fair to say that Barbara Hall had her ass handed to her; her slip from front-runner to distant third will be remembered for years to come. Tom Jakobek's returns are more like fringe candidate numbers, and it makes you almost admire him for both sticking it out, and managing to sell a perception of himself as a viable, big-ticket contender. Best website of the campaign, though.
No news on voter turnout, at least not yet. I can only hope it's better than the usual, apathetic 35%.
Anne Johnston's loss of Ward 16 after 12 consecutive terms is the big news in the council races, and considered proof of how the Minto development project engendered a grudge in her constituents. It's a lesson most councillors, new and returned, should probably ponder, even in this developer-run town. Here are the results of the council races:
Ward 1: Etobicoke North: Suzan Hall
Ward 2: Etobicoke North: Rob Ford
Ward 3: Etobicoke Centre: Doug Holyday
Ward 4: Etobicoke Centre: Gloria Lindsay Luby
Ward 5: Etobicoke-Lakeshore: Peter Milczyn
Ward 6: Etobicoke-Lakeshore: Mark Grimes
Ward 7: York West: Giorgio Mammoliti
Ward 8: York West: Peter Li Preti
Ward 9: York Centre: Maria Augimeri
Ward 10: York Centre: Michael Feldman
Ward 11: York South-Weston: Frances Nunziata
Ward 12: York South-Weston: Frank Di Giorgio
Ward 13: Parkdale-High Park: Bill Saundercook
Ward 14: Parkdale-High Park: Sylvia Watson
Ward 15: Eglinton-Lawrence: Howard Moscoe
Ward 16: Eglinton-Lawrence: Karen Stintz
Ward 17: Davenport: Cesar Palacio
Ward 18: Davenport: Adam Giambrone
Ward 19: Trinity-Spadina: Joe Pantalone
Ward 20: Trinity-Spadina: Olivia Chow
Ward 21: St. Paul's: Joe Mihevc
Ward 22: St. Paul's: Michael Walker
Ward 23: Willowdale: John Filion
Ward 24: Willowdale: David Shiner
Ward 25: Don Valley West: Jaye Robinson
Ward 26: Don Valley West: Jane Pitfield
Ward 27: Toronto Centre-Rosedale: Kyle Rae
Ward 28: Toronto Centre-Rosedale: Pam McConnell
Ward 29: Toronto-Danforth: Case Ootes
Ward 30: Toronto-Danforth: Paula Fletcher
Ward 31: Beaches-East York: Janet Davis
Ward 32: Beaches East-York: Sandra Bussin
Ward 33: Don Valley East: Shelley Carroll
Ward 34: Don Valley East: Denzil Minnan-Wong
Ward 35: Scarborough Southwest: Gerry Altobello
Ward 36: Scarborough Southwest: Brian Ashton
Ward 37: Scarborough Centre: Michael Thompson
Ward 38: Scarborough Centre: Glenn De Baeremaeker
Ward 39: Scarborough-Agincourt: Mike Del Grande
Ward 40: Scarborough-Agincourt: Norm Kelly
Ward 41: Scarborough-Rouge River: Bas Balkissoon
Ward 42: Scarborough-Rouge River: Raymond Cho
Ward 43: Scarborough East: David Soknacki
Ward 44: Scarborough East: Gay Cowbourne
A few new "progressive" candidates were returned, so Miller might have a decent chance of running council his way at least one time out of three, but he's been sitting in City Hall long enough to know not to underestimate old foes like Doug Holyday, or loose cannons like Rob Ford, or to assume that "progressives", be they old hands like Olivia Chow or new ones like Sylvia Watson or Paula Fletcher, will stand by his side, a year, a month, or even a week from now.
I've watched Miller in action - he's a subtle but effective "whip" on council floor and in committee, but as mayor he'll have to rely much more on allies, and as of yet, I'm not sure where his support is strongest in council. In any case, it's to be hoped that we'll be seeing a City Hall run on issues, and without the spectacle of a gibbering hysteric reducing municipal politics to a punch-and-judy show performed by the unmedicated. I'd have said that if Tory had won, as well. Regardless of your political leanings, I think the one consensus we can all reach is simple: Good riddance.
- Rick McGinnis - 1:03am - link
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THE ARMCHAIR GARBAGEMAN IS HAPPY, but he wants us to move fast to begin bookeeping on the new mayor's record:
Download every inch of text off of David Miller's website!
Keep it. Preserve it. Hold him accountable.
This election was so closely contested that we need to keep him true to his promises. Miller won me, but just barely over what Tory was saying. They were very differently focused platforms, and of the 536,000 of us who voted for both Tory and Miller, I'm sure the lion's share wrestled with which direction we wanted the City to go in. Do we want a financially secure City first, or do we want to ensure that public services and infrastructure are preserved over all? Can greater savings and better service be found in the private sector, or should we focus on keeping the City in charge of it's own services? Those are tough questions with equally persuasive arguments).
- Rick McGinnis - 12:28am - link
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SINGLE GIRL SYNDROME, just out of the hospital and on the mend, reacts to the election results:
i'm excited and proud that i live in Toronto, once again! Even my local Councillor that i was cheering for, Adam Giambrone (the 26 year old President of the Federal NDP Party), won! Dude is fluent in French and Arabic! Congratulations, Giambrone).
- Rick McGinnis - 12:24am - link
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RYAN BIGGE SUMS UP THE VOTING EXPERIENCE:
Today I witnessed the odour of democracy (the basement of a stinkhole community centre / holding pen for the dispossessed just south of my apartment that doubles as a voting spot) and heard the sound of democracy (a bunch of bicyclists with placards for some doomed councilor making duck honking sounds with their bells).
- Rick McGinnis - 12:21am - link
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JOE CLARK (FINALLY) BLOGS IN WITH THIS BIT OF REPORTAGE, outside the Tory "party headquarters" at Yonge and Eglinton, after the fat lady did her bit:
“Now, if this were a real democracy like Australia,” I said to the Boomer, getting up close, “voting would be compulsory.” “Ahhh,” he said, and a flash popped. Out walked John Tory, the epitome of downcast and defeated, saying “No, I can talk about that later” to nobody in particular. He held hands with his wife in a way that immediately imparted the bulwarking and shoring-up that couples give each other.
- Rick McGinnis - 12:13am - link
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