I’ll admit, I don’t usually get too much involved in a municipal election some three months before the vote…even if I was among the politically-inclined 20 per cent that actually voted in the Trinity-Spadina byelection. But unlike last month’s call to the polls on Canada Day’s Eve, last night’s debate landed at just the right time on the calendar. In the absence of any Tuesday-night sporting drama–don’t get me started on soccer!–this piece of political theatre ably filled the void, structured as it was like a professional wrestling match. Minus the spandex, of course. Cuz nobody wants to see Rob Ford in a speedo!
That said, it seemed The Mayor of This CityTM made his triumphant return from RobHab in front of, if not a hometown crowd, then one that was certainly supportive. Several Scarbarians were chanting his name as he strode triumphantly to the mic, unnoticeably lighter, and while Olivia Chow got some early heat, she was definitely playing the heel this evening. Speaking of heels, David “Dr. Demento” Soknacki drew the loudest boos by suggesting off the bat that the city should build LRTs. Seems like Scarborough really, really wants that subway…and apparently, most of the candidates are going to give it to them. Olivia Chow notably slipped up by saying she’d build “above-ground subways,” leading to a big boot from the Fordster while all the Fordamaniacs went wild!
Having not paid too much attention to the campaign until now, I couldn’t help but notice this race seems to be run from the right, with one notable exception, of course. Even Soknacki, despite his unpopular transit position, seemed to play the note of fiscal responsibility, having been the former treasurer of Scarborough or something like that. Karen “Ms. TTC” Stintz seemed to be the one-note, transit-above-everything-else candidate, although her style of verbal repartee made me wanna say “Oh snap!” every time she finished a sentence. And for all the talk about John Tory not taking a position on anything, he seemed to have the facts and figures (or at least, pieces of paper with words on them) to back up his stance yesterday.
But the evening clearly belonged to Rob “F’n” Ford. Even though his main argument was “Everything’s awesome in Toronto right now, all because of Rob Ford!” (a logical fallacy if I ever heard one), he drew by far the biggest cheers of the night. A couple of his right-leaning opponents even felt the Ford heat, as Stintz had to abandon her “Who do you trust?” mantra when the crowd enthusiastically responded “Rob Ford!” every fucking time. And John Tory, oh man, he did not put a lot of thought into his closing remarks, considering he was in Ford Country. Every time he asked a “who’s the best candidate…” question, of which there were several, ie “Who’s the best candidate to work with Stephen Harper (“Rob Ford!”) …and Kathleen Wynne? (“Rob Ford!”), more than a few loud-mouthed Fordamaniacs chanted The Mayor of This City’s name instead. Man, stick Tory in a singlet and he’s practically Kurt Angle!
Alas, ever since Mayor McCheese first wrapped his lips around a crack pipe, I’ve been asking both myself and my readership “Who would possibly vote for this bozo again?” Well, after last night, I now have my answer–and, I gotta say, I’m sure glad I don’t work in Scarborough anymore!