Did Toronto Elect George W. Bush Mayor?

Mayor-elect Rob Ford of Toronto

After all the municipal election excitement here in Alberta, I had no intentions of really posting anything about the equivalent elections in Ontario, but I couldn’t resist after reading some of the commentary on the election outcome in Toronto. I will admit I know very little about Toronto politics, or the candidates who ran for mayor. Therefore I am relying on the media (gasp) to help me out with this.

Toronto Mayor David Miller decided not to seek reelection this year. Miller was elected in 2003 and served two terms. He had previously been a councillor from 1997-2003. In his place an enormous number of candidates put their names forward, the majority of which dropped out before the actual vote took place. Polls showed the race to be between councillor Rob Ford and Liberal deputy premier George Smitherman. Ford is a die hard right-wing conservative who vowed to show strong fiscal restraint. He proudly proclaimed he would “stop the gravy train” (what that means, I have absolutely no idea). Smitherman meanwhile was a liberal contrast to Ford and polls showed the two in a dead heat. In the end, Ford won handily. He beat Smitherman by 90,000 votes. Toronto now has a mayor many compare to Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin and George W. Bush.

In response to this, twitter lit up as many people announced their disapproval with Ford’s selection. Here are just a few of the tweets I read:

@johnpapa Can we PLEASE refer to Rob Ford as “Mayor Double Down”? He’s greasy, filled w/ cheese and generally bad for the health of the city. #voteTO
@JasonJHughes Rob Ford is the Nickelback of Mayors. All the votes, yet no one admits to voting for him. #voteTO
@christineestima on the bright side, we now have the human equiv of Homer Simpson as our mayor. except w.out the charm. #voteto
@mferrier Nobody in Toronto can ever make fun of the US electing Bush ever again. #VoteTO
@Steve_Hamann Can Rob Ford be mayor of Toronto and keep on living in a van down by the river? #VoteTO
@awkwartunity What time is the last gravy train? Will it take me to Montreal? #VoteTO
@VeronikaSwartz Our new mayor is like a McDonald’s fart. Thick, smelly and impossible to clear out of a room. #VoteTO

The tweets like this just go on and on and on! But here are a couple of nicer ones, although they were difficult to find:

@JAVIonline Personally I don’t feel Rob Ford should’ve been elected Mayor of Toronto but I congratulate him none the less. #voteTO
@AndrewLawton Dear Toronto, I will now consider moving there. Thank you. #VoteTO. #RobFordIsAmazing @RobFordTeam

The campaign got nasty at some points, with both front runners the victims of unwarranted attacks. There were also numerous incidents of Mr. Ford’s past to come out which he probably would have preferred stay hidden. But regardless of the disapproving comments of many, Ford won by a large margin and obviously has the support of a large portion of the city. He deserves a fair chance to govern, as does any new politician. In spite of the seemingly terrible public image he has, he could very well turn out to be an effective mayor. Perhaps with the bar set so low, he could surprise many.

Just a couple more notes on other races in Ontario. In Toronto, (which I learned today has 44 councillors!) one of the new faces will be Mike Layton, son of federal NDP leader Jack Layton. Appears Mike is following in his Dad’s footsteps. Another new (or old) face will be Doug Ford, brother of mayor elect Rob Ford who will take over his old riding.

Ottawa will have a new mayor, as the scandal plagued incumbent went down to defeat to Jim Watson. In Vaughn, former Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua easily defeated the incumbent. Maurizio Bevilacqua’s federal seat, as mentioned in the previous post is part of the November byelections. In Mississauga, 89 year old Hazel McCallion won her twelfth term. While I commend her on her amazing service to Mississauga, the woman has got to retire! Twelve terms is too much for anybody. She doesn’t even campaign anymore. It is definitely time for the people of Mississauga to say goodbye to Hurricane Hazel.

Hazel McCallion



About Chris James

A student of political science at a Canadian University sharing stories of interest on Canadian and American political and social issues.

Posted on October 26, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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