Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Toronto Party Emerges

...or at least launches a website. And from this website:

THE TORONTO PARTY plans to contest all 44 council seats and the Mayoral seat in the 2010 City of Toronto election. It is our goal to win.

To achieve this goal we are calling upon Premier Dalton McGuinty, John Tory and Howard Hampton to amend the Municipal Elections Act ("MEA") so that residents of Ontario's cities can enjoy the same democratic rights exercised by people who support provincial or federal parties in Canada.

In the interim, we will act in concert with sitting city councillors, and local community and business leaders as Toronto's official opposition to Mayor Miller and his de facto cabinet.

While I have some sympathy for TO Party's major complaint--that the NDP is organized on the municipal level in a way the other large Ontario parties are not--I don't hold out much home for these people in their effort to counter this advantage and elect someone other than David Miller.

For one thing, I don't see amending the MEA as being in the cards (although a couple of TO Party types have said that the Libs have made sympathetic noises, and that John Tory is the real roadblock). The new City of Toronto Act, mandating the creation of all these new taxes that the Toronto Pary is opposed to, is being eyed enviously (I am told) by other municipal politicians, and will be used as a template for further legislation granting similar powers to other cities across Ontario. Therefore, doing something to make it easier to fight the new taxes you are allowing the cities to oppose seems to defeat the purpose.

Secondly, in regards to the mayor's seat, the best (maybe only) way to counteract the NDP's downtown machine is to settle on a high-profile Centrist Liberal/Centrist Tory and squeeze out any other candidates on the right side of the political spectrum. Since Mel Lastman passed from the scene and John Tory made the leap to provincial politics, such people are difficult to come by. I've heard people occasionally talk about Paul Godfrey or Pinball Clemens (who really ought to consider running for something someday, he is so honestly, almost freakishly, nice). But would any of these people want to be beholden to a political organization (like The Toronto Party) that they do not control, and would The Toronto Party be able to build itself into such a force that its mayoral candidate became credible merely because he was the candidate of the Toronto Party? I doubt it: so if they run someone in 2010, he/she will be a Fringe candidate.

Now, on the other hand, The Toronto party might back an existing mainstream candidate as an alternative to David Miller, and become like one of the dozens of community/rate-payers and other groups that are minor players in TO municipal elections. But beyond this level of influence I have my doubts.

On the level of council, perhaps there is more hope. But I remember in the mid 1990s when C4LD spawned an immense amount of citizen activism, both downtown and in the suburbs, all in an effort to elect a council that would help structure the amalgamated Mega-City into a decentralized form that would be friendly towards local concerns.

Bottom line: I don't think a single candidate was elected/defeated that would not have been elected/defeated had we all just stayed home. The job of Councillor in Toronto seems to be a lifetime position.


Jay said...

Interesting but I think its just another propaganda site set up by some person with a "beef". I can say that because the website is frought with mistakes like "Gridlock costs the city $1.6 a year in lost productivity"

1.6 what? million, billion, trillion, a dollar sixty?


"Mayor Miller and his hand-picked Executive Committee have also unanimously passed recommendation that will [increase or decrease?]land transfer fees by 100%"


Torontonians will be paying more and getting less with the introduction of a new garbage collection scheme that will [will what?] city coffers to the tune of $54 million

To me this sounds like the typical grumpy conservative. It has all the signs of a rant.

Anyone serious about this type of thing would have been much much more professional.

I agree though that the new taxes very excessive and will result in me going to even less movies, bars and I will be buying property in the 905 region when I sell my current home in 3 years. I will then look for work around my new home. I would suspect many will do the same, resulting in increased gridlock, and more exhaust/pollution.

Miller is the shining example of what would happen provincially and federally if the NDP were to form a government.

bigcitylib said...

Jay, I wouldn't be at all surprised if similar taxes haven't been levied in whatever 905 community you look in 3 years from now. As I say, this is supposed to be a template for further legislation.

Jay said...

Good point.

Anonymous said...

And why is insanity a prerequisite?

Anonymous said...

do you think anyone outside of Torrana gives crap about what happens there ??

Toronto & Miller deserve each other

Anonymous said...

Oh, hush up, pissy.

Anonymous said...

Ban pitbulls. Ban handguns. Ban cars that look fast.

What's next?

Ban smoking. Ban knives. Ban alcohol. Ban fists. Ban cars that get stolen. Ban the cars that don't get stolen because they'll be next after the stolen ones get banned.

Toronto - home of the Left-Winged Loon. Well, you get what you deserve.