Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chow declares her candidacy; let the games begin

The Canadian Press is reporting that Olivia Chow resigned her seat in Parliament earlier today and is expected to formally launch her bid on Thursday to become the next mayor of Toronto.

Well-know as the New Democrat MP for Trinity-Spadina, a riding in downtown Toronto, Chow will launch her new campaign tomorrow in Toronto’s St. James Town, the neighbourhood of her youth.

Chow was once a Toronto councillor, having been elected to Toronto’s Council in 1991. She was re-elected five times before leaving to win her federal seat in 2006. The former MP’s decision ends months of speculation.

No doubt Olivia Chow will be a front-runner in what has become a somewhat crowded field, which includes the incumbent, though controversial, Mayor Rob Ford and radio talk-show host and former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, John Tory. City councillor Karen Stintz is also running, along with long-shots Adam Vaughan, Denzil Minnan-Wong and David Soknacki.

I’ve read that Chow’s campaign will be headed by John Laschinger, and her war room is expected to be led by Toronto Sun columnist and author Warren Kinsella.

Laschinger—described by the Globe and Mail as “Toronto's most sought-after campaign manager”—is a veteran strategist who led campaigns for Brian Mulroney and Mike Harris, and was the man behind David Miller’s campaigns, or so I have read.

Warren Kinsella is, of course, the well-known Liberal pundit and blogger conservatives so love to “hate.” But didn’t he support Chow’s rival John Tory in 2010 when speculation was rife that Tory would run? In a article in Aug. 2010, Kinsella is quoted as saying that John Tory is “the best mayor we never had.” Kinsella sure doesn’t have much good to say about Tory this time around.

Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. Consider that Tom Allison—described by the Globe and Mail as “the organizational mastermind behind Kathleen Wynne’s stunning leadership victory last year”—left the Ontario premier’s office to head up John Tory’s campaign.

These professional strategists and pundits are like hired guns, I guess, and go where they can make the largest contribution in any given campaign—regardless of party affiliation or Left/Right leanings of their candidates.

I’ve no real problem with that, except that I do find it odd when an especially rabid partisan works on another tribe’s campaign. Doesn’t it make you wonder how sincere campaigns are?

I understand Liberals working for New Democrats—they are pretty closely aligned anyway. But a Liberal developing strategy and policy for a conservative; a conservative doing likewise for a New Democrat? How does that work?

An interesting choice Toronto’s voters will be presented with in October. They get to select a mayor from: a right-wing incumbent who self-describes as smoking crack cocaine “in a drunken stupor;” a socialist who offers name recognition and not much more; or a charming fellow who couldn’t win a safe PC seat in the Ontario legislature.

I’m sure those big-shot Toronto city slickers know what they’re doing. I guess they’re just too sophisticated for us small town fellows to fathom.


  1. "Doesn’t it make you wonder how sincere campaigns are? "

    No. There's reason campaign managers are called,"snake oil salesmen", and their job is to convince the credulous that "no matter what ails ya, we got the cure,right here in this bottle/politician".

    This, to me,an outsider from B.C., is sad news.Chow, running on the sacred name of Jack Layton, will probably win,and once she's in place,I expect Ontarians will follow suit Provincially and vote for another socialist, spend and borrow government.

    I had hoped that Ontario would one day regain it's important economic status in Canada, but if they keep voting Left,and more Left, it isn't going to happen.

    1. Ontario will likely go Liberal federally, so at least one level of government has a history of balanced budgets. Toronto will go broke with over spenders like Chow and Harper.

    2. Wow, Anon 10:04 PM, where'd you hear that Harper was running for office in Toronto? I heard Harper was behind the earthquake in Japan.

  2. I am going to say their is really 2 choices, if you want more of the David Miller style of Socialist reckless spending government vote for Chow, if you want responsible Conservative lite government your only choice is to vote for John Tory. Rob Ford is done!!!! Just my 2 cents worth....Steve O

  3. Canada's answer to Yoko Ono,Olivia Chow will fail in her run for mayor because of Wrinklie Kinsella.
    He will insist on using yesterday's worn out no holds barred attack stratregy which make Chow look like a bitter, desperate has-been.
    If he gets her to buy into the cringe worthy "Rise Up" mantra that his former client Ignatieff made a fool of himself with then it's all over.

  4. Well, it could be worse you could have Allison Redford...

  5. dmorris comes closest to my way of thinking. Horwath will win the province with Chow's help too - timing is everything and as awful as it's going to be for Ontario if they can turn that orange crush ripple back in to a wave....the province is going to have a serious problem.


  6. Horwath is not about to win the coming election, to do so she would need to win a few of the 35 or so rural seats. Wynne and her can split Toronto and urban seats, both are totally unacceptable in the country. Obviously for wind turbine madness, but secondly Horwath has no agricultural policy, no MP capable of being Agr minister, Like Wynne she is at sea with modern agriculture methods Those with long memories recall Rae and his hapless Agr minister from Elliot Lake, they actually moved to implement some of the wooly ideas on subsistance farming popular then. Horwath/Wynne are joined at the hip on their perception of rural Ont, neither have any appeal to voters.

  7. "Horwath is not about to win the coming election." Thanks, Martin, that really cheered me up. The thought of the Dippers running Ontario makes me shudder.