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Toronto Election

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Other than a post about Dmitri the Lover and Rob Ford, I haven’t had much to say about the Toronto muni election because I haven’t lived in Toronto for 30 years and municipal politics are hard to follow from far away.

Dmitri’s endorsement worked and Ford is the Mayor Elect of Toronto. While he was elected on a Tea Partyish platform, it remains to be seen how will change city government. The Mayor of Toronto does not wield the same sort of power the Daley’s enjoyed in Chicago, and Ford will need Council support to implement change. At this point I don’t know what kind of Council was elected with the new mayor, but I’m pretty sure it’s a diverse group.

I suspect that the Michael Harris is feeling satisfied with Ford’s election. Even in a conservative year, Rob Ford would not have been elected Mayor of the old city of Toronto. By forcing the amalgamation of the city with the other boroughs and North York, Harris grafted a 905 sensibility onto a city where blue collar and bohemian citizens coexisted with the Lord High Muckety Mucks of Bay Street.

Writing in the Globe and Mail just before the election, Richard Florida describes what he calls a lost consensus “that Toronto, for all its demographic and economic variety, is at bottom “one” city – and that it’s a fair and equitable place.”

George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi, Joe Pantalone and even John Tory, despite their differences, all reflect that same consensus – one that has stretched all the way from David Crombie and Mel Lastman to David Miller. The current election campaign shows how frayed that consensus has become. Mr. Ford, as Toronto Star columnist Chris Hume wrote, “has tapped into a deep well of exurban fear and loathing. … He personifies anti-urbanism, which makes him a hero.”

A hero in Etobicoke and Outer Scarberia perhaps, but maybe not so much in Trinity Spadina or at Parliament and Wellesley.

Written by slothropia

October 28th, 2010 at 9:47 pm