ACTUALLY TALK TO THEM AND CHOICE IS OBVIOUS
I have known John Tory and occasionally been critical since he started as a kid City Hall reporter in the early 1970s.
I have known Olivia Chow since she drifted into urban politics like a quiet Asian waif, first as a trustee in 1985, then as a Metro councillor in '91. I have always been critical of her.
I have never liked the Fords, whether the clown or the thug.
So the choice was obvious. Even as Mary struggled through the huge list of mayoral candidates on the ballot, I quickly completed the arrow for Tory.
Then as we left the gym where there were far too many officials in some sort of make-work project by City Hall, Mary complained about all those people running for mayor. She was surprised.
And I complained, as someone who has covered municipal politics since 1957, when Yukon councillors tried to kick me out of my first council meeting, that I had written dozens of times about all the crazies and nut jobs and publicity seekers who run for office, especially for Toronto mayor, because it's more publicity than most people get between the birth notice and the obit.
And some of the stranger desperate candidates still get too much attention from the media.
When even my wife, who supposedly reads me, is surprised by all those people running for mayor, it is obvious that too many people really don't give a damn about politics and don't even bother to do basic homework.
The choice for mayor has never been been easier. Tory is used to being a confident leader. Chow is a minor player in a party that gets delusions of grandeur when it manages to finish second.
You choose Chow to be your babysitter IF you leave her lots of emergency phone numbers.
I remember a CBC radio producer who phoned me late one night and pleaded with me to debate Chow the next day at 8.30 a.m. for 10 minutes or so. I can't remember the topic. It may well have been assisted housing (she and Jack Layton knew all about that since they took advantage of the housing for the lower classes) or day care. Whatever! It was an NDP issue, basically one where the party wants to overtax most of us to give services to a few. I did it as a favour to him and hoped at best to make it a tie because it was an issue about which she should have been an expert.
I cleaned her clock. It was so bad that she started giggling nervously. After I hung up, I said to Mary, who as a loyal wife hadn't bothered to listen since I had evicted her from being near the kitchen phone so she wouldn't make her usual dish racket, that I was certainly glad Chow didn't represent us.
She admits herself that she's not charismatic. She admits herself that she is not easy in English (and Tory has been an accomplished radio host and speakers for charities and the CFL.)
Yet here she is being propped up by the left and mushy middle, plus feminists and anti-Conservative activists, as a credible candidate when her late husband, whose views she still echoes, was a real word warrior armed with a doctorate and a Ryerson tenured nook who was rejected soundly by Toronto voters when he ran for mayor.
Layton had several election defeats, and so does she, not counting this one. And both were used to being defeated at council and the Commons on most motions they had concocted to take more money out of our pockets.
She may have a degree after different studies at several universities. She has been an artist but an election is not a gallery show. And she is the darling of the bike addicts because she rides. (And so did Layton who sued me and the paper after he claimed a Sun box assaulted him.)
Layton only looked good on the national stage because our PM is a wooden control freak saved mainly by far better policies and sensible actions than the gLiberals and the socialists.
This election is a no-brainer. What I would really like to see is Tory as mayor and 44 rookie councillors.. The present crop of incumbents were almost as bad as their "evil" target, Rob, who confounded them continually because he related more to the taxpayers than they did even when he was careening from disaster to disaster. He was incompetent but they couldn't run a kennel.
Elect Tory and you won't be sorry.
Elect Chow and you'll howl.