Thursday, February 11, 2010



People around the Florida pool can be as insistent as the emails from Toronto about opinions on the Toronto mayoral mess...I mean race.
Offering views from this distance can have dubious accuracy, like trying to pick out what's in a garbage dump using binoculars. But at least I don't get the stink.
I wait for the ninth innings, stretch runs and fourth quarters before I can get a good sense of winners. I feel the same about major political races. While I, like many in the media, used to fill space with punditry long before the election day, I always warned there can be many a slip between the cup and the lip, and this was before the days of sexy text messages that could be used to betray anyone for a little glory.
It makes little sense in February to predict what's going to happen in November. Let the mud wrestling go for a few months. Let all the extra sexual partners declare themselves. Let the socialists messiahs of the Star declare their candidate and then get into bed with them in a political menage a trois. Let the Laschingers and the Leans and the Gossages that now infest these races run around with their bloated rhetoric. And after all the shit and the experts hit the fan, maybe we will have a glimmering.
One thing's for sure. The best guy never entered the race. And while I can say good for John Tory and his family, I say bad for Torontonians trying to keep their head above the cess pool of taxes. We needed Tory more than the slipping radio audiences of CFRB.
I am not assuming we have seen all the candidates yet. After all, as is evident from these guys, just about anyone can run. Experience isn't considered essential. You need experience before you get a licence to drive a car but not before you run for mayor.
I was on the subway a few months ago in the morning rush when Adam Giambrone got on with a woman. I watched them chat. (No, she wasn't the woman with him when he announced for mayor.) I was curious only because he was the first TTC chairman in 50 years that I didn't know. I used to talk to some chairmen several times a week. I became such an expert on the TTC that I was asked to write its official history and turned down a senior post.
Those days are long gone but I still care about the TTC. Its problems are obvious and its union is difficult. But going to an all-politician board has added to the subway rust and the surly staff.
And the boy wonder who had been national NDP president seemed more bureaucratic shell than inspirational leader. It's a wonder he was a lover, although the NDP on a per capita basis have been the greatest stickmen in Canadian politics, as they know all the way to Rideau Hall.
I urge you to snicker away the gushings of Patrick Gossage about the courage that Giambrone displayed in this farce. He lied to the largest newspaper in the land. He lied to at least one mistress. He lied to his live-in. I think that is the most shameful thing of all. She must have know what he was, and went along, but then he confessed to at least one young buxom temptress that he was only living with this woman for political reasons. What a jerk!
And obviously he attracted jerks to work for him because one is quoted as saying that all Canadian men should consider what they've done before attacking Giambrone. No we don't.
I've never been that sleazy, even though I covered politics for 50 years. And most decent Canadians would think it was creepy to act like Giambrone, as if all the world's a stage and you can do anything upon that stage if it furthers your career. Even lie to your supposed beloved.
City Hall, like any larger collection of ambitious men and women, has testosterone mist flying out of the reflecting pool out on the square. There are affairs, babies, mistresses (I can't help it, I'm attracted to his power) seducers and horny men who massage every girl within reach.
There was the ugly alderman who lasted at two levels of politics despite having a baby with another married politician. Didn't bother insiders who gave her a major appointment. Then he coupled enthusiastically with a colleague's wife who later became a power in her church.
So there's hope for Giambrone. He should be bounced from the TTC but if his ward decides to put up with his shenanigans, he may rehabilitate himself in a few years. Voters will forgive, but no they won't forget. Nor should they have to.

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