Why I Can’t Get Behind John Tory

John Tory and Doug Ford: common people?

John Tory and Doug Ford: common people?

As we enter the final week of Toronto’s 2014 civic election race with record numbers of voters turning out at advanced polls (which are now closed), mainstream media has been claiming John Tory is the sure-bet to win the mayoral seat — which, lest we not forget, is only one vote of 45 on city council, and not nearly as influential as we may believe. The editorial board at The Globe & Mail has endorsed Mr. Tory, which should come as no surprise given that

“(Tory’s) late father, lawyer John A. Tory, was a trusted adviser to the late Kenneth Thomson, whose Woodbridge Co. Ltd. is majority owner of The Globe and Mail.”

And The Toronto Sun, typically on the Rob Ford camp, have endorsed Tory — whose campaign team, led by Nick Kouvalis, is the exact same one that brought us Rob Ford in 2010 (more on this below).

One also can’t help but wonder if The Toronto Star, famous for exposing Rob Ford’s many scandals, will follow suit. This weekend, after printing an article noting that this week in 2003 David Miller beat Mel Lastman to become mayor of Toronto, The Star quickly printed a correction saying that Miller did not beat Lastman because Lastman did not actually run in 2003 — leaving out the point that Miller in fact beat… John Tory. All of this in a weekly summary article that, surely enough, uses a feature image of… John Tory.

Sidebar: this is great piece on “How polling skews elections” examines the unreliability of so-called “scientific” polls.

The Robb Not Ford campaign has maintained a positive outlook and never slumped to personal attacks, and will continue to refrain as they have no business in this election — or any for that matter. Rather, we’ve focused on positive encouragements for civic engagement (and will this week be looking at endorsements of city council candidates across Toronto’s 44 wards).

But to make a limited critical analysis, this is why I, in the words of Henry Rollins and William Shatner, “can’t get behind” John Tory in his effort to become mayor of Toronto.

I can’t get behind Canada’s worst negative ad in history.

In 1993, as campaign manager to federal Progressive Conservative leader Kim Campbell, John Tory approved one of my earliest political memories: Canada’s first ever American-style negative attack ads saying “Is this the face of a Prime Minister?” — while showing pictures of Liberal leader Jean Chrétien’s facial paralysis caused by Bell’s palsy.

Often referred to as the nastiest attack ad in Canadian history, John Tory’s blunder resulted in the PC Party getting trounced in the 1993 election.

I can’t get behind misogyny.

An earlier post on this website looked at John Tory’s 2014 comments that women need to learn how to play golf in order to shrink the pay gap between men and women in the business world.

Without really needing to elaborate…. I can’t get behind that.

I can’t get behind a Ford with a better vocabulary.

Earlier this month, John Tory admitted — after initially denying — that in 2010 he donated to Doug Ford’s Ward 2 city council campaign. His response? A haze of lost memory.

“Frankly, even to this moment, I don’t recall donating to Doug Ford’s campaign. I may well have done. I’ve tried to support people in public life of all different stripes.”

Sounds a little like Rob Ford’s “probably in one of my drunken stupors” adage; but regardless, a vote for Tory simply feels like a vote for a Ford with a better vocabulary, which… I can’t get behind.

I can’t get behind the team that brought Toronto Rob Ford.

John Tory’s campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, was Rob Ford’s campaign manager in 2010. Should we really trust the product being sold to us by the team that sold us Rob Ford?

I can’t get behind pulling out on debates that matter.

At the last minute, John Tory withdrew from the TTC Riders’ debate (Sept. 15), the housing debate (Oct. 17), and the waterfront debate (also Sept. 15). Aren’t transit, housing, and the environment three issues central to most Torontonians, particularly those in need?

The withdrawals beg the question: when faced with having to defend his most central arguments, particularly his “SmartTrack” transit plan which has come under major fire for its financial feasibility, is John Tory just going to pull out?

I can’t get behind denying white the existence of white privilege.

In a rare moment of actual anger in this campaign, I responded to the above comments by Mr. Tory in response to the question by Global reporter Peter Kim“Does white privilege exist?” — hinting that, ultimately, Tory is simply a Ford with a better vocabulary.

Thanks to the Torontoist‘s Desmond Cole for the detailed response to the reality of white privilege in light of Mr. Tory’s comments (note: The Torontoist gave an official endorsement to Olivia Chow this week — you’re welcome for the “do better” slogan!).

…and of course, without a further elaboration on white privilege, this wonderful piece by Jon Stewart from earlier this year seems to fit the occasion.

I can’t get behind getting Rogered.

In the 1990s, Rogers launched negative option billing plans for subscribers. Under its plan, Rogers added new stations and new fees without consent and would only drop them if a subscriber specifically declined the new stations. The move sparked massive consumer outrage and led to Parliament passing a law in 1999 effectively banning the practice – The Toronto Star.

John Tory ran Rogers media from 1995 to 1999 and Rogers Cable from 1999 to 2003.

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Ever been Rogered? Tory’s your guy.

I can’t get behind faith-based public funding for schools.

“It’s still called the theory of evolution. They teach evolution in the Ontario curriculum, but they also could teach the fact to the children that there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs” – John Tory

As leader of the Ontario conservatives, against the advice of his own party, Tory pledged to extend $400 million in public funding to faith-based religious schools. The promise deeply split Ontario, and the Conservatives saw a massive plunge in polls as a result, ultimately losing the provincial election in 2007.

John Tory isn’t being called the Mitt Romney of Canada for nothing.

But I CAN get behind a progressive city council.

These are just some of the reasons why I don’t believe John Tory as mayor would be the “SmartTrack” for Toronto.

However, if elected as mayor, John Tory’s one vote on a council of 45 would, like that of the Fords (regularly losing votes 43-2), carry little weight. Electing a progressive council is absolutely essential on October 27 — which leads us to the next week of entries coming up on robbnotford.com.

We can do BETTER, Toronto!

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About robbnotford

Mayoral Candidate for Toronto 2014. #robbnotford
This entry was posted in Accessibility, Budget, Buses, Candidates, Civic Participation, Communities, Debate, Democracy, Diversity, Doug Ford, Environment, Feminism, Housing, John Tory, Leadership, LGBT Rights, LRT, My Campaign, No Jets TO, Olivia Chow, Ontario Election, Participation, Rob Ford, Social Services, Subways, Taxes, Toronto Island, Transit, TTC, Waterfront, We Can Do Better Toronto and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Why I Can’t Get Behind John Tory

  1. Pingback: Thank you, Toronto! | Robb Not Ford

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