Bob Hepburn delightfully sums up the state of affairs for about 65%-75% of Torontonians for whom the only issue in this municipal election is kicking the Fords out of the mayor's office after four years of woeful damage to our city's governance and reputation: "It's about defeating the Fords, stupid!"
Doug Ford is a simple-minded, thug bully who will appoint his brother to be deputy mayor should he somehow squeak up the middle and win on voting day.
But thoughtful, pragmatic, progressive, fair-minded people who aren't committed to far-left ideology are determined not to let that happen. I'm one of those people. Together, we will back the candidate who's run the best campaign and has won support across the entire city. That's why after all these months I'm ready to do it: I'm ready to say I'm voting for John Tory for mayor.
I've always liked Tory, who I view as a moderate conservative with a heart, someone who is cosmopolitan and can finally represent all parts of this city in a way no mayor has since amalgamation in 1997. I don't agree with everything he stands for, but I like enough of what he's proposed, including the smart policy of re-purposing existing GO rail lines to serve as rapid transit. He's the only candidate of the three major ones remaining who has a plan that shows vision and creativity.
Olivia Chow seems happy to simply resurrect David Miller's legacy, which got us Rob Ford in the first place. She's proven completely incapable of selling her plan to a broad swath of voters as she's only ever had to do so in the uber-progressive riding of Trinity-Spadina. I always worried she wouldn't be the right mayor to unite the city after Rob Ford, and might even inspire a similarly grotesque far-right conservative backlash in 2018, were she to win this year. But now it seems Chow is heading for big defeat on election night as voters like me switch to Tory to stop Doug Ford in his tracks.
Special memo to Chow supporters who continue to send out their annoying little tweets and attacks against John Tory's proposals, nitpicking on the details (which we all know will be fixed post-election) and trying to argue John Tory and the Fords are one and the same. They are not and it's insulting to my intelligence to suggest it. Only a far left ideologue who can't see beyond Kensington Market would believe John Tory is just like Rob Ford.
In 2010, the city wanted a break from the left-wing experiments of David Miller and his failed management style. They picked the most extreme opposite they could find in Rob Ford, mostly because no one with more credibility stepped forward. As much as we hate the personal disasters of Rob Ford and the Ford family, it does seem like the voters in Toronto still want their mayor to lean a bit more to the centre-right. John Tory can be that mayor, I think.
After so many defeats, it would be great to see John Tory finally win and see what he can do with the management of the city. He'll be a very good mayor, I predict, should he win. That's why I'm imploring all pragmatic, thoughtful, progressives to do the right thing: vote for Tory to stop the Fords. Don't waste your vote on Olivia.