Posts Tagged ‘politics’
Surprising absolutely no one, former Toronto city councillor and (until yesterday) NDP MP for the riding of Trinity-Spadina Olivia Chow announced that she was leaving Parliament to run as a candidate in this year’s mayoral election. CBC:
Olivia Chow officially launched her campaign to be Toronto’s next mayor, saying that “it’s time for change” in Toronto, promising to take the city in a new direction from the “failed” leadership of incumbent Rob Ford.
“We need a new mayor for a better city and I’m here to apply for the job,” Chow said.
Speaking of her humble beginnings in a struggling immigrant family, Chow told the crowd in St. James Town — the neighbourhood where she grew up — that she learned not to spend what you don’t have, to work hard for what you want and how that has shaped her view of Toronto and what the city needs to thrive.
[. . .]
“In the last four years we have paid more and more and got less and less. We are paying more to take the TTC, but we’re waiting longer for buses and packed into them like sardines,” Chow said, also speaking of the unemployment rate and the vulnerable younger generation.
Although Chow made no direct mention of Ford’s admission that he smoked crack cocaine and bought illegal drugs while mayor, nor his videotaped booze-fuelled rants, she emphasized how disappointing he has been and how he is not someone who could ever be a role model for children.
“The current mayor’s disappointing leadership has let us down over and over again. He has failed to make the critical investments our city needs to stay competitive … the current mayor is failing at his job and he is no role model for my granddaughters,” she said.
The major candidates that have declared their intention to run for mayor have so far been right-leaning, fiscal conservatives. Chow, a notable New Democrat, has already tried to contrast comments about left-wing overspending her rivals have spoken about.
Chow, appearing on CBC News Network later Thursday afternoon, noted she was on the city’s budget committee, under then-mayor Mel Lastman, for five years, during which time the books
blogTO and Torontoist both commented yesterday on the near-certainty that Chow would run. Combing through my archives, I find a note from last March on the possibility that, according to various polls, Olivia Chow would beat Rob Ford in a direct mayoral run, and another on her admission that she was considering a run. These, incidentally, preceded news of Ford’s crack tape and the various ridiculous sequelae.
Chow has a solid political record behind her, like most of the candidates announced so far. Chow’s advantage? Metro Toronto‘s Matt Elliott had earlier suggested that, given that three of the four highest-profile candidates (Rob Ford, John Tory, Karen Stintz) were on the right, Olivia Chow was the only candidate running from the left. If she was unopposed by any high-profile candidates, presumably she would have a considerable advantage over others.
Plus, it’s time for a mayor from the downtown again. (Amalgamated Toronto, as my friend Leeman pointed out to me earlier, seems to alternate between left-leaning mayors from the downtown and right-leaning mayors from the suburbs.)
Will I be voting for Chow? Unless something changes, I will. I suspect I won’t be alone in doing so. Having someone more ideologically sympathetic to me in office who isn’t prone to doing any number of ethically problematic and potentially criminal acts is something I’d enjoy. At the very, very worst, if there ever did turn out to be an Olivia Chow crack tape, I’m sure it would be a tasteful crack tape.
NOW Toronto‘s Ben Spurr notes that Ford Nation, the official YouTube channel of Toronto mayor Rob and his councillor brother Doug Ford, hasn’t had the following of either their radio show or their single episode on SUN TV last year. This, I suppose, isn’t exactly a big shocker. Right?
The first episode, posted on February 4, did well, averaging 23,289.3 viewers* for its four segments. But since then it’s been downhill. The second episode reached an average of 9,337 people for each of its six videos, and the third and latest instalment, released on February 26, garnered an average of only 5,346 viewers over its three segments.
[. . .]
By conservative estimates the City, the radio show they hosted on CFRB Newstalk 1010 for almost two years, was broadcasting to upwards of 80,000 people every week by the time it was cancelled last fall, with huge spikes on Sundays after new developments in the mayor’s crack scandal.
When they moved to TV as the scandal roiled in mid November, their single episode on the Sun News Network nabbed 155,000 viewers, which the channel’s vice president Korey Teneycke said at the time made it “biggest night ever for Sun News by a country mile.”
[. . .]
One reason is simply the demographics of the internet, according to David Bray, creative director at Bray & Partners and an expert on the radio market. The people who listened to the Fords’ radio show are unlikely to watch the YouTube series, he says.
“CFRB listeners are somewhat older,” says Bray. “It does appeal largely to the 55-plus crowd… Would that same constituency move over to online? Very unlikely, because clearly that demographic isn’t as active online.”
The online show’s content is also a problem. While the Ford brothers appeared to maintain a high degree of control over their radio show, they did usually take phone calls from listeners or had guests on. There was at least the potential for unscripted moments.