Posts Tagged ‘politics’
CBC reports on last night’s mayoral debate. I will say that, following the debate on Twitter last night, the whole thing seemed more than a bit ridiculous.
Toronto’s political crazy train kept on rolling during Doug Ford’s first mayoral debate Tuesday night as candidates traded barbs in front of a rowdy, and at times abusive, audience.
The debate, billed as the public’s first real look at Doug Ford the mayoral candidate, revolved heavily around candidates’ controversial and vastly different plans for new public transit infrastructure. Both Ford and Olivia Chow presented billboard diagrams to illustrate their respective visions.
The two-hour faceoff was punctuated by several heated exchanges between Ford and front-runner candidate John Tory, who Ford criticized as an “elitist” career politician without any real experience at Toronto City Hall.
“I’ll tell you something, John, you’re a slick-talking politician,” Ford said after Tory answered a question on his plan for reducing poverty throughout the city. “You’re from a whole different world.”
The comment garnered a loud cheer from the largely pro-Ford audience at York Memorial Collegiate Institute, located on the border of Wards 11 and 12 near Eglinton Avenue and Black Creek Drive, an area of the city considered a political stronghold of the Ford family. Before the debate began, many audience members chanted “We want Doug!”
Ford continually pivoted to Tory’s inexperience in Toronto municipal politics throughout the night.
“No mayor has ever been elected without first sitting on council,” Ford claimed (in fact, a handful have). “I know you’re used to having everything handed to you on a silver platter.… It’s always been handed to John Tory.”
Torontonians flocked to the streets in jubilation on September 21, gathering outside newspaper headquarters and crowding the streets from Front to Queen between Church and York. Cheers arose as returns were announced for the day’s federal election: Robert Laird Borden had led the Conservative Party to a landslide victory over Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier’s incumbent Liberals.
The Conservatives won overwhelming majorities in all four Toronto ridings, and two of the three York County ridings—the third being won by William Findlay Maclean as an independent Conservative. The national drubbing was so thorough that some observers predicted the extinction of the Liberal Party.
The deciding issue of the campaign was the new Reciprocity Agreement, which secured free trade with the United States. Representing a huge shift in economic policy, the Agreement was anathema to central business interests. The prospect of free trade prompted the Toronto Eighteen, a group of prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs who’d supported the Liberal Party through the boom years at the turn of the century, to publicly chastise the prime minister and abandon the party. Throwing their weight behind the Conservatives, they helped determine the course of the election.
[. . .]
One of the city’s leading citizens, Walker had always kept aloof from active politics at any level. Now, he systematically outlined his objections to the agreement. He worried about lower-quality American goods flooding Canadian markets, and wheat making its way south through Duluth or Minneapolis rather carried by Canadian railways via Winnipeg or Thunder Bay. Moreover, the ardent imperialist worried about American immigrants settling the west and whether the Agreement might re-ignite American ambitions to annex Canada.
“Although I am a Liberal,” Walker concluded, “I am a Canadian first of all and I can see that this is much more than a trade question. Our alliance with the Mother Country must not be threatened. We must assimilate our immigrants and make out of them good Canadians. And this Reciprocity Agreement is the most deadly danger as tending to make this problem more difficult and fill it with doubt and difficulty. The question is between British connection and what has been well called Continentalism.”