The No-Politics-Allowed Candidate Questionnaire: University-Rosedale

A handful of Toronto ridings are way too close to call. For those who can’t make up their minds on the basis of the issues, we present the ultimate tie-breaker: a questionnaire in which the front-runners answer questions on just about every topic other than politics—the theory being that if their policies haven’t won you over, perhaps their personalities will.

Chrystia Freeland and Jennifer Hollett
Chrystia Freeland (Liberal, current vote projection*: 41.8 per cent)
Jennifer Hollett (NDP, current vote projection*: 34.8 per cent)
What’s your most impressive trait?
Freeland: Determination.
Hollett: Diplomacy. Friends call me “the diplomat.”
Your worst?
Freeland: Tardiness.
Hollett: Perfectionism. (And I know the fact I even bring that up is annoying.)
How much do you usually tip?
Freeland: 20 per cent.
Hollett: I used to be a server. 20 per cent.
When was the last time you experienced joy?
Freeland: Listening to my rambunctious 6 year-old son, Ivan, practice the piano after his first lesson this fall, and sit still to play and tell me how much he likes it.
Hollett: The other night at Snakes and Lattes. A couple of big belly laughs playing board games with our team.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Freeland: Legal aid lawyer (the job my mother did).
Hollett: Journalist.
If you could live in any decade, which one and why?
Freeland: Now.
Hollett: A decade in the future, to see where we’re headed so I can report back.
What Friends character are you?
Freeland: I’ve never seen Friends—I was living in Kyiv and Moscow when it was on TV.
Hollett: Monica.
What’s your favourite vice?
Freeland: Red wine.
Hollett: Sugar. Big sweet tooth and a mouth full of fillings.
If you had to survive on one fast food item for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Freeland: Poutine.
Hollett: I’m getting by in this campaign thanks to burritos.
Who’s your role model?
Freeland: My late mother.
Hollett: Malala Yousafzai.
Name a word you’re not sure how to pronounce.
Freeland: Niche.
Hollett: Niche. I say neesh, but hear so many people committed to nitch.
What’s the last book you read?
Freeland: The Orenda, by Joseph Boyden.
Hollett: I’m reading The Entrepreneurial State, by Mariana Mazzucato.
What’s a slightly embarrassing fact about you no one knew until right now?
Freeland: That I really never have watched a single episode of Friends.
Hollett: I sometimes iron my shirt with my hair straightener.
What’s a bad day like for you?
Freeland: Late for everything—not even enough time to drink my essential morning coffee.
Hollett: Flat tire on my bike.
What smartphone app do you use the most?
Freeland: Twitter.
Hollett: Songza.
What’s your favourite curse word?
Freeland: Kholera, which means cholera in Ukrainian and is the all-purpose Ukrainian curse word.
Hollett: I hardly ever swear. So when I do, it packs a punch.
What’s your favourite possession?
Freeland: The red bike my father bought me for Christmas last year.
Hollett: My passport.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Freeland: “If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution.” Emma Goldman. (This was one of my mother’s favourite quotes. Goldman spent some time living in our riding and died in Toronto.)
Hollett: Lived her beliefs.
Car, bike, or TTC?
Freeland: Bike.
Hollett: Bike.
Dog or cat?
Freeland: Horse.
Hollett: Cat.
White or whole wheat?
Freeland: Whole wheat.
Hollett: Whole wheat.
Ketchup or sriracha?
Freeland: Sriracha. (And I also love Caplansky’s mustard!)
Hollett: Ketchup.
Drake or Meek Mill?
Freeland: Drake, but mostly in honour of Norm Kelly!
Hollett: Drake and The 6 of course.

*(Vote projections from


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