Smitherman tries to get by with a little help from his friends
Over the past six months, we’ve catalogued a few examples of how Toronto has been ignored by the McGuinty government. The short list would include cuts to Transit City, funding for roads everywhere except Toronto, and a pretty poisonous fight over fare cards (of all things). Turns out there is one thing that really gets the attention of Ontario’s governing Liberals: the prospect of a Rob Ford victory over George Smitherman. And Smitherman, clearly not making headlines of his own, needs all the help he can get.
The Toronto Star had the story on Saturday morning, but it’s too good to let slip through the cracks:
Mindful that a municipal victory by Progressive Conservative Rob Ford would be a blow to the Grits in the city, pamphlets are being distributed to 75,000 identified Liberal voters by Smitherman’s campaign….
Hailing the fact he was “the Liberal MPP for Toronto Centre for 10 years,” the flyer also hypes his service as McGuinty’s deputy, minister of health, and minister of energy and infrastructure.
The touting of Smitherman’s partisan ties underscores a growing sense at Queen’s Park that the mayoral hopeful’s political fortunes are entwined with those of the governing party.
Funny thing, it turns out that neglecting the most vote-rich city in the province (the Liberals hold 19 of Toronto’s 23 ridings) might have an electoral downside for the provincial government. Given the poll that came out over the weekend showing a pile of bad news for the Liberals, Dalton McGuinty and his ilk must be desperate to hold on to safe seats wherever they can.
The real question is this: Eight years after Mike Harris left office, have the Liberals finally have worn out the credit that came from not being Mike Harris?
• Liberals scramble to help George Smitherman stop Rob Ford [Toronto Star]
3 thoughts on “Smitherman tries to get by with a little help from his friends”
I don’t know why the provincial government dares to ignore Toronto. This is always the way it has been for the richest city in Ontario. If Rob Ford is elected as mayor, be prepared for four years of populist saber-rattling. A non-functioning city, with a blowhard at the helm. How wonderful.
The Toronto back room Liberal brain trust that gave us the dubious “sure thing” Mr. Ignatieff now believes George E-health Smitherman should be the next shoo-in to be betowed on us. Mr. Smitheman may end up as Ignatieff the Second – raising doubts as to the Liberal coronation process in general, and the Liberal understanding of a popular mood shift in particular. Rob Ford is indeed bad news for shifty Dalton.
I don’t like the idea of someone from our current Provincial Liberal Government taking on the job as mayor of this city. Too much conflict of interest. There’s a bad pedigree of dishonesty and shifty politics for me to throw my vote towards Smitherman. I don’t know if Smitherman’s looking out for the best interest of Toronto when he’s got his buddy Dalton whispering in his ear the whole time. I suppose I’ve still got a bad taste in my mouth from the whole e-Health issue, the blatent cash-grab AKA the HST and the heavy handed push to get implemented, etc. Smitherman’s not that far removed from Queen’s Park. I just don’t trust him.
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