Monday, November 13, 2006

POLLS CLOSE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR

I'll be here reporting in from time to time on the Ontario returns. The Ottawa mayor's race is supposed to be very close, and the Vaughan race is really dirty between incumbent Michael Di Biase and Linda Jackson. There was also a guy running in the GTA who impersonated a police officer, and there were threats of intimidation in some races. Talk about wild stuff.

Municipal politics can be dirty, but it's also fun. This is grassroots politics, folks. If you want to get a lot of hands-on political experience, municipal politics is the best place to get it in my book. Particularly in Toronto. These folks really get into it in Toronto and in the GTA, it's a lively scene there and many of the people involved municipally also have provincial or federal experience. I notice John Parker, who sat at Queen's Park, is running for council in Jane Pitfield's old seat. I noticed in York Region that the area's ex-MP, Jim Jones, is running there for re-election to regional council. A guy I've met during the Tony Clement leadership race in 2002, Joe Li, is also running for regional council in the Markham area. He ran for Parliament in Markham before and got hammered. He's lost so many races now that it has become a running joke; he really needs a win, badly.

My own political involvement in the Toronto area in recent years included a lot of contact with people close to the municipal political scene there. I know city councillors and school trustees there, and a number of local political aides who work at City Hall and are actively involved. On these provincial and federal races I ran into plenty of municipal people; I met councillor Rob Ford during the federal votes. Of course I volunteered heavily on the mayor's race three years ago for John Tory, a great experience and good exposure to politics, so I'm up on all the local issues like garbage, transit, the Island Airport and all that from all the emails and correspondence I had to deal with during that vote. Those are the same issues this time! Believe me when I say nothing's changed. What a waste of the last three years at Toronto City Hall, nothing's gotten done.

I'll be watching what happens to people like councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong and Catholic School Board trustee Angela Kennedy quite closely, and of course the mayor's race.

It's odd being a spectator this time around, in fact it's odd to not be in Toronto for this election. But don't worry; I voted in the advance poll and cast my vote disgustedly for Jane Pitfield. Call it my parting shot at Toronto politics. Anyway, election results are coming soon, at 8PM EST. And because the results come in electronically the results will be known, fast. See my post below for links!

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