John Tory's non-campaign to become the next mayor of Toronto is in trouble. This is why.
First, Edward Keenan, senior editor of The Grid and contributor to the Toronto Star, publicly questioned Tory's suitability for the job. Apparently, Keenan was not very impressed with John Tory's Hamlet-like dithering about whether he will jump into the political fray.
Keenan concludes his article, which is critical of both Tory and Chow, this way:
"The act of public indecision--be it real or contrived--being performed by Chow and Tory is distressing not because we might especially need or want either of them to be mayor. It's distressing because it means that these two people, widely considered to be the best bets to lead us into the future, are either not ready for the job or are being dishonest about it. Incompetence and disingenuousness: Neither are good qualities to use as your introduction to the public you hope to lead. Moreover, both are qualities we already have in a mayor--qualities many are hoping to leave behind by electing someone like Tory or Chow."
Second, I believe Tory's chances are also suffering because potential Toronto voters are seriously questioning Tory's political judgment and his less than successful political career -- one that has been riddled with arrogance, poor political judgment and a sorry string of personal political losses, including, but not limited to the following:
John Tory was campaign manager for the federal Tories and then Tory leader Kim Campbell in the federal election of 1993, in which the federal Conservatives were reduced from 151 seats to 2 federal seats. Who can forget Tory's disastrous decision to air a negative campaign against Liberal leader, Jean Chretien, which seemed to stress Chretien's facial deformity.
Some of us die-hard Conservatives, forget nothing and forgive nothing.
In 2003, Tory ran and lost to David Miller for Toronto Mayor.
In the 2007 Ontario provincial election, as provincial leader of the favoured Ontario Conservatives, Tory snatched defeat from the jaws of certain victory against the unpopular Liberal Dalton McGuinty by stubbornly promoting a disastrously unpopular policy of public funding of faith-based schools.
The failure of this campaign was directly attributed by some Conservative insiders to John Tory's failure to delegate and his micromanaging of that disastrous political campaign.
In this same election, Tory had left a safe Conservative seat in Dufferin/Peel/Wellington/Grey to run in the Don Valley West riding. He lost to Liberal MPP Kathleen Wynne. No Conservative MPP would step aside to provide him a provincial seat as leader of his party for months, until MPP Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) finally agreed to be the sacrificial lamb.
Tory then proceeded to lose the 2009 by-election, in one of the safest Tory seats in Ontario, which had been solidly Conservative since the mid 1990s.
Personally, I see no evidence that Tory has learned from his previous political mistakes.
In a recent Forum Research poll, in a hypothetical matchup among Ford, Chow, Tory, Stintz and Soknacki, Chow would win with 35 per cent, Ford would nab 30 per cent, Tory 22 per cent, Stintz six, and Soknacki three. In a Chow-free scenario that included Tory: Ford wins with 33 per cent, while Tory languishes behind at 28, Stintz gets 17 and Soknacki eight.
My associates and I have been talking to and calling Ford Nation supporters in the outer suburbs of Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough. Our conclusion is also that Ford Nation's support for Ford is unwavering and is not moving to John Tory, as confirmed by the above Forum Research poll.
John Tory's numbers have probably not been helped by his recent embarrassing public musings about why women are earning less income than men. First, Tory simplistically blamed women for not being aggressive as men in negotiating their salaries. Then Tory backtracked and put his other foot in his mouth, by stating on his
Newstalk 1010 radio show that his experiences "may be out of date" and that women are "every bit as formidable and active as the men."
He then suggested young women learn how to play golf.
"Learn how to play golf, learn how to play these things, because you will find it's immensely advantageous to your career," he said. "If you play a good game of golf as a woman, I think it's hugely helpful."
I do agree with Tory. He is sadly out of date. "Yesterday's man."
John Tory comes across as confused, out of touch and well beyond prime time.
A product of privilege and family connections, Tory had a gig at Rogers Media, a company owned by Ted Rogers, family friend, former lawyer at the family firm, Torys, and major client of that same family law firm. Prior to Rogers Media, John Tory worked at Torys, a Toronto law firm founded by his grandfather and developed and run by his father and uncle.
I sincerely hope that John Tory does run against Mayor Rob Ford.
I believe that Ford Nation, which views Tory as a very well-connected, privileged upper-crust Rosedale/Lawrence Park elitist, is dying to loudly and clearly indicate on election day that John Tory does not speak for or relate to the concerns of its members, or those of multicultural Toronto, for that matter.