NDP and Toronto Politics – The best reason to vote!

Is City Politics Moving Towards Party or Collaborative Politics?

“Mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone threw his support behind like-minded political rookie Mike Layton, who in turn did the same as candidates build the alliances they hope will bolster their chances of winning on Oct. 25.

Mr. Pantalone, an NDP supporter, said he intends to endorse “a lot of ” candidates vying for council and not just those with left-leaning ties.

“Obviously, people will have to agree to certain rules of engagement like you would in any team that you put on a field, but differences are fine,” Mr. Pantalone, the city’s deputy mayor, told reporters yesterday during a joint news conference. Mr. Layton, the son of federal NDP leader Jack Layton, is running in the downtown Trinity Spadina ward that Mr. Pantalone currently represents.”

– National Post – May 27, 2010

The 2010 election is generating much discussion about the way in which the political process works. As you know, at least in theory, political parties are not allowed to officially run candidates in elections. That has not stopped them from endorsing candidates,  nominating candidates to run on a Party Platform and working on the campaigns of NDP candidates. The NDP has been particularly active in endorsing and nominating candidates. For example, Jack Layton was in 1991 the official NDP candidate for Toronto mayor.

The NDP has and continues to work hard to seek out and endorse candidates in Toronto Ward 29. There is no other political party that works so arduously to involve themselves in Toronto politics. The NDP does this by:

–          seeking and endorsing NDP municipal candidates

–          campaigning for and with municipal candidates

–          participating in NDP fundraising for municipal candidates

–          encouraging people to actually get out and vote for their candidates (this is very important in an election environment with low voter turnout)

(Many of these NDP backed candidates are fine individuals and could conceivably be fine City Councillors. My concern is with the direct involvement of political parties in general, and the NDP in particular in Toronto city politics. If we are to ban corporations and unions from financing candidates, surely we cannot allow political parties to contribute  endorsements and campaigning which are far more valuable.)

In the 2006 Toronto election, NDP endorsed candidate Diane Alexolopoulos received 5770 votes (Case Ootes received 5990).

This suggests that, at least in Ward 29, with a low voter turnout, the combination of an endorsement and assistance from the NDP is worth a minimum of 5000 votes. (Given that Case Ootes has retired, the NDP endorsement may even be worth more!) This gives the NDP a strong “head start” in ward 29. Once again, unless you want four more years of the NDP in City Council, you must get out and vote!

It is hardly surprising that the Toronto City Council has a  strong NDP contingent.

J. Cowan writing for the National Post commented that:

“Indeed, the NDP involvement in municipal politics is a long-standing source of contention. In the recent election campaign, the party held a nomination meeting in Ward 21 Trinity-Spadina to determine whether Helen Kennedy or Tam Goosen would receive the NDP’s blessing. After a hard fought battle, Ms. Kennedy won the nomination, but then lost the election to former journalist Adam Vaughan.

For some, Ms. Kennedy’s defeat was a clear vote against civic parties. But across the city, the NDP demonstrated the influence it could have on local issues. First-time candidate Diane Alexolopoulos came within 20 votes of defeating former deputy mayor Case Ootes in Ward 29 after receiving support from federal leader Jack Layton and other party luminaries.”

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/toronto/story.html?id=b45be47b-3456-45e7-a1c5-e1cc3345f9b0#Comments

If you are an NDP supporter this is great news, don’t talk and whatever you do, don’t encourage people to vote!

If you are not an NDP supporter, then you had better get out and vote!

I guarantee you that on October 25, 2010 the NDP rank and file will be voting!

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “NDP and Toronto Politics – The best reason to vote!

  1. votejohnrichardson Post author

    Thursday, May 27, 2010
    City politics evolving into team sport: experts

    Pantalone backs Mike Layton who returns the favour

    Natalie Alcoba, National Post

    Mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone threw his support behind like-minded political rookie Mike Layton, who in turn did the same as candidates build the alliances they hope will bolster their chances of winning on Oct. 25.

    Mr. Pantalone, an NDP supporter, said he intends to endorse “a lot of ” candidates vying for council and not just those with left-leaning ties.

    “Obviously, people will have to agree to certain rules of engagement like you would in any team that you put on a field, but differences are fine,” Mr. Pantalone, the city’s deputy mayor, told reporters yesterday during a joint news conference. Mr. Layton, the son of federal NDP leader Jack Layton, is running in the downtown Trinity Spadina ward that Mr. Pantalone currently represents.

    “Frankly, it’s a team effort. You need a team captain, but unless you have the rest of the team, you’re not going to win many games, you’re not going to win many issues, you’re not going to serve Torontonians well,” Mr. Pantalone said.

    Municipal watcher Myer Siemiatycki says Mr. Pantalone’s announcement formalizes what already happens behind closed doors in local politics. It is indicative of just how organized the local campaign has become, he said.

    “In terms of getting the message out, it’s virtually impossible to have a doorstep grassroots campaign unless you’re prepared to work collaboratively,” said Mr. Siemiatycki, a politics professor at Ryerson University. “The other virtue it signals is that municipal politics has long been regarded as an individual sport, and it’s fair to say we do need to move it into a team sport.”

    He suggests Toronto is seeing the early signs of party politics — there is one small group called the Toronto Party, but it has no elected members — but none of the top mayoral contenders support the view.

    Montreal and Vancouver have long played by the party system, fielding candidates under such banners as Union Montreal and Vision Vancouver. Mr. Siemiatycki argues the party system is more “voter friendly” and can help boost voter turnout.

    “It’s very hard to make an informed voter choice when you’re dealing with individuals unattached to a larger label or platform.”

    In Toronto, the lingering tradition has been to keep elected officials free of the constraints of a political party, and there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for that to change anytime soon.

    Mr. Pantalone, George Smitherman, Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi are all against the idea.

    Stefan Baranski, a spokesman for Mr. Smitherman, said he is trying to “elevate the discussion” above ward interests or that of political parties.

    “We’re opposed to a party system for municipal politics and in fact our campaign is built on a coalition across the political spectrum,” Patricia Best, a spokeswoman for Rocco Rossi’s campaign, wrote in an email.

    Mr. Ford talked about the attributes of having to work for every single vote.

    “You’re one on one, you can’t hide behind a leader and you can’t hide behind policy,” he said. “You have to face the voter head on and I think that makes it more transparent and more accountable.”

    As for singling out preferred candidates, Mr. Ford has not decided if that is the right approach.

    “That can work for you or against you sometimes. If the people you endorse lose, that doesn’t help you,” Mr. Ford said.

    Councillor Pam McConnell has expressed her support for Mr. Smitherman, who in turn has a number of friends running for council this year. They include Ken Chan in Toronto Centre Rosedale, Michelle Berardinetti in Scarborough Southwest and Ana Bailao in Davenport, said Mr. Baranski. “He is generally supportive of them,” said Mr. Baranski. “I don’t know if I would go so far as to say he has formally endorsed them … George’s preference is to work with everybody.”

    Mr. Pantalone was supported by nine councillors at his campaign launch March, and last week Councillor Janet Davis publicly endorsed him.

    The truth is that all political campaigns are rooted in organizational support, said Mr. Siemiatycki. “We don’t have purist individualist politics, but we pretend we do.”

    nalcoba@nationalpost.com———

    PARTY SYSTEM

    MONTREAL

    Parti Fierte Montreal Parti Montreal Ville-Marie Union Montreal Vision Montreal

    VANCOUVER

    Coalition of Progressive Electors Non-Partisan Association Vision Vancouver

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto/story.html?id=3075886

    Reply
  2. votejohnrichardson Post author

    Here is an excerpt from another post on this site:

    https://votejohnrichardson.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/thoughts-on-electoral-reform/

    Contributions from unions and corporations are no longer allowed. It’s time to end the practice of political parties endorsing municipal candidates. The NDP has been very active in endorsing candidates for City Council and for Mayor (Jack Layton in 1991). An endorsement from the “NDP machine” is worth far more than monetary contributions from unions and corporations. The “machine” is able to bring volunteers and lots of manpower to their cause. In 2006 the NDP endorsed and campaigned for an otherwise unknown candidate in Ward 29. This candidate came within 20 votes of defeating Case Ootes (the current Ward 29) councillor. If we are going to ban donations from corporations and unions then we should also ban the involvement of political parties in Toronto elections. For an interesting article on this point see an article written by Jeff Cowan in the National Post on November 18, 2006. It’s called: “Province urged to allow municipal political parties”
    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/toronto/story.html?id=b45be47b-3456-45e7-a1c5-e1cc3345f9b0#Comments

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Independent candidates run against voter apathy « Vote John Richardson – Independent Judgment For Toronto Danforth – Ward 29!

  4. Pingback: Unions and corporations make priceless campaign contributions! « Vote John Richardson – Independent Judgment For Toronto Danforth – Ward 29!

  5. Pingback: Liberals enter race for Toronto mayor | Vote John Richardson – Independent Judgment For Toronto Danforth – Ward 29!

  6. Pingback: Layton and the NDP endorse Patalone | Vote John Richardson – Independent Judgment For Toronto Danforth – Ward 29!

  7. Pingback: NDP and Toronto Politics – The best reason to vote! | Anti Apathy Coalition – Toronto Elections

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s