Release the hounds

One of the many fun things about living on the Danforth is wondering what sacrificial lamb the Conservatives will be tossing to the electorate this time around. Tory candidates in Toronto-Danforth have been drawing around 10–15% of the vote in recent federal and provincial elections, making the continued municipal success of Case Ootes in the northern half of this riding a curious aberration.

This time around, John Tory‘s team drops Robert Bisbicis, a 26-year-old wiz kid fresh out of 8 years at the University of Windsor, among the Liberal and New Democratic wolves of Toronto-Danforth. His bio and position statement is pretty standard Conservative material, but contains this awkward declaration:

Robert is engaged to Amanda Moscar, an actor, singer, dancer who is currently operating her own music studio in the beaches, which she and Robert built together. Robert and his family know the value of the arts.

Combined with assurances that, “he knows that local residents need to keep more of their earned income,” and that “he believes the system needs to change, not the people,” I suppose the statement is meant to allay any fears that a Conservative government may be petty, mean-spirited, or vindictive. I remain stubbornly unconvinced, despite the fact that he’s engaged to an actual artist. Even if they did build the beaches together.

I’m reminded of the 2004 federal election, when I lived in neighbouring Beaches-East York. I posted to a mailing list about my encounter with the Conservative candidate the day before nominations closed halfway through the campaign:

I met the Conservative candidate in my riding (Beaches East-York) today. I’m not sure that “met” is exactly the right word here. He actually chased us half a block down Woodbine Ave. this afternoon, shouting that he just wanted to shake our hands. So we stopped and chatted for a minute. I don’t know about other ridings around the city, but here and next door (Toronto-Danforth), the Conservatives will be hard-pressed to beat the Greens for a very distant third. How distant? Well, at 3 p.m. this afternoon, poor Nick Nikopoulos was still trying to find 100 electors willing to sign his nomination papers. With nominations closing tomorrow afternoon, he’s got his work cut out for him.

Nick did get his nomination papers signed and garnered about 15% of the vote despite running what one prognosticator on the Election Prediction Project called “one of the worst campaigns I had ever seen anywhere at any time.” Robert, you should be so lucky. For Conservatives, these east-end ridings must be like the September roster call-ups in baseball: you know the poor shmucks are going to get the living tar beaten out of them, but you want to give them the experience and judge whether they’re ready for The Show. Some never make it back.

3 Replies to “Release the hounds”

  1. Dear Dodgeville,

    2004 was a good year for me personally. I got married, enjoyed a wonderful Olympic Games in Greece, watched Greece win the Euros against all odds and oh yes, ran in the federal election but lost.
    They often say, people deserve who they vote for. This may or may not be true, but in
    any case, I enjoyed the experience. I was 90 per cent of the election campaign and had
    a pathetic campaign manager who was never to be seen.

    I think I did my best under the circumstances but I will never say never to running again.
    It will not say if it will be in Toronto or in Canada for that matter but the experience was
    worth it.

    Nick Nikopoulos

  2. Nick,

    Thanks for a bit of insight into what must have been a dispiriting campaign. I actually do have tremendous respect for everyone (well, almost everyone) who runs for public office these days. It’s a thankless task to land a thankless job. I’ve always suspected that the morning after, most candidates are secretly relieved that they lost.

    It’s pretty obvious that the Conservatives don’t put any kind of serious resources into many Toronto ridings, leaving a number of candidates undersupported. I suppose that’s a comment on the centralization not only of power, but of election campaigns. An unfortunate situation. With all of the recent talk of MMP and local representation, I’m frankly surprised at the number of people who think we have any kind of real local representation now.

  3. Val,

    It was a dispiriting campaign. A lot of false supporters offering assistance but towards the end, it was myself with one one loyal supporter doing a lot of walking door knocking.
    Funds from HQ? none Party Association came through as they had too but I needed people. The riding association just don’t think they have a chance against all those weekend Socialists in the ‘Beach’ One of those Socialists – a friend put my sign up to the neighbours dismay. “He is my friend and the best peson running” he answered.
    As for Peter Tabuns, check his history on what he did to his own Greenpeace people when the wanted a union. Mina is another Chretien leftover who didn’t know you had to vote where you lived and only once.
    They asked Lew MacKenzie then in Muskoka what he was going to do the next day after the election and he said – “cut the grass” He is probably why I got involved in the process, not because I am a party dog or anything like that.



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