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.