Politics

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Politics

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Nobody believes Doug Ford’s “grassroots” supporters actually exist

doug-ford-now-whatToronto faces an acute shortage of scare quotes this afternoon as news outlets around the city report on a new “grassroots” website that’s attempting to drum up support for Doug Ford’s possible bid for leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. The website, DraftDougFord.ca, boasts sleek web design, a handy form for collecting supporter information and zero indication of the real identity of the person or group that created it. The Toronto Sun reports that the website’s mysterious operator sent out an unsigned press release to different media organizations earlier today saying only that the project is the public face of a “grassroots movement” of disaffected voters “who feel that Doug Ford would be the only person who can renew the party,” and who totally exist.

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Quoted

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John Tory: “I just don’t think we need to be repeating that”

“They’ll probably replay old tapes. I just don’t think we need to be repeating that.”

John Tory, telling the Sun why he turned down a request to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This is one way in which he differs from his predecessor.

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Torontonians from every walk of life tell us who they voted for, and why

(Images: Giordano Ciampini)

(Images: Giordano Ciampini)

Toronto had the highest voter turnout in recent memory yesterday—980,177 people showed up at schools and churches and apartment party rooms and cast ballots for mayor, city councillor and school trustee. Over the course of election day, we travelled across the city and interviewed a handful of voters about how they made the all-important quadrennial decision. Their reasons ranged from the excellent (“I like her ideas”) to the puzzling (“I thought it was the right choice just out of loyalty”). Here’s what they had to say—originally published as part of our live coverage of election night.

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Voter turnout for this year’s municipal election was really good

980,177

—The unofficial number of votes cast for mayor in Monday’s election. That accounts for about 60 per cent of eligible voters, which gives this trip to the polls the highest participation rate of any Toronto municipal election in recent memory. Just over 53 per cent of voters showed up in 2010, when Rob Ford was elected mayor.

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Municipal Election 2014

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Rob Ford says he’ll run for mayor again in 2018

now-what-newRob Ford was seemingly in good spirits last night after winning back the Ward 2 council seat he’d held for a decade prior to being elected mayor—such good spirits, in fact, that he decided to share the moment with his favourite journalist, Joe Warmington. “I will be running for mayor in four years,” Ford told the Sun columnist. “I will be the first person to sign up in 2018.” (And when Ford says he’ll be the first to sign up, he means it literally.) At this rate, the two thirds of Toronto’s voters who didn’t go for Doug Ford in this election may never recover from their political PTSD.

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Municipal Election 2014

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John Tory has plenty of breathing room, according to the final Forum poll of the mayoral campaign

Today is election day, which means this Forum Research survey of 986 “likely, decided and leaning” voters, conducted on October 25 and released Sunday night, is probably the final public poll of the 2014 mayoral campaign. There are no surprises here: John Tory, Olivia Chow and Doug Ford are all pretty much exactly where they’ve been since Labour Day. If today’s results don’t at least somewhat resemble the chart above, then Toronto’s pollsters have a lot to answer for.

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Municipal Election 2014

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With three days to go, a new poll gives John Tory a decisive lead

This Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of Global News, is an important one. Not only does it come just three days before the municipal election, but it also generally agrees with the most recent Forum Research poll. So, that’s two polls from two different pollsters, conducted within days of each other and showing pretty much the same result: John Tory a dozen or so points ahead of Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow still trailing behind. This poll differs from the Forum poll in a few ways, though: it was conducted over a number of days, rather than just one, and it included both phone and online responses, whereas Forum election polls always rely on robocalls. Also, Global doesn’t say whether or not these results are among decided voters only. If they are, then everyone’s percentages are likely slightly higher than they would otherwise be. Regardless, the trend is clear: Tory is looking strong.

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Municipal Election 2014

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Ten fact-checked statements from Thursday’s mayoral debate

(Image: CityNews/Screenshot)

(Image: CityNews/Screenshot)

Candidates John Tory, Doug Ford and Olivia Chow made a lot of claims during Thursday night’s debate on CityTV, the last one of this mayoral campaign. Here, writer and comedian Jeremy Woodcock takes a hard-hitting look at some of these dubious statements, to see if they stand up to close examination.

STATEMENT: “We’re going to begin with opening statements.” – Moderator

FACT-CHECK: They did. It’s actually the only way you can begin.

VERDICT: TRUE

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Municipal Election 2014

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Doug Ford has had more illegal campaign signs removed than any other candidate

doug-ford-now-whatDoug Ford, true to family tradition, appears to be having trouble following Toronto’s strict election laws. The Star reports that city bylaw officers have removed 336 “Ford for Mayor” lawn signs that had been placed illegally. (There are very specific restrictions on where election signs can be put.) Olivia Chow and John Tory have had only 25 and 21 signs removed, respectively. Ford’s spokesperson claims that the illegal signs are being placed, for the most part, by overenthusiastic supporters who aren’t officially involved with the campaign, which may or may not be true. But the problems with Ford’s ground game don’t end there: according to Now Magazine, some of his lawn signs are being installed by alleged drug dealer and extortionist Sandro Lisi.

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John Tory is apparently the 2014 election’s fundraising king

$2,185,000

—The amount of money John Tory’s mayoral campaign claims to have raised from donors, according to the Post. That’s in contrast to Olivia Chow’s total, which her campaign pegged at $1,759,622 as of Tuesday afternoon. Doug Ford’s donor situation remains a mystery. (When asked about it by a Star reporter, he reportedly responded by calling her a “bitch.”) Both Ford and Tory have indicated that they will release detailed donor information before election day, like Chow already has. Neither has done so yet.

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Politics

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Doug Ford on Star reporter Jennifer Pagliaro: “I can’t stand that little bitch”

doug-ford-now-whatOn Wednesday night, after a mayoral debate hosted by CTV, Doug Ford briefly shed his new nice-guy persona to share a candid thought about one of the Star’s city hall reporters. According to the Star, the incident happened following a post-debate scrum where reporter Jennifer Pagliaro had asked Ford a number of uncomfortable questions about his campaign donors and his brother’s behaviour. As Ford walked away, several photographers and a CTV producer overheard him muttering, “I can’t stand that little bitch.” Pagliaro isn’t the first reporter to be publicly disparaged by Doug Ford, but it’s rare that the candidate’s diction reaches such heights of sexism and profanity. (And this from a guy who is trying to convince voters that he’s a straight-laced family man.) Ford, for his part, denies that he was talking about Pagliaro.

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Municipal Election 2014

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With advance voting over, John Tory is still ahead in the polls

This new Forum Research poll, conducted on October 20, gives John Tory his biggest lead over Doug Ford to date. What’s more, the automated phone survey of 847 Torontonians included responses only from likely voters, or from people who had already voted at one of the city’s advance polling stations. That, plus the fact that the election is only five days away (!!!), makes these results marginally more trustworthy than those of previous polls. No pre-election poll should ever be taken at face value, but Tory’s camp has to be feeling confident, regardless.

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Municipal Election 2014

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Four things we learned from Monday’s Toronto Star mayoral debate

(Image: Ford: Christopher Drost; Tory: John Tory/Facebook; Chow: Olivia Chow/Facebook)

(Image: Ford: Christopher Drost; Tory: John Tory/Facebook; Chow: Olivia Chow/Facebook)

After dozens of mayoral debates, the gruelling campaign season is finally coming to a close as Monday’s election approaches. (CityNews’s October 23 debate is being billed as “the final showdown.”) Yesterday night, the candidates gathered at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management for one of their last major head-to-head clashes, in an event co-sponsored by the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Toronto Star. Things were generally high-minded (it was a Star debate, after all), but there was some shouting and crosstalk, and by closing statements the whole discussion had come a little unhinged. Here, four things we learned from all the heated banter.

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Brampton mayor Susan Fennell’s support craters in a new poll

11%

—The percentage of respondents to a poll by political consultancy Mainstreet Technologies who said that they would be voting for Brampton mayor Susan Fennell, whose habit of spending her taxpayer-funded office budget on things like car service and expensive plane tickets has made her a focal point of controversy. Fennell’s competitor Linda Jeffrey appears poised to win Monday’s election. Mainstreet puts her support at 34 per cent.

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Municipal Election 2014

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Rob Ford just can’t stop campaigning at voting locations

now-what-newReports of Rob Ford being kicked out of an advance polling station began making the rounds on Friday, and now we know that the incident wasn’t an isolated one. The Star says that Ford has been asked to leave at least two other advance voting locations. On Saturday, the city clerk sent him a stern letter reminding him that attempting to influence voters at polling stations is illegal. Later that same day, he made one of his visits, at which point, the Star says, he “ignored an election official’s requests for him to leave.” All of these incidents took place outside Ward 2, where Ford is running for city council. It’s not clear why he keeps making these appearances, but the Sun’s article on the subject suggests an explanation: he has apparently been driving voters to the polls in his own car.