Tory takes TO

   28 October 2014, early morning

Yesterday’s mayoral race was the first election in a while where the polls called things fairly accurately. Tory won by a nice margin, Chow coming in a distant third. A loss for the Fords is a win for Toronto. I’m disappointed that Chow lost, but I’ve been voting for the NDP my whole life and have grown quite accustomed to voting for candidates that lose.

What’s actually far more disappointing is the number of incumbents that were returned to city hall. All the terrible Scarborough councillors? They are all back, including Raymond Cho, the champion of doing nothing. Mammoliti? That asshole is back. Mike Ford—a 20 year old camp councillor who completed a year of college—defeated John Hastings for his school trustee seat. Of course, Hastings is actually qualified for the job. A few ridings may have benefited from ranked ballots to shake things up, but for the most part useless incumbents have a base of support that feels like it’s beyond reason.

There were a few high points from last night. My friend Parthi defeated the shockingly corrupt Elizabeth Moyer. Ausma Malik also became a trustee, despite a pretty racist and Islamophobic campaign against her.

Who knows what the next four years will bring. I’m assuming it can’t be worse than the last four.

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Olivia Chow for Mayor

   26 October 2014, early morning

Toronto goes to the polls tomorrow. The election has been long and terrible, marred by pretty overt racism, sexism, and homophobia. I’ll be glad when its all over. Ford Nation are clearly the #GamerGate of Toronto politics. Electing a new mayor won’t magically make shitty people disappear, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you call someone a fag you should feel like a marginalized piece of shit. Let’s get back to that Toronto at the very least.

Olivia Chow started off with a lead in the polls she quickly squandered. Of course, who knows what the polls even mean. Tory now commands that lead. He even scored endorsement from the papers. Now, endorsements from papers are worth even less than polls conducted by Forum. Remember when The Globe and Mail and the National Post both endorsed both Hudak and Rob Ford? Yeah, me too. The Toronto papers are next to useless when it comes to covering and commenting on municipal politics.

The only endorsement that matters is the one you have all no doubt been waiting for. funkaoshi.com endorses Oliva Chow for mayor. She’s the only person pushing a progressive forward thinking vision for the city. And, in a surprise twist, she’s apparently the only candidate who decided to figure out how to pay for it all. What?

I always vote for the person I want to win. You should do. Otherwise what’s the god damn point?

Regardless of what happens in the race for a new mayor, i’m hoping to see some of the more useless city councillors get the boot. Scarborough’s council needs to be razed to the ground, at the very least. Andray Domise is running against Rob Ford in Ward 2, and i’m hoping he can sneak in. That’ll be a tough fight, but he’s clearly the better candidate. The Fords have been terrible for that ward.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day.

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An Open House

   19 October 2014, mid-afternoon

An open house sign

“Hey! Can you guys sign in?”

Who is this dude barking at us? Of course I know. My cousin and I have walked into an open house. It’s a surprisingly cavernous detached home near Bloor and Dufferin. I could imagine it being quite nice—in some alternate timeline. In this one it was probably a former rooming house. It’s listed at 1.25 million dollars.

The housing market has moved beyond rhyme or reason. My cousin narrates tale after tale of being out bid on places he already can’t afford. Houses in our neighbourhood now regularly sell for $100,000 over their asking price. That’s walking around money. Now, I like where we live, but our neighbourhood isn’t $100K-over-asking nice by any stretch of the imagination. These stories play out across the whole city.

This house is full of sad ancient furniture. Remnants from its past life. I’ve seen houses in worse shape, which may sound like faint praise because it is. At least this house is relatively clean. My cousin has seen houses where the sellers haven’t even bothered tidying up. Why waste their time? They know the house will sell for more than they want anyway. The desperation of home buyers is palpable. Agents are emboldened.

Who can afford to live in this city? I could never dream of buying my busted-ass house now. It’s price has moved beyond me. That’s some sort of wealth, I suppose. Not the useful kind, but it’s something.

We walk through the house and leave. The agent makes no effort to talk to us. I am sure he is well aware we are just touring this dump. We probably didn’t look worn down enough when we walked in.

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