The Political Party

    7 November 2006, the wee hours

Miller and the Panel at the Political Party event

The Political Party was packed. The Revival, a fairly big space, was full to the brim of people. I arrived around 8:00, minutes before Jane Pitfield took the stage, and was stuck at the very back of the building. Considering the place was so packed, I was surprised to bump into Himy Syed again. He was filming the event on his little camera, and gave me a flyer for an event for Un-Incumbents. It takes place tomorrow at 10:00 AM — so I’m not exactly sure who’ll be free to attend. I imagine it should be interesting, as it showcases several challengers for city council seats. We spoke briefly as Pitfield had already started talking when we noticed each other.

I felt a bit sorry for Jane Pitfield. She was clearly in Miller territory. No one would really clap for anything she had to say, regardless of whether it was sensible or not. People were pretty rude as well, snickering and laughing at some of the things she said. Most of the time she was on stage, a stupid bicyclist wouldn’t stop ringing a bicycle bell. This really took away from the event as a whole: it was a big Mayor Miller love in, which is kind of boring. Clearly people were there to support Miller and hear him speak. I think most people were annoyed Pitfield was there at all. I don’t agree with Pitfield on a lot of issues, and I won’t be voting for her, but the fact she gave up a safe seat on city council to run against a very popular mayor is something that deserves some respect.

Jane Pitfield said what she had to say, and then there was a short intermission. I used this time to try and move up as close to the front as I could get. (I made it right to the front.) On the way there, I spotted Sanaz and Yasmine. Right behind them were Colin and Lakme. I seem to bump into Colin at all sorts of random spots in the city. We all chatted while waiting for David Miller to take the stage.

Miller took the stage after the short break. He is a commanding and charismatic figure. His opening speech was quite good, and he did an excellent job of answering the questions presented to him by the panel. He was lucky in that he didn’t have to deal with the same sort of crowd Pitfield did: people laughed at his jokes, and clapped at what he had to say. I agree with pretty much everything Miller has to say, and clearly the downtown crowd did as well. At one point he was asked about placing a toll on the Gardiner and DVP, to which he gave a long answer and well thought answer on how doing so would be unfair. This didn’t play well to the crowd who probably don’t use the DVP all that much. This was one of the few times during the night where Miller had to deal with a negative reaction from the crowd. Rather than pander, he reiterated that he wouldn’t put tolls on the roads. It was nice to see him stick to his guns. More so, I agree 100% with his reasoning. If you are from Scarborough, taking the TTC into work really isn’t the better way at all. We have such crap access to transit that many people are compelled to drive to get anywhere. After hearing them both speak, Miller is still the person I hope wins on the 13th. Miller struck me as being in a totally different league than Pitfield. I agree with his vision for the future of the city. My hope is he get more of it done in his second term in office.

I’m betting Emm Gryner and her new band were wicked awesome. I probably should have stayed to see them play; I’m such an idiot.

I’ve posted photos from the event on my Flickr account.



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