TORONTO - Politics is a blood sport. Councillor Vincent Crisanti, former Deputy Mayor of Toronto City Council, just found out the hard way. He is no longer Deputy Mayor. Mayor John Tory has replaced him – and quickly!
He must have expected that Mayor John Tory could not have taken kindly to his overt support for an endorsement of Doug Ford’s declared intention to re-engage in a challenge for the Mayor’s Chair.
Those who enter political life are men and women who take with them all of the sensibilities that make them human beings in every day life. Neither Councillor Crisanti nor Mayor Tory are an exception to this rule. It smarts when you receive a slap across the face (full disclosure, I’ve had my fair share).
The proper thing to do is to “turn the other cheek” and maintain your composure. It is easier said than done. The “slap” tends to focus attention on the priorities of “the slapper” and the “slappee”.
The motivations (the rationale, or why) and reactions (consequences) quickly outpace the event itself. They become the context in which politically irrational (inconvenient) behaviour is analyzed.
Councillor Crisanti may be indebted to the Ford family for his political success. He may even be a personal friend of the Fords. Observers suggest he must therefore be loyal to Ford, the intended candidate. I say “intended” because the race does not officially begin until May of 2018, so it is premature to refer to interested parties as “candidates”.
That being said, if Doug Ford has uttered a positive statement about Mayor Tory’s competence or agenda, it does not immediately come to mind. It may be safe to say the complete opposite. Therein lies the dilemma faced by Mayor Tory: how can he keep a [now] avowed enemy of his agenda on his Executive Council?
He cannot. It is no longer a matter of bringing in all adversaries under one tent after an election, for the common good. Councillor Crisanti’s very public and effusive declaration of Ford’s candidacy going forward is a declaration of support for a different agenda heading into the next election.
It might be a bitter pill for the Mayor to swallow that Councillor Crisanti apparently did not feel the same level of loyalty to the man who appointed him Deputy. It is worse having confirmation that at least two Council members now are openly working against him.
As disconcerting as it may be, Mayor Tory has to “cut his losses” and run. Councillor Crisanti is, in my limited experience, a professional, competent and personable individual. I think he did the position justice. One wonders why he felt the need to take the decision he did so early.
Regrettably, Italian Canadians have lost a very credible voice around the Executive table. Others will have to “pick up the slack”.