Recounting the Odious struggle to date

Joe Cooper, “Watchdog” columnist at the Riverdale/East York Mirror and Car Advertiser, has joined our call for a recount in Ward 29.

In addition, the lead editorial in that paper today claims “Recounts should be automatic in close election races.”

From all across the globe in fact, cries are being heard: “Enough Ootes already!”

Well, all across the Danforth Peninsula, anyway. The rest of the city hasn’t exactly noticed.

In fact from most of our readers, it’s not a cry of folks fed up with that “embarassment of Ward 29,” Case Ootes [phonetic pronunciation: “Odious” –ed.], but of folks fed up with the ALLDERBLOB’s fascination with a foregone conclusion.

For most of our readers, it’s a call triggered by people who long for the glory days of the ALLDERBLOB, the days of Jessica Rabbit and Margaret Wente, of Jacob Richler and Gord Perks: the days, in other words, when our straying from the call to “ban car ads” led to (self) flagelation, (righteous) indignation and (character) assassination, not (Case) Ootesination.

“Enough,” people are saying.

And we are listening.

We hear the fact that the city’s national “media and car advertisers” have yet to pick up the ALLDERBLOB holler for “Justice in Ward 29:” no calls from Royson James of the Toronto Star and Car Advertiser, or Jeff Simpson of the Globe and Mail and Car Advertiser; the CBC’s Metro Morning with Anti Bikey did not break stride to present our well-founded suspicions of dirt-cheap dirty deeds north of Danforth.

We get it. You’re fed up and want us to turn our gaze elsewhere.

You want to know how car advertising plays a part in the double bruising Toronto received recently when the Federal government both declined to back our bid for the 2015 World’s Fair and agreed that the Toronto Port Authority does not comprise the “creeps and rascals” everyone knows them to be.

You want to know our take on the State of California’s bid to sue its six biggest car manufacturers for knowingly and deliberately contributing to global warming.

You want to hear what we think about the latest attack on big tobacco–their having to stop calling some cigarettes “mild” or “light” because it suggests some smokes don’t cause cancer–when the car companies can go on pretending that some cars are “less bad” for the environment than others, as usual.

You’re fed up with us lobbing at the shadows thrown by Toronto city clerk Ulli S. Watkiss and councillor Case Ootes, dancing their mysterious tango.

You get it: we’re implying that to call a margin of 0.17% (i.e. 20 votes out of a total of 11,560 cast for either Ootes or Alexopoulos) a victory, not a “tie,” (where a tie vote would have merited a recount) means “someone” owes “someone” a favour.

You were there when we turned up the fact that it was Ootes himself who announced Wad-kiss’s hiring in 2001. But you also note that Ootes was deputy mayor at the time (and therefore would have been the point-man on announcing such hirings). Might this not explain his name and glowing words on the press release? Are Wad-kiss and Ootes drinking buddies? We have no way of knowing, and you don’t seem to care. Does Wadkiss have allegience to Odious that predates the current term of Mayor David Miller? We can’t say, and you want us to move on.

Okay, you say. Her call, that “no request for a recount would be granted,” was unfathomable. Okay. Enough.

We hear you. We’d be saying “enough,” too. We would.

Only, now we’ve unearthed another obvious tidbit on the Ward 29 drama.

It is a question of how Alexopoulos snuck up on everyone to come so close to the prize. Nobody expected it. Mayor Miller’s handler, Chris Phibbs, famously told our ace the struggle against Ootes was a waste of time. Adam Vaughan, who cleaned up in Ward 20 against the entire NDP machine, declined to run against Ootes out of fear of being “buried.Look at the margin of victory Case Ootes enjoyed over his competitors in the last election, in 2003:


Papadakis was ‘buried.” Folks who worked for him “wasted their time.”

But look again at those numbers: Ootes earned 9,352 votes in 2003. This time, he won 5,790. The fact is, Alexopoulos, who won 5,770 votes the other day, picked up just 563 votes over what Papadakis got three years ago. If Ootes had been his old self, he would have creamed her by a margin of 3,582 votes.

In other words, the election was Ootes’s to lose, not Alexopoulos’s to win. For all the stumping Ootes claims NDP leader Jack Layton and MPP Peter Tabuns did on Alexopoulos’s behalf, for all the post-election fretting about a “demon-dialler” he says Alexopoulos employed on election day, the resulting 563 votes that went to Alexopoulos would not have meant squat if Ootes himself had bothered to show up this time around.

Instead, his regal indifference to the rigours of an election campaign almost sent him to the employment line. It has made him the laughing-stock of city council. It may yet prove his undoing, if and when a recount is ordered in the new term that starts in January.

But we hear you. We do. Enough on Case Ootes and Diane Alexopoulos and Ulli S. Watkiss. Enough.

Instead, let us catch up on breaking news from all over:

Our colleague at Afterbirth of the Cool has raised the lid on the World Toilet Organization (WTO), noting that World Toilet day was celebrated at a variety of dumpsites this past week.

At the Culture Change headquarters, the latest screed addresses the Ivan Illich quandary about speed, urging readers to reconsider how fast they go in a car when they factor in the time spent earning the money for all that car culture incurs.

David Rees, whose drawings grace the monthly pages of Rolling Stone magazine and, more potently, his own website, has made hay with the latest travails of the fascists who propel politics in our neighbour to the south.

And not Rees but Reis, this one Martin, has daily Bikelane diary entries to savour. We loved the YouTube movie “history of Oil” (complete with bicycle-powered klieg-lamps).

And finally, always remember:

driving vs non-driving?

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