Forget Mayor David Miller, it’s the challenge to Councillor Case Ootes that Toronto will be talking about.

Reading between the lines of the stories in the major Toronto “news and car advertisers” this past week it becomes evident that Toronto Councillor Case Ootes [phonetic spelling: “Odious” –ed.] has some friends in low places.

We refer in particular to this front page story from Wednesday’s Global Male and Car Advertiser, in which intrepid reporters Jeff Gray and Jennifer Lewington dig into the muck to find: “Under election rules, the city does an automatic recount with a tie vote. In other cases, a challenger must ask the city clerk for a recount. [City spokesman Brad] Ross said clerk Ulli Watkiss has ruled out granting any such requests this year.”

Which is to say, while Diane Alexopoulos may be “considering” asking for a recount, her potential request has already been denied by this clerk person, Ulli Wadkiss [sorry–could you check that spelling please? –ed.].

Any chance Watkiss and Odious are drinking buddies? We wonder. Regardless, it’s true that Odious, as Toronto deputy mayor in 2001, conferred upon Ms Wadkiss her chainmail of orifice. Quoth Odious: [She’s a] “practical, big-picture, problem solver and strategic thinker”

Also, as has been pointed out elsewhere, the twenty vote margin translates to a 46.3 to 46.1 percent victory for M. Odious, a victory so shlim that any reashonable pershon [hic! –ed.] would call it a tie and automatically “recount.”

But maybe we are missing the “big picture.”

Maybe we aren’t “problem solvers.”

Maybe we’re not “strategic thinkers.”

But we don’t think it’s us, we think it’s Wadkiss. We think she knows which side of the bread her butter is on. We rather suspect she’s just being “practical.”

The other major story on the Odious embarrassment was in the Toronto Rats and Car Advertiser: its reporters, Donovan Vincent and John Spears, parked themselves in M. Odious’s out-of-ward ravine-lot cul-de-sac driveway [metaphorically of course –ed.] for this tidbit:

Ootes said both NDP federal leader Jack Layton and NDP MPP Peter Tabuns canvassed for Alexopoulos in an all-out blitz aimed at toppling one of the few conservative-minded politicians in the area.

“They apparently had a demon dialler encourage people to vote for her,’’ Ootes said.

“I am still here … and they don’t like it,” he added.

Now, we at the Allderblob know gloating when we hear it, and we sure hear it in that Odious comment. We asked our resident scribe and Urban Designer, Jacob Allderdice, to examine the transcript and report back. His comment, as is his wont, took the form of a letter to the Rats and Car Advertiser “ad-itor.”

Unfortunately, the letter was not selected for publication (note: the paper endorsed M. Odious for re-election) [Note: we fixed the link –ed.].

Fortunately, we retained a copy.

To the Editor:

re: `It’s not over’ in Ward 29

Case Ootes told your reporter how Jack Layton and Peter Tabuns stumped for his Diane Alexopoulos, his main opponent and runner-up for Ward 29 councillor. It was to no avail: Ootes won anyway.

“I am still here … and they don’t like it,” he is quoted as saying.

Someone should tell him it’s ugly to gloat.

Someone should remind him that out of 12,512 votes cast in ward 29, for six candidates, he defeated Alexopoulos by just 20 votes, a margin of just 0.2 percent.

Someone should point out that as the 9-year incumbent, this is an embarrassing margin of victory. It’s not just Tabuns, Layton and Alexopoulos who don’t like it. There’s a 932-person majority in his ward who voted ABC—Anyone But Case. You can bet they don’t like it either.

Someone should make a new rule. If an incumbent wins by 0.2 percent of the vote, over his closest competitor, in a race with five opponents, the incumbent should have to spend the following term wearing a chicken suit to all council meetings.

Or someone should counsel the councillor to concede defeat.

Yours truly, (etc.)

And therein lies the rub: the Challenge to Case Ootes. We will accept your slim “victory” as a mandate to govern ward 29, if you will consent to wear a chicken suit during your four-year [choke! –ed.] term of office.

We await your response.

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