Interesting piece in the Globe about Mississauga municipal politics after Hazel is not longer mayor. I think Carolyn Parrish, the former controversial Liberal MP and current city councillor, hits the nail on the head when she says:
"No one of substance will run against Hazel McCallion. She is just too revered in this city."
Hazel's level of being revered can be debated, but it is certainly true that no big-name figure will risk embarrassing themselves running against Hazel. The article names all of the currently discussed contenders for the job, Parrish herself being the consensus front-runner, but other names include city councillor Katie Mahoney, her husband, Steve Mahoney, councillors and Hazel loyalists Pat Saito and Maja Prentice, and a non political challenger. This brings us to some interesting scenarios. A rematch of the 2004 Mississauga-Erindale Liberal nomination between Parrish and Steve Mahoney would probably be the most hard fought of any potential campaigns, as Parrish and Mahoney have plenty of bad blood between each other, and the feud they formed from the nomination shows no signs of having been cooled. Although it is generally thought that Parrish would be able to get most of the support of the Mississauga Liberal machine, Mahoney would probably be able to get the support of a significant chunk of it, as well as become a standard bearer for any "Anyone but Parrish" movement. A second scenario is that of a more openly Conservative aligned candidate running, and attempting to come up the middle and take advantage of a potentially split Liberal vote. Of course, a Conservative challenger could also take votes away from Mahoney, spliting the anti-Parrish vote and assuring victory for her. A third possibility is an election with many various councillors running, perhaps up to 4. I think Parrish would also have an advantage here, with her superior name recognition and political machine able to pull votes in areas that might otherwise vote for the local council member. If you are noticing a theme here, it is that Parrish is the favourite in all the scenarios I've listed, which I think is accurate. Parrish (for now) is the only possible candidate with real city wide name recognition, a powerful political machine, and regardless of what you personally think of her, to not recognize her as the favourite is ignorance.
I liked all the various comments on my last couple of blog posts telling me that the great hand of the Liberal Party had come and smacked down on a lowly blogger. In a stunning development, the natural governing party of Canada has bigger fish to fry then concerning itself with an errant youth. Here's what happened: Concerned about the impact of my blog on a campaign I wanted to win and help out, I went down to W-VM office the next day, and had a good long chat with the campaign manager. He apologized for the way I had been turned away, and that that had been a mistake on the part of a volunteer who didn't know what proper procedure was for dealing with would be volunteers, and that he had used my blog post as a tool to get his team more motivated and focused, and I apologized for not going through proper channels to voice my concerns. I pulled the original blog post and posted a new one, and I then spent the rest of the day doing what I wanted to do from the start: helping out Marc Garneau's campaign. I made phone calls for a few hours, then went out canvassing with Marc himself to ID some voters, the result of which was a couple dozen Liberal or likely Liberals ID'd, a hand full of BQ supporters, and zero NDP or Tory supporters. So after all the false drama that was attempted to be whipped up by rabble.ca and such, the end result? A happy local campaign, a happy party, a happy volunteer, and Liberal voters being ID'd.