The Conservative Party may win every single seat in the 905 next election or they may not win a single one in the vote-rich ring around Toronto. In either case, Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle will have next to nothing to do with the outcome.
So why in the world are otherwise smart pundits claiming otherwise? The shuffle is heralded as a “major boost for Toronto” by the Star, and this paper’s Ottawa bureau chief proclaims that “Harper lays stakes in Toronto suburbs with pre-election shuffle.”
It all sounds very dramatic and game-changey. It really, really isn’t. While Peter Kent’s new albatross that is the environment portfolio under Stephen Harper has been dealt with adequately by others, I thought focusing on how Julian Fantino may, or may not, play a role in swinging 905 seats to the Conservatives would be instructive.
Ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Seniors, Julian Fantino. Sure, the seniors portfolio is “about as junior as cabinet jobs come” but “seniors are important for the Conservative political strategy, however, since older voters tend to vote Conservative more than do younger voters”. A fact – seniors do vote Conservative in greater numbers than younger voters. But remember – this is all about a massive breakthrough in the 905 that leads to a historic Conservative majority. That’s the thesis being posited.
So let’s assume that somehow Fantino makes seniors even more likely to vote for the Conservatives than they were pre-Fantino (a fairly shaky assumption given that I’m not sure many seniors would say “I was going to vote Liberals but damn, the job Fantino did with that meaty seniors portfolio, doing all those important things that seniors ministers do... Why it just changed my mind”), it really won’t make much of a difference in the 905.
There are 20 ridings in the 905. Thanks to the still brilliant site Pundits’ Guide, I simply ran the rankings of every single riding in Canada from oldest to youngest. Here are the 905 ridings with their ranking (ie – the 308th riding is the youngest riding in Canada)
Ajax-Pickering – 274th
Bramalea-Gore-Malton – 297th
Brampton-Springdale – 298th
Brampton West – 300th
Halton – 295th
Markham-Unionville – 227th
Mississauga-Brampton-South – 278th
Mississauga East-Cooksville – 237th
Mississauga-Erindale – 258th
Mississauga South – 138th
Mississauga-Streetsville – 281st
Newmarket-Aurora – 233rd
Oak Ridges-Markham – 236rd
Oakville – 108th
Oshawa – 187th
Richmond Hill – 190th
Thornhill – 175th
Vaughan – 284th
Whitby-Oshawa – 245th
I’m no statistician but I notice a tiny trend: The 905 is probably the youngest cluster of ridings in the country. Certainly in Ontario. Seventeen of 20 ridings are in the youngest half of ridings in the country. The Brampton seats – which are presumably key targets for the Conservatives – are the two youngest seats in Ontario. That of course doesn’t mean that there aren’t seniors in each and every riding but the notion that having a “seniors minister” helps swing the 905? The demographics don’t work. If anything, it may make the Conservatives seem out of touch with the actual constituents of the 905 – young families. These people may take the kids to visit grandpa on weekends but in terms of who actually lives in the ridings, they’re disproportionately young.
But let’s put the “facts” of the 905 aside – facts do nothing but get in the way of a good narrative. Fantino could not be in a more different position from the average senior in Canada. Fantino’s pension, based on back of the envelope math, is worth almost $120,000 per year. Consider:
After five years as OPP commissioner, Fantino would be entitled to collect at least $20,000 annually under the Ontario Public Service Pension plan.
For his thirty-six years of service in his various roles that use the OMERS pension plan (London police, York Region police, Toronto police), Fantino would collect at least $87,000 per year.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
It appears Mr. Harper gave Julian Fantino an undertaking,
"Run for us and I'll guarantee you a "SENIOR" ministerial role.
Mr. Harper got part of it right.
He belongs in "seniors" home, preferably under protective custody where he can't commit any more criminal offenses.
There is one very important lesson we can learn from the appointment, sorry
anointment of Julian Fantino by Mr. Harper.
Julian Fantino will do to the conservatives what he has done to all his employers, bring them ill-repute and add just another reason why Mr. Harpers appointment of Fantino is enough to make voters puke.
The ONLY Canadian Politician who had the balls to go to war on Julian Fantino was none other than Justine Trudeau.
Hey, to Justice Trudea, a big thank you for a job well done.
Just where was Igy?
Canada needs leadership, real ethical leadership from a real leader with passion and vision for Canada's future.
So far, only ONE name crops up as being suitable to replace Mr. Harper.
Mr. Harper has yet to the "long term" effects of his anointment of Fantino.
In the short term, Fantino won by slim margin, not the sweep predicted, which means, the public were slowly getting educated about "Fantino".
Hopefully the facts concerning Fantino's incredible string of at worst, criminal at least illegal activities will become public knowledge.
Just when is Mr. Harper going to review his real resume?
Mr. Harper has really prostituted his ethics by hiring Julian Fantino who has
got to be one of the least suitable politicians let alone ministers ever
Back in 2007 he ordered a WIRETAP on a LAWYER, "Peter Maloney" who just happened to be a "police critique" Susan Eng, who just also happened to be none other than the Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, All of which was expressly, contrary to a Court Order.
That is, if Fantino can't comply with a court order just how is suitable to be entrusted with any public responsibility?
Then there was his "Project Guardian" his pet "anti-fag" crusade in which over 24 Gay men were arrested for "purported involvement in child pornography". NONE Of whom were convicted of child porn, but, "several were convicted of other offenses "UNRELATED" to the investigation.
Back in his home town, "Toronto"
Fantino's contract as police chief expired on February 28, 2005. On June 24, 2004, the police services board announced that it would not be reappointing Fantino due to a 2-2 tie. This was controversial since chair Norm Gardner had been suspended from the five-man board due to a conflict of interest ruling, but as he refused to vacate his seat the three required votes for renewal were far more difficult to obtain. Conservative politicians on Toronto City Council responded with a "Save Fantino" campaign, and the board was deadlocked on the issue of beginning the search for Fantino's replacement.
Mr. Harper has really picked a loose cannon who is guaranteed to make Stockwell Day look like a school cadet.