I have a $50 bet with a friend regarding our next federal election. I say Stephen Harper's Conservative Party will be completely shut out in the 416. My friend says they'll win at least one seat in Toronto. I'm so confident they won't, I would have bet up to $500.
The fact is, Stephen Harper is not our Prime Minister. Following the 2006 federal election, I wrote about the lack of blue in the T-Dot. This city has 23 seats and 20 went to the Liberal Party while the other three went to the NDP. At the time, I wrote the following.
Stephen Harper's Conservative Party cannot win in Toronto because of how close to our hearts we cherish our socially liberal values. The mere suggestion of repealing our abortion laws or revisiting the same-sex marriage debate upsets the average 416er. Toronto, like Montreal and Vancouver, is a progressive, open-minded, accepting and sensible city that will not sacrifice these values at any cost. So long as the Conservatives can't make a dent in Canada's big cities they will never win a majority.
As Royson James points out in today's Star, Harper has already written Toronto off. He knows he can't win a seat here, and he's not even going to try. Royson believes Mark Warner was ousted as a Conservative candidate because "he kept talking about urban issues – things that mattered to the people of Toronto Centre - like housing, poverty, health and social services".
So Canada's Prime Minister does not represent us in Canada's largest city. We didn't vote for him, and he's not interested in our future support. He'll focus on the West and Quebec and leave the 23 Toronto seats for the red and orange to fight over.
It's a damn shame it's come to this. Torontonians are without a Prime Minister and there's nothing we can do about it.