Today is the Mayoral election in Toronto
The likelihood is that John Tory, a more traditional candidate will win as all four of the major local newspapers endorsed him over Olivia Chow, Doug Ford, and other candidates ("There's no excuse to skip this Toronto campaign-season finale," Globe and Mail).
suggests that Olivia Chow would be a better choice, because while transit was perhaps the biggest agenda item ("Transit tracks high as voter priority but platforms underwhelm," Star) during the campaign (other than Rob Ford and the Ford Nation), dealing with poverty and inequality is perhaps one of the city's most serious issues going forward.
Toronto's municipal politics have been insane for the past four years with the election of suburban resident Rob Ford as Mayor. He junked the "Transit City" expansion initiative of the previous government--although it turns out in a weak mayor system he didn't have that power--and on transit and most other issues, including his false statements that billions of dollars of waste present in government would allow for significant tax reductions, and government move towards standstill.
Over the past couple years, Ford was implicated in drug use, and he took a leave of absence for a stay in rehabilitation. He was running for reelection, but then was diagnosed as having cancer, so he stepped out of the campaign for Mayor and asked his brother Doug to run in his place.
Suburban-urban divide. Interestingly, the election of Rob Ford shows one of the problems that can come from the merger of center city and suburban jurisdictions into a consolidated "center city" as the suburban electorate tends to be larger than the number of residents in the center city.
In the case of Toronto and London, the suburbs vote Conservative and the inner city votes progressive ("Life after Ford: A City As Divided As Ever," Toronto Globe and Mail). Although note that the outer suburbs and cities, not part of Toronto's consolidated city, are expected to vote for candidates affiliated with the Liberal Party ("Red wave of mayors expected to sweep across 905 cities," Globe and Mail).
From the article
Mr. Ford’s simplistic promises to fight for taxpayers, run city hall like a business, and “stop the gravy train” struck a chord with many voters. If he had a history of off-kilter behaviour and ugly rants, many voters were too fed up to care. Mr. Ford took 47 per cent of the vote, easily besting second-place George Smitherman, a former Ontario deputy premier, who took 36 per cent. “People took the biggest hand grenade they could find and they threw it,” says pollster Darrell Bricker, chief executive of Ipsos Public Affairs.Would allowing local municipal political parties help Toronto? At the local level, Ontario doesn't allow for the formation of municipal political parties ("Province urged to allow municipal political parties," National Post). In other provinces the rule is that provincial and federal parties can't have municipal affiliates. Instead, locally focused parties can be created and are distinct from national and provincial parties.
Their anxieties and frustrations have not gone away. Toronto is, by almost any measure, a fantastically successful city. ... But as it grows, Toronto is changing, and not everyone is happy about it. Established, older residents in the car-dependent suburbs see their way of life under threat amid all the chatter about the evils of the automobile and the virtues of urban density. New immigrants often find it hard to get a foot on the first rungs of the economic ladder. Young couples despair of ever owning a house in a market where a narrow Victorian on a treed downtown street can go for more than a million dollars. People everywhere fume about the congested roads and crowded subways, buses and streetcars.
Montreal and Vancouver are known for having particularly active and municipally-focused parties. And while local politics isn't necessarily perfect in those cities (Montreal went through a massive pay-for-play bribery scandal recently) by contrast in Toronto, it's a free for all.
Having local parties would be less worse than the current practice of political disaggregation and disorganization.