Will Ana Bailao run provincially?

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Downtowner
Will Ana Bailao run provincially?

Speculation is mounting that Ward 18 Toronto City Councillor Ana Bailao will throw her hat in the ring for the provincial Liberals come the next election. That has to make Davenport MPP Jonah Schein and the NDP riding association very nervous. Schein rode the coattails of Andrew Cash to an improbable victory last time around, taking Davenport for the NDP. It looked like Davenport had permanently swung from red to orange. But Liberal Ana Bailao had already snatched the council seat known as Davenport South, held for years by dipper stalwart Adam Giambrone. Other than predictably grabbing the bulk of the Portugese vote, she had also converted a significant portion of the anglo yuppies and young families who had been a base of support for Giambrone, many of whom would subsequently vote for Cash and Schein. At first, Bailao jumped on the Ford bandwagon like many of her fellow centrists. But as she saw the political winds shift, she wisely abandoned the right and positioned herself as one of the moderate middle. At the same time, she impressed many people, even some progressives, with her competent performance on the Affordable Housing committee. If not for her drunk driving conviction on the way back from being lobbied by casino toadies, she would likely have been a rising municipal star. Since then, she has cast some questionable votes, including support for the Scarborough subway. But as a centrist, this was hardly surprising and probably not perceived as the kind of cynical political opportrunism and cowardice as, for example, Joe Mihevc's about face on the subway issue. She appears to be well liked in Ward 18 and will easily coast to re-election in October. 

Although city councillors of course have no formal party affiliation, Bailao is a former assistant of Mario Silva and is almost certainly a Liberal. And her success and popularity in Davenport South means that she is an extremely attractive candidate in a provincial election where a huge portion of the voters in Davenport North are Portugese and will almost certainly support Bailao if she runs provincially. Many of them stayed home the last time around which contributed to Schein's victory (though the talented Jonah, who lacks Cash's charisma and natural stage presence, worked extremely hard and has to be given due credit for his electoral miracle.)

The demographics of Davenport have undeniably changed over the last decade, though the unlikely victory of two Dippers provincially and federally has as much to do with Andrew Cash's incredibly hard work in the months and months that he campaigned door to door long before the election was called, often with his friend Schein at his side. Since then, Schein has largely failed to establish his own profile. Instead, he has practically been joined at the hip with Cash, appearing at events together and championing many of the same causes such as Clean Trains. Schein has also failed to carve a niche for himself in the provincial NDP. With his background as a progressive community activist, many had expected him to act as a voice for the poor and marginalized, positioning himself on the left of the party where Cheri Dinovo had resided before she joined the leadership. Instead, he has largely toed the line of Andrea Horwath and remained silent on many of the issues that the party has relegated to the backburner for fear of dredging up the socialist ghosts of the NDP's past. That's not to say he's ineffective. He and Andrew Cash have been fantastic on local issues and here's hoping that Davenport will remain permanently orange. But while Cash's seat is likely safe, Schein is definitely vulnerable against the right Liberal opposition candidate. Enter Bailao.

 Of course, the weaselly Ward 17 city councillor Cesar Palacio is almost certainly about to be unseated in Davenport North by Alejandra Bravo who will finally prevail in her third attempt. A longtime Liberal, he may decide to throw his hat in the race once he is unemployed. If that happens, Schein -- his former Ward 17 opponent -- will easily beat him with strong support in Davenport South. If an election is called before then, however, there will be strong pressure on Bailao to run provincially and take advantage of her popularity in the south to give Jonah a run for his money and guarantee a tight race.

Should be interesting. 

 

 

 

Stockholm

I thought I read that the Ontario Liberals had already renominated their losing candidate Christina Martins? With regard to Ana Bailao - I say bring it on! All Schein has to do is play up her pro-Ford voting record and her her conviction for drunk driving...

mark_alfred

Schein has put in a number of bills, including one recently on internships: Bill 170, Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers Act, 2014.  He's done some good work.

janfromthebruce

And that intern bill has gotten lots of media attention and also gathered much ppl attention. The kind one wants as one creates their political niche.

Bacchus

Isnt she the one that got caught drunk driving?

Stockholm

Bailao was also the deciding vote in favour of wasting a billion dollars on a white elephant of a subway scheme in Scarborough - a VERY unpopular position in Davenport. She can be skewered every which way over that alone!

mark_alfred

The subway vote was really stupid.  Until then I had a lot of respect for her.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Bailao was also the deciding vote in favour of wasting a billion dollars on a white elephant of a subway scheme in Scarborough - a VERY unpopular position in Davenport. She can be skewered every which way over that alone!

Whomever campaigns in favour of light rail is also going to have a difficult time in that riding, considering the issues the area residents had with the St. Clair right-of-way construction.

robbie_dee

Ana is in danger of losing her council seat to Alex Mazer. I don't think a provincial run is in the cards, except perhaps as a face-saving excuse to drop out of the municipal race before she gets turfed.

http://torontoist.com/2014/01/meet-a-council-candidate-alex-mazer-ward-18/

janfromthebruce

Perhaps other potential candidates will come forward who are progressive.

ctrl190

robbie_dee wrote:
Ana is in danger of losing her council seat to Alex Mazer. I don't think a provincial run is in the cards, except perhaps as a face-saving excuse to drop out of the municipal race before she gets turfed.
">http://torontoist.com/2014/01/meet-a-council-candidate-alex-mazer-ward-1...

Mazer's campaign definitely makes me wonder if the Liberals are abandoning Bailao post-DUI. Mazer after all is a Harvard-trained lawyer who worked for a Liberal Minister's office and was a policy advisor for Ignatieff during his leadership bid. While he is downplaying his Liberal credentials likely in an attempt to capture the big tent progressive vote he nonetheless could be stealing resources from Bailao.

Bravo has filed her nomination papers for a rematch against Palacio. I think she has a terrific shot to finally win. Opposition among businesses to the St. Clair streetcar likely put Palacio over the top in 2006 and 2010 but that has likely fizzled now that the construction headache is over. She has also maintained a high profile in the last four years. 

Stockholm

I have heard that Mazer is getting backing from some NDPer sin the area and his campaign colours are suspiciously similar to Olivia Chow's purple and gold...

ctrl190

Stockholm wrote:

I have heard that Mazer is getting backing from some NDPer sin the area and his campaign colours are suspiciously similar to Olivia Chow's purple and gold...

Mazer recently got endorsed by Brian Topp. Yet based on his twitter feed he still mingles in Liberal circles.

robbie_dee

Next question: will Jonah Schein run municipally? 

I can't remember where he ran in 2010, was it against Bailao or Palacio?

ctrl190

robbie_dee wrote:

Next question: will Jonah Schein run municipally? 

I can't remember where he ran in 2010, was it against Bailao or Palacio?

Schein ran against Palacio, in the northern half.

terrytowel

If Ana Bailao runs federally, she will give Andrew Cash of the NDP a run for his money.

It would be a repeat of Jonah Schein v Christina Martins.

I hope Jonah Schein runs municipally.

Stockholm

Jonah Schein ran in 2010 in the northern half of Davenport against Liberal and Ford supporter Cesar Palacio - this time all progressives are united behind Alejandra Brava in that ward since she came close to winning against Palacio the Ford supporter in 2003 and 2006 - so i can't see him running there.

Here's what i could see happening. Ana Bailao has been a very inactive. low profile city councillor - the only times she got any publicity was when she was charged with drunk driving and when she cast the deciding vote IN FAVOUR of wasting a billion dollars of the Scarbrough subway white elephant. She is a big "L" Liberal. Another big "L" Liberal this guy Mazer is running against her and seems quite progressive and has some NDP backing - but he is still a Liberal. I wonder what would happen if Schein ran in the southern half of Davenport and took advantage of the Liberal vs. Liberal split and came up the middle as ther sole NDPer in the race?

ctrl190

terrytowel wrote:

If Ana Bailao runs federally, she will give Andrew Cash of the NDP a run for his money.

It would be a repeat of Jonah Schein v Christina Martins.

I hope Jonah Schein runs municipally.

Andrew Cash crushed Liberal incumbent Mario Silva in 2011 by 10,000 votes. He's incredibly popular and very visible in the riding. I would attribute some of Jonah's win in 2011 to the spillover of Cash's victory a few months prior. Barring a complete NDP meltdown, I think it's a safe seat for Cash.

terrytowel

ctrl190 wrote:

terrytowel wrote:

If Ana Bailao runs federally, she will give Andrew Cash of the NDP a run for his money.

It would be a repeat of Jonah Schein v Christina Martins.

I hope Jonah Schein runs municipally.

Andrew Cash crushed Liberal incumbent Mario Silva in 2011 by 10,000 votes. He's incredibly popular and very visible in the riding. I would attribute some of Jonah's win in 2011 to the spillover of Cash's victory a few months prior. Barring a complete NDP meltdown, I think it's a safe seat for Cash.

I don't think this is that much of a safe seat for Cash. Mario Silva was one of the top 'invisible' MP from Toronto. You barely saw him around the riding or in Parliment. The residents of Davenport took it out on him, and many just stayed home. Many were still angry at Paul Martin for dumping Charles Caccia off the Liberal ticket in that riding. A riding he held since 1968.

According to wikipedia

The Davenport riding has the highest percentage of ethnic Portuguese of all Canadian federal ridings (27.4%), and the highest percentage of European immigrants (28.5%, of whom 25.0% are from Southern Europe, and 19.2% from Southern European countries other than Italy), in all of Canada.

On the provincial side you could attribute Christina Martins win to that. The assumption being that she pulled the immigrant and ethnic residents out to vote, as evidenced by the 3,000 plus new voters she got.

With the right Portuguese candidate with a high profile, the Liberals could do the same thing federally.