Team Ford loses vote, takes ball home

Confusion marked the end of today’s city council meeting, coming after a morning where everybody was best friends and also a little bit Jamaican. The drama began when the Executive Committee motion that would change the make-up of the city’s boards and agencies was amended by left-wing councillors. Surprisingly, these amendments were passed by council despite the Fords and Mammoliti attempting to whip the vote.

The Globe & Mail’s Patrick White:

Mr. Vaughan’s amendment, which passed 24-19, sets minimum sizes for all municipal boards, commissions and corporations at 11 members, including at least three city councillors. It spoiled a motion spearheaded by the executive committee, a group heavily stacked with Ford loyalists, that would have shrunk the boards of several cultural organizations down to nine and trimmed the number of councillors on the city’s library board to one from three.

A hush of disbelief fell over council chambers after the vote as Mr. Ford and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, huddled over a screen displaying the names of council members who sided against them.

via A victory for left-leaning bloc of Toronto council – The Globe and Mail.

White also quotes Vaughan after-the-fact: “That was our best day yet.”

Unfortunately, Vaughan’s amendment had an unintended consequence, in that it applied too broadly. Under the wording, even BIAs and arena boards would require representation from three city councillors.

After losing the vote, Team Ford got vindictive and refused to allow the item to be re-opened so that it could be amended to fix the error. A two-thirds majority was required to bring the item before council again — the vote was lost 26-17, as reported by Jonathan Goldsbie. Which would seem to indicate that there are roughly 17 hardcore ready-whip votes available.

Giorgio Mammoliti then embarrassed himself in interviews, pulling the ‘I meant to do that’ card and claiming that this will, I guess, serve as a lesson to left-wing councillors not to mess with the executive committee’s agenda items:

“In an attempt by Vaughan to detract from the mayor’s agenda, I think he’s increased the value of the agenda,” Mr. Mammoliti said. “I think next time they stand up and try to move a motion, just for the sake of moving a motion, they are going to think twice because this has really backfired on them.”

Yeah, that makes sense.

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