Toronto-Danforth to Mr. Layton: Where are ye, Jack?
|THE CANADIAN PRESS|
Hardly a lazybones, our Jack Layton. The NDP leader spends countless hours on the road and, undoubtedbly, pounds the pavement in his Toronto-Danforth riding. I couldn't find an itinerary at Layton's website, but (to be fair) the House just adjourned for the summer and he's likely taking a break.
But, I've lived in Layton's riding for five years, during which time we've had three federal elections, and he's never been to my door. Now, I admit I could have missed him, but I doubt it. NDP volunteers have been around and, like other political parties, left "Sorry, we missed you" tags. I've never found one saying the leader had been by. (Of course, for my job, I've talked to him countless times.)
I raise this because earlier this week, I opened my door on a steamy Toronto day to meet Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu - the Green Party's new candidate in the riding. She wanted to introduce herself, pass out some information and assure me she'd be back over the summer. Her card notes that, as a mother of five, she's "increasingly concerned about the climate and resource challenges my children will face." She lists groups she's involved with, including Post Carbon Toronto, Amnesty International and JustEarth.
The underdog does the gruntwork and Mugnatto-Hamu is no exception. In Toronto-Danforth in last October's election, Layton sailed to victory with 20,416 votes (45 percent) to Green Party candidate Sharon Howarth's third place finish with 5,995 votes (13.2 percent). Liberal Andrew Lang was second (13,291 and 29.3 percent). There's virtually no chance an unknown like Mugnatto-Hamu could sneak up on a party leader like Jack Layton in the next federal election.