Candid Camera – Election Special (IV)

kevin Lloyd
Kevin Lloyd absolutely ecstatic after hearing the election results. So ecstatic you can almost see the vein pulsing on the side of his forehead.

Ian Chadwick’s kitchen counter the morning after election night.

Broken Uk
Seen on the sidewalk in front of Ian Chadwick’s house late on election night.

Rick Crouch heads off on the campaign trai…….. “Hang on Rick come back”

dale and Bob
Bob gets a bit of advice on how to be a good councillor from Dale……….. Dohh!!!

A few of the boys take a break from the campaigning, to blaze up some blunts.

Brian Sanderson’s car after the all candidates meeting.

Sandra Cooper after she hears she has been re-elected as Mayor.

Cooper Moguls
Later election night; Sandra Cooper doing Karaoke at Moguls.

Cooper after
Sandra Cooper Tuesday morning after one too many tequila slammers the night before. Plus someone just reminded her that Rick Lloyd had been sent packing.

Town cryer
Town Crier on the Wednesday after the election. Sending Rick Lloyd packing.

Bob Madigan just prior to heading down to file his nomination papers (and a trip to Frank the barber).

election sign
Illegal election sign offering another ringing endorsement of the voting bloc.

Dale West heads back out to do some last minute campaigning.

Couple of Bobs pals organize a small celebration in downtown Collingwood day after the election.

Ian Chadwick just after his Facebook rant.

Steve Berman
Steve Berman knocking on doors……… Yeah I cant see him either.

Crow Pie
My supper the day after the election. After all the trash talking I did about Cam.

Edwards sign
Mike Edwards accidently brings out the wrong sign from his garage, and inadvertently reminds the voters why they should be “Throwing the bums out.”

New portrait of Bob hanging in Mad Dogs. He had it commissioned to try and attract the Collingwood ethnic vote…….. Em Bob there is no ethnic vote in Collingwood.



Rick Lloyd
“Brian I would like to ask you about conflict of interest…………….”

Joe G
Er……..Um……. What was the question again?”

Carrier elected
“I would like to thank all of you out there for putting your faith in me this past 4 years……..”

Chadwick 3
Ian Chadwick tries to woe another voter.

Dale West
“I am not going to be part of this circus.” And we all wholeheartedly agreed with you Dale.


Note: This is a parody post. I am not suggesting or implying anything in my statements attached to photographs above. One thing I will say though, if you are a local politician and you are being photographed you could end up on VFAN’s Candid Camera.

The Rumour of my Demise has been Greatly Exaggerated

Picking through the bones …………..

Aw Shucks, thanks you guys!!! I am talking about all the words of encouragement I got earlier when I hinted I might be heading off into the blogging sunset. You guys need to go back and read the end of my last post again, I merely said I would be slowing things down from the break neck speed of two and three posts a day to a more manageable two to three posts a week.
I want to very publicly congratulate (except Kevin Lloyd, I will get to that in a minute) all the people that were elected to council last night including our Mayor Sandra Cooper. I must eat those sour grapes (never post after drinking 5 pints of Granville Island) that I put forth last night because she obviously can’t be that “feckless and ribbon cutting” she has managed (in spite of my best efforts) to get herself re-elected again with a huge margin, obviously by many of my readers. I start my dealings now with Sandra, with a new found respect and a blank slate.
I also have a funny story about the candidate that “lied” to me. I spoke with the person early this morning and got it all straightened around big misunderstanding etc, ect.(never post after drinking 5 pints of Granville Island) apologies given and excepted. Then low and behold mid morning today I get a text from another candidate’s pal telling me to cease and desist with the insinuations. Holy crap!!! Everyone is getting a little gun shy of this blog these days. It’s weird I had texted that candidate and wished him/her luck yesterday evening prior to the election results then never thought about him/her again until I got that text ……. Interesting!!!

Best run campaign, by a country mile was Bob Madigan’s all the razzmatazz of a US election campaign complete with buttons and a larger than life Bob holding court outside Mad Dogs glad handing and back slapping. Bob mobilized his base then expanded on it – textbook politicking. Reminded me of the Rob Ford campaign 4 years ago. I prepared a post at 5pm yesterday evening changing my election predictions to Bob being elected and putting Steve into the also ran’s. But decided against it. Not a nice thing to do at that time in an election campaign, so I refrained from posting.

Worst run campaigns tie between Steve Berman and Betty Donaher. Steve started off with a base and did not do a thing with it. Betty came in late with a lot of wishful thinking and very little else. People – word to the wise; you cannot run for political office, especially municipally, without putting up election signs. It’s all about name recognition.

The one that made me eat a great big crow pie, legs, head, feathers, beak and all was Cam Ecclestone. I just did not see that one coming. After an early spat with Cam I pretty much ignored him and he me. Apparently he knocked on over 3,000 doors. That was the part that I did not find out until last night, if I had known that I would not have treated Cam with such deference.

Now its time to do a great big what if. What if Hurricane Sandy had withdrawn from the race on Friday 12th September instead of Wednesday 17th and was not on the ballot??? For this to work you need to click back and forth to the earlier post with the election results. Here’s what I say would have happened. Rick Crouch gets in because he picks up a few of those extra votes by default. Kevin Lloyd does not get in the very last spot by 40 votes because I say most of the people that voted for Lloyd also voted for Cunningham I also say that as much as Chadwick tried to convince us otherwise a lot of folks will make full use of their voting franchise and will mark all 7 candidates. I say that Dale West had all the votes he was going to get because he was marked on most of the same ballots as Cunningham. So some of those extra 1,516 votes that are floating around go to Gail or Jim. Now this is no slight against Bob , I am not insinuating voting bloc or anything else. I just don’t think many of those Cunningham votes go to Bob because through name recognition alone, he is already marked on many of those same ballots going to Cunningham. The opposite holds true with Steve Berman with this crowd no name recognition so no votes going there. Now go back to the results quickly and imagine how those 1516 votes get distributed. Paints a very different picture at the bottom of the 7 elected councillors doesn’t it? Its no wonder many people are thinking this was a final middle finger to people like myself and others that were quite vocal in their criticism of the previous council.

I was a bit down last night, I was thinking I had failed in my quest for change (never post after drinking 5 pints of Granville Island). In retrospect I think I had a bit to do with exposing Ian Chadwick and him not getting re-elected. My constant nattering about voting blocs and Hurricane Sandy may have made his decision not to run a little easier. I think I cost Rick Lloyd a couple of votes but Brian Saunderson was a very strong candidate and Rick Lloyd’s baggage finally caught up with him. I hope that I helped Deb and Kathy a little. Tim was getting in anyway never any doubt. My one major disappointment was Rick Crouch. In his case I may have hurt his campaign rather than helped it.

From around August on, I did not think Chris Carrier could get in. the perception from too many directions was that he had too much baggage from his previous term as mayor. It’s too bad because I think Chris has matured a lot since then, but many of you obviously disagreed with me. Hopefully Sandra Cooper now has a chance to shine without the constant nattering of Rick Lloyd in her ear. I fear the worst though.

Final conclusion? This election was fought to a draw. One side can claim it maintained a presence on council with its Mayor still in place, a member of its voting bloc still firmly entrenched in council. Plus some fallow fields to plough. The other can claim it now has a new vibrant Deputy Mayor who will not put up with any nonsense, a very smart councillor who garnered the most votes and a couple of other councillors who will push a change agenda. Interesting times ahead.

What have I learned from all this? There was a whole other election campaign going on outside my little bubble and sphere of influence. I have to stop being judgmental and need to be more objective when I interact with people. Last but not least, I will never post after drinking 5 pints of Granville Island.

It all starts again on 1st December. this time around I will be there right from the start. Commenting, poking fun at, criticizing. Those in council with thinner skins may have a sharp learning curve, because VFAN will be back baby!!!

Where does VFAN go from here?

VFAN is just about to roll through 30,000 views since the beginning of October, my average for a full month is around 8,500 views. I’m a bit burned out by it all actually. I am glad it’s all over. I was thinking of ending this blog and starting something new, I never intended on continuing beyond this municipal election. I started this blog in January 2013 with a very public slanging match with Scoop, the silly man instead of just ignoring me, linked my ranting’s and responded, so I piggy backed on all his readers. Prior to that I was only getting around 20 views per day, the rest is history as they say. My original intention was to post a few things poking fun at town council, for the amusement of a few of my buddy’s. Not sure how it ended up at the place it is at now, but it is unsustainable in its present form, it’s like a second job and the pay is crap.
The results of this election were not emphatic enough for me. We still have our feckless ribbon cutting mayor. We still have Kevin Lloyd.

If you look at my election predictions I was actually only out by two and I put it like this Cam replaced Rick Crouch and Bob Madigan is in the spot Steve Berman should have been in if he had actually ran a campaign. Water under the bridge now as they say.

In the next day or so we start this process again. I will attend council meetings when I can and post my take on things as they arise. Thanks this evening for all the kind words from people who do not know me but know my blog it has made it all worth while.

2014 Collingwood Municipal Election Results

Sandra Cooper (Elected) 4636
Chris Carrier 2273
Joe Gardhouse 2131

Deputy Mayor
Brian Saunderson (Elected) 5701
Rick Lloyd 3245
Tim Fryer (Elected) 5301
Mike Edwards (Elected) 4425
Cam Ecclestone (Elected)3792
Kathy Jeffery (Elected)3674
Deb Doherty (Elected)3617
Bob Madegan (Elected)3550
Kevin Lloyd (Elected)3402
Rick Crouch 3364
Dale West 3245
Jim Gosnell 3221
Gail Michalenko 3213
Ian Chadwick 3108
Steve Berman 2983
Sandy Cunningham 1516
Betty Donaher 1450

The Battle for the final 3 places

Changing the political landscape in Collingwood has been 90% of this blogs raison d’etre for the past year or so. Let’s see if I can get the last couple of votes going in the direction of change. I want to comment on the battle for the final 3 places as councillors. In no particular order, just as the thoughts enter my head:

Kevin Lloyd: Unless you are a fully paid up member of the “Old Collingwood Club”, (Chadwick is the self appointed commander in chief). How could you possibly vote for this man after the very public and very unprofessional brow beating that he gave the IC Robert Swayze on Monday evening? It takes a certain type of arrogance to try and publicly humiliate a member of the Upper Canada Law Society, when Lloyd could write his own credentials on the back of a postage stamp. This is the second time I have witnessed him show his true colours. The first was the nonsense with the motion to have the BTC survey and Brian Saunderson brought before the ‘Star Chamber’. Avoid him on the ballot at all costs.

Jim Gosnell: Ran a quiet campaign, by all accounts he is a decent man and a good honest candidate. He is actually the only candidate that I have seen get numerous endorsements from other candidates he is running against. I very flippantly called him boring in an earlier post to try and get a few cheap laughs at his expense. I don’t think Jim reads this blog, but if anyone talks to him tell him I am sorry for disparaging him. I don’t think a vote for Jim will be a wasted vote if you want change.

Bob (Mad Dog) Madigan: A few people jumped on me when I posted my blog about Bob being groomed as a new member of the voting bloc. I even published a very well written rebuttal of that post by someone that I knew quite well. I actually wrote a rebuttal of that rebuttal and never posted it because I felt I had bigger fish to fry. I finally sat down with Bob today and had a long chat with him. I like him. Bob says he is the sleeper candidate and Tuesday morning we will all be surprized by the amount of votes he will get. By the reception he gets from passers by and his customers at his coffee shop, who am I to argue with him. On the east side of Hurontario between third and fourth it’s “Mad Dog’s World” and he holds court every day. Bob has assured me he is not going to be a stooge for the voting bloc. If he gets elected I will hold him to that promise.

Deb Doherty: Deb is a candidate that no one seems to remember. I spoke to about six people that thought she was very strong in the all candidates meeting, but could not for the life of them remember her name even after I told them. Prior to that I would hear “What’s the name of that lady who wanted to get the Admiral site cleaned up?” I hope that this is not a bad omen for her because she would be a fantastic new member of a new council. I voted for Deb and change.

Cam Ecclestone: Not sure why Cam filed so early, because he did nothing for the first 6 months after he filed. He does seem to have a few followers and those followers are very loyal to him. I did not find one person that he made a lasting impression on in the all candidates meeting. Strange thing with Cam is he has apparently been directing people towards this blog but has never contacted me directly. From day one I would have promoted Cam, if he had ever given me the time of day. I don’t think he has a hope in hell of getting elected, but I would sooner you vote for Cam than one of the incumbents.

Dale West: He was off my radar and if Jim or Betty had not joined the race at the last minute I might have voted for him. That was until last Monday evening. It was so bazaar the way he carried on. Myself and others, on the evening, could only come to one of two conclusions, that it was all preplanned or he is a complete fool. Whatever the reason he made a mockery of Robert Swayze and turned what was merely Billy Smarts Circus into Collingwood’s version of “Cirque du Soleil”. Do not vote for Dale West.

Steve Berman Up until 3 or 4 weeks ago I would have bet a weeks salary that Steve was a shoe in for council. Now I am not so sure. What is that saying “Good election campaigns get good candidates elected”. I understand that Steve stood on his principles by saying “my blog for the last 18 months is my election campaign”. Some of us local political wonks forget that 90% of the local population do not give a rats arse about local politics, until 6 weeks prior to the election. Name recognition is crucial. In my travels I have come across more than a few people that pay attention to election signs. They want change see an election sign, remember the name, then Google it when they get home. Steve did not have that luxury and he didn’t even go and do the door knocking. An uncomfortable amount of people do not know him from a bar of soap. BUT. I voted for change, I voted for Steve Berman.

Betty Donaher: I hope that Betty gets in but I fear the worst. As stated previously I voted for her and I think her energy and ideas would have been a welcome addition in this new council. But the late start and lack of signs might have done irreparable damage to her sputtering campaign. A vote for Betty is a vote for change and not a wasted vote.

Gail Michalenko: Another quiet campaign. I voted for Gail. She is the bridge between new and old and the only candidate that I have not heard one disparaging remark about. I did not pick Gail in my election predictions but she might squeak into the last spot on council.

Mike Edwards: I still think Mike should not have run in this election and should have quit while he was ahead. But after he stood up for the community on Monday evening I have had a bit of a change of heart. I will not be upset if he is on a new council and he is one of 4 council candidates that I think will definitely get in that is why I left him until last.

If I did not mention you don’t panic you are either an incumbent or I think you will be elected.

My last word on integrity reports and douche bags:

I will guarantee that if you had an off the record candid conversation with integrity commissioner Robert Swayze after last Monday evenings fractious council meeting, he would say he has never seen anything quite like that in his professional career. He was retained by the town as an independent arbitrator, he is not part of any particular group, he has no skin in the game, he has no political axe to grind. And yet the derision and contempt that he was publicly subjected to by Kevin Lloyd was quite astounding.
I have been in possession of Mr. Swayze’s report since early last week. Contrary to some of the internet raving’s in various forms of social media about it; I didn’t find it all that damning. I decided against doing a bit on it because to be honest I am a little road weary right now and I decided it was just electronic page filler only to be read by my most ardent followers. I actually almost skipped Monday evenings council meeting. because I thought it would be another lame duck affair that has prevailed since late summer. But I thought what the hell I will go and catch up with a few familiar faces and see how the various election campaigns were going.
When I walked in, the meeting had already started. But I found it rather strange because there was complete silence and the normally staid atmosphere that surrounds these gatherings was replaced with an electric palpable sense of anticipation. I asked someone that was sitting close to me what was going on. They whispered something about “Lloyds lawyer Shaw had submitted a rebuttal of the integrity report”. I thought ah this could be more interesting than I originally thought. I also thought why would Rick Lloyd draw more attention to this thing than is necessary.
I will not get into the ins and outs of what transpired at the later portion of that council meeting, it’s well documented all over social media. The point of this post is to point out a few things that transpired in this council meeting that to me underline exactly what has been amiss (also right) with this town council. I will present it in list format:

1. The Mayor was completely silent the whole time that this farce was going on. With the exception of berating the audience’s clapping, gasps of disbelief and howls of indignation. If ever there was evidence of her complete lack of any kind of leadership roll, it was on full display Monday evening. She was out of her depth stumbling and mumbling her words, looked and acted like the small town country mouse that she really is. I have almost excepted that she will be around for another 4 years, but for God sakes folks anything is better than this vacuous puppet representing our town.

2. These people actually believe they are going to be re-elected. The arrogance that permeates from all of them is quite apparent. I have now started to second guess myself. I am not stupid enough to think that this bunch will be clean sweeped away into the annals of Collingwood’s political grave yard. But I do live in hope that at least two or three of them will be shown the door, and enough new vibrant people will get elected including, in one of the top two positions, to actually make a difference.

3. Dale West’s complete capitulation was a jaw dropper. He quite rightly stated it was a circus. Then voted along with the ringmaster and the trained monkeys. Did we all misinterpret what he was calling a circus? Was he actually saying that Gardhouse, Hull and Edwards stance was the circus? I am perplexed.

4. Rick Lloyd loves all this stuff. He comes across as the slightly rotund, jolly “Aw Shucks” everyman, with his bad suit and comb over hair. But he is the consummate puppet master. He knew full well the ruckus it would cause by letting his brief look at the Swayze document. What else is a small town lawyer going to do? Say to Lloyd “Em actually Rick he makes some good points you better go take your medicine”. Of course not he’s going to do what lawyers do best, denigrate another lawyers deposition with a counter argument in favour of his client.

5. The integrity commissioner was never put on a retainer by this council to make rock solid legal arguments, to stand the scrutiny of a court of law or someone lawyering up and shooting holes through a report. I am quite sure the intent was to guide council through the maze of what constitutes a conflict of interest in the political arena. To be honest if Lloyd thinks his dealings with Assaff do not constitute any conflict (which he doesn’t) then it is quite apparent, what many people in Collingwood have known for years, he is not fit for public office.

6. Joe Gardhouse should have run for council. His performance this term has been quite admirable and although I did not support him as Mayor. I would have quite happily returned him to council. Ditto Keith Hull both will be sorely missed.

7. Ian Chadwick started his Scripturient blog post today with the following:
“Last night at council I referred to seeing what I believed was a post hoc fallacy in a report, or more properly a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Yeah, I probably annoyed some folks in the audience because I used Latin words and that confused them. But hey, they already think I’m a jerk because I can spell words like egregious and nefarious without using spellcheck, so I doubt I lost any votes over it”.
Thereby alienating 95% of his constituency. What a douche bag!!! The sooner he gets supplanted by other more worthy councillors, to the dustbin of the local political scene the better.