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Adam Vaughan to Run for Liberals in Trinity-Spadina

Councillor will campaign to replace Olivia Chow in upcoming by-election.

Adam Vaughan at a city council meeting in 2011.

Outspoken progressive Toronto councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) will be running for the federal Liberal party in an upcoming by-election, several sources have confirmed.

Four potential Liberal candidates had already expressed interest in the federal nomination in Trinity-Spadina, and the Liberal Party has declared what’s called “a state of electoral urgency” in that riding; this allows the party’s leadership to bypass standard nomination procedures.

As outlined in the letter above, “The effect of this declaration is to give us the authority to alter the time lines and procedures in the National Rules as we see fit.” But that doesn’t mean the Liberals will be handing Vaughan the nomination—both the party and Vaughan’s campaign manager have confirmed that he will, in fact, have to fight for it.

Should he secure the nomination (by whatever means) Vaughan’s major opponent will be NDP candidate Joe Cressy, who has been a long-time supporter of Olivia Chow. Chow stepped down as Trinity-Spadina’s MP in order to run for mayor.

More to come.

CORRECTION: April 21, 2014, 4:55 PM This post originally stated that the Liberal Party would bypass standard nomination procedures in order to give the nomination to Vaughan; in fact, Vaughan will contest the nomination as normal. We regret the error.


  • americanadian

    It’s this kind of “Rule by Decree” that prevents my participation in party politics. If Adam Vaughan is the guy, and I do happen to think he is, then let him get nominated without intervention. We need electoral reform in the “first past the post” setup but more fundamentally in who gets to say who stands for election at all.

    • Canadianskeezix

      I never understand this line of reasoning. Political parties are free to choose how they nominate their own candidates. It’s up to Liberals who is going to represent them in a riding – not the rest of us. And the Liberals are free to have the rules they have. Same goes for the other parties. If you don’t like how a candidate was chosen, then don’t vote for that party. If you don’t like the Liberal Party rules, then join the party and attend the next convention. Or join another party that better reflects your views about the grassroots. That’s democracy in action – not some new government bureaucracy to oversee party nomination battles in each riding.

      In any event, it also baffles me how anyone thinks party nomination contests are inherently democratic. They are basically a race to see which candidate has the most party connections and can sign up the most new party members in a short timeframe. The party grassroots often get shunted aside, as much as they do when the leader parachutes in a candidate.

      Let the parties govern themselves, and we get to pass judgment on election day.

      • OgtheDim

        Rule of thumb is, if you don’t like a party, you don’t like how they nominate a particular candidate and complain loudly and vociferously about democracy…while ignoring the party you support’s issues..

        The discussion in here of the shenanigans around Adam Giambrone out in Scarborough comes to mind.

        • TheSotSays

          “while ignoring the party you support’s issues ..”

          Well done, I’m putting you down for the Josephine Preston Peabody Award for Excellence in English Grammar.

      • americanadian

        Perhaps I can be more clear. I’ve been a Liberal Party member before. The problem, as I see it and what we have here, is when the leadership (be it within the riding or the national) usurps the ability of rank-and-file party members to participate. The last thing I’d advocate for is some overriding bureaucracy.
        In fact the last time I was a member of a riding association they didn’t even bother to notify members of the nomination meeting during an election year. That’s how they maintained control within the ruling clique. A downtown riding not far from this one.

  • OgtheDim

    Who are they wanting to place into Scarborough Agincourt?

    • Canadianskeezix

      Good question. Ironically, it’s the precise opposite of Trinity Spadina in that Jim Karygiannis resigned from the HoC to run for City Council.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Seems like someone is desperate to get a name candidate in Trinity Spadina…..

    • Canadianskeezix

      Aren’t all the parties desperate to get name candidates in all of the ridings they think they have a chance of winning?

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        Well, yeah, you do make a good point. It does seem a bit heavy handed though. Trudeau was against this sort of top down thing that parties regularly engage in when they want a star candidate. not that it will hurt the Liberals. Vaughan is a good catch and would make a good MP.

        • Canadianskeezix

          Why is it heavy handed? Because it prevents someone else from bringing in busloads of instant members to win the nomination? Trudeau didn’t say that he would never become involved in a nomination. I’m not trying to be cute, or critical of your comment, but I never quite understand why having the leader chose the candidates in key ridings is an affront to democracy. (to be fair, that’s not what you were saying)

          Vaughan is a good catch, although I can’t imagine he’ll be fun to have in caucus.

        • TheSotSays

          “Vaughan is a good catch” ???????
          Yeah I suppose, if you like catfish

  • Canadianskeezix

    This is like a soap opera. The NDP thinks it owns the progressive, left-of-centre vote in Trinity Spadina. When Chow was first elected MP, Vaughan defied the NDP party elders by refusing to run in a pseudo nomination race to pick the progressive candidate to fill Chow’s shoes on City Council. Jack Layton reportedly threatened to bury Vaughan if he didn’t fall in line. Vaughan didn’t, and he trounced the Chow-Layton-endorsed Helen Kennedy. Now Vaughan is thumbing his nose again at the NDP in Trinity-Spadina. Want to make an NDPer see red? – say the words “Justin Trudeau” to them.

    I’m not Mr. Vaughan’s biggest fan, but I do like the fact that he is not beholden to any party apparatus. Good luck to Trudeau having Adam Vaughan in his caucus. Olivia Chow might have the last laugh after all.

    • tromboneguy

      You really think Vaughan is not held to “any party appartus”. My experience is that it is no accident someone runs for the Libs. Your remark is self serving. And don’t count on TS suddenly going brain dead because you posted a remark saying they will. I wouldn’t bet the farm if I were you mac.

      • OgtheDim

        So what you are saying is that the riding of Toronto Spadina would have to go brain dead to vote Liberal?

        That sounds like the same talk we heard when Vaughan was first running in that ward.

        • tromboneguy

          Yeah, I guess that is what I am saying. Your party is Corporatist, led by an effete, 1%er, neo-con. Meanwhile, the MSM plays up new Trudeaumania, and so-called progressives like this guy buy into it. We have seen this in Winnipeg where i live now, where first Wayne Helgason, and David Northcott, so-called real lefties, ran for the LPC against the NDP candidiate, a Carpenter and Union Man. I am amazed at how these “lefties”, think they are doing the right thing from you party, one that takes its orders from Bay Street, Big Oil, and now, the BC Board of Trade. Yep, if won TS, that would be proof people are brain dead, voting without using their brains before marking the X. One man’s opinon. You asked, I told you.

          • OgtheDim

            Ur assumption that those who say things contrary to your view support the Libs or the Tories sounds a lot like the con-bot assumption that those who oppose their views are commies.

            Consider, for a moment, that there are valid points to be brought to this discussion from beyond the thinking of the NDP on the ground, who tend to concern themselves with ideology more then voters. For example, I would suggest that given many people in that riding actually work on
            Bay Street, the dynamics are a tad different then what you might be hearing from ur NDP acquaintances on the ground in Trinity Spadina. The disuccsion will not be about the 1% vs. the people – heck it will probably not be about policy at all. Unfortunately, the likely talking
            point will be about personalities of the leaders and the candidates. In this regard Mulcair and Trudeau are a wash. But, Vaughan is significantly ahead of the NDP candidate in this regard.

            Yes, the NDP has a good GOTV in that area – they’ve had to develop it against a decent GOTV the Libs maintained until the Iggy disaster. But, Vaughan’s GOTV is impressive – possibly one of the better organizations in the city. That and it remains to be seen, if the byelection is held in September, whether the NDP GOTV, which is spending a lot of time getting Chow elected for mayor, will have the time an energy to fight a Liberal GOTV not tied to any municipal candidate.

            And, don’t underestimate the awareness factor. Vaughan is well known in the riding. He’s all over the area on local issues, known by community organizations, renters and condo dwellers. The NDP candidate, not so much. In fact, the NDP have a history in Toronto of assuming those connected within the local party are known well by voters. Comes from being within the bubble a bit too much.

          • janfromthebruce

            Liberals have been losing vote share and seats beginning in 2003. So it did not start with Iggy. In fact the Liberals have not been competitive north of the Ontario border, in which the majority of races are Conservative/NDP races for a long time. One might consider why the provincial wings of the Liberals are non existent in Manitoba, Sask. for example. In BC, the Liberal party is a combined party of Conservatives & Liberals.

          • OgtheDim

            I’m talking about the Liberal GOTV machine in Trinity Spadina, not the national campaigns. In an urban byelection, the GOTV is doubly important.

            And what the heck provincial politics labelled Liberal out West has to do with federal politics labelled Liberal in the downtown core is beyond me.

          • TheSotSays

            You make a mistake by concluding that people “oppose” your views when in fact many may only “disagree” with them. Your sort of thinking sets up an environment of confrontation rather than compromise. It’s a very divisive point of view and my observation is that a significant schismatic bubble occurred in April 1968. Over time it drove Classical Liberals (ie Gladstonian Liberals) to seek refuge in other political parties and left a disagreeable rump of something not “liberal” at all. That disagreeable rump exists to this day in the Liberal Party of Canada and it’s caused the Country a great deal of harm.

            So what you refer to as “con-bot” is in fact the last of the pre 1968 Classical Liberals (good honest liberals) still astonished at having been driven out of what was once a good honest political party.

        • TheSotSays

          I believe your first sentence is correct even though some might disagree with the tense.

          The word tense comes from the Latin word, tempus, which means “time.” The tense of a verb shows the time when an action or condition occurred.

  • wklis

    NDP response: NNOOOOOO!!

    Conservatives response: NNOOOOOO!!

    • tromboneguy

      At first, I was dismayed. But after talking to a few people who know Ontario politics, and the dynamics of that riding, I’m not worried at alll. You aren’t going win; that seat is going NDP.

      • Carbuncle

        As a longtime NDP supporter, I am alas virtually certain that Adam Vaughan will win this race in a cakewalk. And I think Tromboneguy knows it too, despite his wishful thinking. Vaughan has deep roots in the riding, is an effective councillor who has been a thorn in Rob Ford’s side, and is quite popular even though he is known to be kind of a jerk. Meanwhile, Cressy is basically an NDP party hack and Olivia protege. It won’t even be close. The real question is which progressive candidate will vie for the council seat once Vaughan leaves for Ottawa.