What happens when a clown, a duck, a dominatrix, an eco-comedian and a policy advisor, all vying to be Toronto’s next mayor, walk into a bar?
The answer is; they quarrel and laugh.
On Oct. 16., a comedian group, The Joy of Camping, organized a fringe mayoral debate at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto’s west end.
Participants in the debate were Dave McKay who’s alias is Sketchy the Clown, Chandler Millard the duck (puppeted and voiced by Jamie Shannon), dominatrix Carlie Ritch, who’s alias is Mizz Barbie B***h, former Green Party of Ontario candidate Josh Rachlis and policy advisor for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Jeff Billard. Moderated by Adam Bailey and Kristin Mueller-Heaslip from the comedy group, candidates were encouraged to be honest.
“Your victory is slim,” Bailey said. “So say what you like.”
Candidates had fun trading insults at one another.
When asked about their stance on serious key issues, candidates gave serious answers, but with a funny tone. When asked about transit, Sketchy compared funding subways to buying beer.
“You don’t buy a keg for one person or a few people,” Sketchy said. “It’ll go to waste and you waste money. Just like subways, it’ll be a waste if not enough people use it.”
At the latter half of the debate, candidates expressed hopes and concerns for the future of Toronto, from ending the entertainment tax, to replacing roads with canals filled with brown water for ducks. The likelihood of becoming mayor is low, but the candidates in the fringe debate expressed satisfaction in being part of civic engagement.
“I like to bring the environment into discussions,” Rachlis said. “I like to remind people the importance of clean air and trees.”
For some candidates, the measure of success is getting more people to vote. Sketchy’s last words in the debate urged the audience to make an informed vote on election night.
“It’s really important you go out and vote,” Sketchy said. “Look into the different candidates and don’t vote for me.”
Sketchy hopes candidate John Tory will keep his promise of buying him a free beer if he increases the voter turnout on election night.