|Michael Applebaum (Joel Goldenberg photo).|
When the first Jewish mayor in the history of Montreal decides to call it a career, he might consider teaching a course in politics. A week ago one had to wonder what his future was when the Union Montreal Party chose Richard Deschamps to as their party’s candidate to succeed Gérald Tremblay, who resigned two weeks ago amid a corruption scandal which has rocked the province.
Applebaum wanted the job. Instead of giving up he cleverly resigned as president of the Executive Committee, quit the party, brought nine other members with him and secured support from opposition councilors. He promptly squeeked by with a 31-29 victory (three ballots were spoiled ) and will serve as mayor for the next year.
At a time when we have a minority PQ government on office pushing the French language card, how refreshing is it to have our first anglo mayor in more than a century. He was supported, no less, by Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel, herself a hard line former PQ MNA and cabinet minister.
Applebaum says he will not run for the big job next year. Let's wait a few months for he might change his mind.
I also see this as the perfect opening for the ultimate star candidate, Denis Coderre. The Liberal MP for Bourassa says he will decide in April whether he will run for mayor. Given the fact Applebaum appears to have the magic touch, Coderre might be well advised to consider making a deal with him and together they can form a new party –Coalition Mtl has a good ring to it.