As you probably already know, on January 4th, the sideshow that is Toronto’s city hall as of late got an added dose of insanity via the twittersphere from none other than Jose Canseco. Canseco, who played on the Toronto Blue Jays’ 88-74 1998 team and contributed a respectable 46 home runs and 29 stolen bases, created some buzz last week when he mused publicly that he might want to contribute something to Toronto again; namely by running to be our mayor.

He seemed to enjoy a groundswell of support in the days that followed and even seems to have started banging out the framework of a platform via twitter (check out the hashtag #yeswecanseco). He has already offered such gems as “Leftwing and rightwing politicians fail because you need both wings to fly otherwise you are headed for a trainwreck.”

However–strained flying train metaphors aside–the question remains, could Canseco ever actually be mayor?

The obvious answer is (sorry) no way Jose.

Aside from the fact that the admitted anabolic-steroid user and author of Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big has zero political experience, there’s also the fact that Canseco has something of a troubled past, to put it lightly.

In addition to famously admitting his own drug use while outing a number of his peers, Canseco has also faced a number of what Wikipedia politely refers to as “legal issues.” Among them a 1989 reckless driving arrest after leading police on 15-mile chase, an arrest that same year in California for carrying a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his car, a 1992 aggravated battery charge for ramming his then-wife Esther’s BMW with his Porsche, and another in 2001 when he and his brother, Ozzie, beat up some tourists at a Miami Beach nightclub.

However, if the past two years has taught us anything, it’s that quite literally anything can happen in Toronto politics. In fact, when one considers that the current Mayor of Toronto overcame a very Canseco-esque laundry list of offenses when he ran for mayor–including a drunken, profanity-laced rant at a Leafs game and 1999 drunk driving conviction in Miami where cops found a joint in his pocket–it actually doesn’t seem so outside the realm of possibility to think that maybe Toronto would elect Jose Canseco.

So is he even eligible to run for office?

Well, according to the City’s website, in order to qualify to be a candidate for city council or mayor, a person needs to be:

  • a Canadian citizen,
  • at least 18 years of age,
  • a resident of the City of Toronto, or own or lease property in the City of Toronto (or be the spouse of the owner or lessee),
  • eligible to vote, and
  • not disqualified to hold office by any legislation.

Most of these criteria, it seems, Canseco meets. But there is the problem that Canseco is not a Canadian citizen and, I assume, does not own or lease property in Toronto.

So how much time does he have to rectify these issues before an election?

A recently updated article on Torontoist provides some helpful information on how long it might take before such an election could potentially occur.

If current Mayor Rob Ford’s appeal, which was heard on Monday, fails and the original decision is upheld, city council must declare the Mayor’s seat empty, which would likely occur at a council meeting sometime in mid-February. Once that happens, council has 60 days to decide how to find the new mayor, either by appointing one or holding a by-election.

If the City opts to appoint a new mayor, despite their frequently unpredictable ways, it seems unlikely they’d pick a troubled former MLB outfielder and DH, so Jose’s eligibility seems moot in this case.

If, however, council opts to hold a by-election, another clock is triggered, giving candidates 60 days to register their paperwork. So assuming an arbitrary date of February 15, 2013 for a council meeting in which Ford’s seat is declared empty, and assuming that council opts to select the next mayor via by-election, Jose Canseco would have until April 16, 2013 to buy property in Toronto, or marry someone who owns some, and become a Canadian citizen.

Could he pull it off?

Buying a home is a long and complex process and Jose doesn’t have a lot of time, so in the interest of speeding things along, let’s assume Canseco would opt to marry a property owner instead. He appears to be single and capable of wooing attractive women–exhibit A, ex-wife Jessica Canseco (I’ll wait while you complete the google image search)–so let’s assume that in today’s celebrity-obsessed world, Canseco could find a Torontonian who owns her own apartment and is willing to help the cause and marry him. It seems plausible he could accomplish this by April 16, 2013.

As for becoming a Canadian citizen, one of the criteria is that Canseco needs to demonstrate a knowledge of Canada. On January 4th he tweeted “Why is an American suit in New York from the NBA ruining hockey? Turn leadership over to the Canadians who love the sport.” Clearly then, Canseco doesn’t need until April 16th to get up to speed. Assuming our own news broadcasts set the standards for what’s relevant to us, Canseco is already able to speak intelligently about what seems to be the only issue of concern in this country for the past four months. Catching up on a little info about our system of government should therefore be a snap.

Unfortunately though, in order to become a Canadian citizen, Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires that an applicant has to have resided in Canada for at least three years in the four years preceeding his or her application. Sadly, Canseco currently resides in Las Vegas and would not meet this requirement.

And so, a Canseco mayoral run is actually technically impossible for any immediate election.

But on the plus side, if Jose Canseco is serious about running for mayor, he has plenty of time to move to Toronto and gain an appreciation of the issues that actually matter to us in time to run for the 2018 election. He seems to have demonstrated an earnest interest in running for public office and is openly asking for Torontonians to provide input into his platform.

Of course, inversely, it’s entirely possible that Canseco is less than sincere in his designs.

It’s possible that Canseco–a man who starred on the reality-TV special Stripper’s Ball with Jenna Jameson, Dennis Rodman, and Magic Johnson and who was a cast member in Season Five of The Surreal Life; a man who publicly fought former child-actor Danny Bonaduce–is simply capitalizing on a little bit of much-craved attention that he received when he tweeted about his desire to run for office in a list of New Year’s Resolutions that included “Fight Shaq in MMA cage match.”

It’s entirely possible that this whole episode isn’t much more than a silly joke that is making a further farce of the City’s already laughable political landscape and it’s possible this is something we should probably all just stop talking about as if it were a real thing.

But, of course, only time will tell.


Ben Johnson lives, writes, and drinks in Toronto. Follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.

Comments (33)

  1. He’s going to convert to Eskimo, even though they all live in Edmonton.

    Seriously though, he’s not running. If he did it would be a hilarious sideshow, and he’d fit right in with the perennial fringe candidates like Enza Supermodel (a good person who stands for the right ideals, but a joke candidate), or the singing homeless guy with over 90 convictions, or the white supremacist who’s been on every ballot since 1972. A walking pharmacy who has a 40-40 season AND let a ball bounce off his head for a home run wouldn’t be any different from those guys.

    It’s all moot though, because it’s one giant PR stunt from a bored man who needed the spotlight again.

    • Is Clark the homeless man you refer to? He is a dirtbag! Always whipping it out in front of women. He also got busted for getting head in an alley.

  2. Can’t be worse than ford

  3. uh, #yeswecanseco

  4. I think he fell in love with the slogan, and wanted to use it. Upon reading an article about our (maybe) outgoing mayor, he decided that was the race to unleash it on the world. YES! WE CANSECO!!!!

  5. Does Jose Canseco seem a little too good to be true with his latest tweets? Just being a moron is one thing, but this is in that sort of winking, self-deprecating, intentionally-dumb territory. Just the subtle little tweaks and quirks and mistakes – it’s like writing Michael Scott dialogue where there’s no big obvious stupidity punchline, but a bunch of little mistake or misunderstanding shine through.

    Here, in order, are his tweets about how he thinks he’ll gain citizenship:

    > Promised I would update on citizen thingl. I have four ways to be a Instant Canadian and take Mayor Rod Fords seat #yeswecanseco

    > 1. My top secret get political asylum. I was born in Cuba and there is no law against dual U.S. Canada asylum. I am a refugee

    > 3. Have Steve harper make me a instant Canadian like Gorbachev just did for my buddy Gerry Depardu because of special gifts

    > 4. convert to eskimo and join a tribe. They are called 1st Nation and are original Canadians although most are in edmonton. #yeswecanseco

    > I’m coming for you Rod #yeswecanseco

    I mean… doesn’t this all just seem a little wink-wink?
    He calls Rob Ford “Rod” twice, the second tweet just seems to be centered around the fact he thinks Rob Ford is named Rod. Egregious, child-like misunderstanding of how refugee status works. Missing point #2. Thinking Mikhail Gorbachev is still President of Russia despite leaving office 22 years ago, then getting his “buddy” Gerard Depardieu’s name wrong. Being so oblivious that he starts talking about “Eskimos” and thinking you can convert to one, and mixing up the Eskimo people with the Edmonton football team.

    I think we’re getting Iron Sheiked here by a publicist writing just-dumb-enough-to-be-funny tweets. Not that I mind, just every publication in the city is now spilling ink on “Get a load of what Jose Canseco said about us now!” over some publicist writing jokes in a Jose Canseco voice

    • Its really riding that ‘Old Spice’/'Candian Club’ humour (dumb and self deprecating but cock-sure). Just a tired from of laughs.

    • Agreed. Waaaay too funny – and intentionally so – to not have some sort of mastermind behind it.
      It’s brilliant though.

  6. … skipped right down to the comment section without reading the post to ask those that read it… 1) do you slow down and stare looking for potential gore when you pass a car accident? 2) do you think paying attention to an attention-starved, drug-addled, bankrupt, wife-abusing ex-athlete who is clinging to the hope that he can turn his self-mockery via social media into cash is really worthy of your attention? 3) since when is The Score about any form of politics?
    Quit paying attention to the car wreck that is Jose Canseco, and maybe the world will become a slightly better place in his media absence.

  7. Trust me….he’s pitching this idea as a reality show to some producer right now.
    And that producer is probably listening.

  8. Anyone ever tell you, you look like a younger Mitchell pritchell

  9. You know Stoeten, I didn’t think you could actually write an insightful article on this subject matter, but you somehow pulled it off. Bravo.

  10. Slow news day eh?

  11. Killface 2013

  12. Jose has been trying to make himself famous with the media forever now (his book, reality tv, mixed martial arts…). He probably just figures that Toronto will vote for anybody since we elected Ford and sees that as an opening so he can continue on being a gimmick.

  13. Hilarious!!

  14. Ben Johnson doesn’t want Canseco as mayor because it’s not fair that he doesn’t get a chance because he Cheetahs all the time!

  15. This whole stunt is about as funny as a dennis leary stand-up routine- not at all.

  16. He had me at In n’ Out Burger.

  17. “Canseco is already able to speak intelligently about what seems to be the only issue of concern in this country for the past four months. ”

    WTF are you talking about..I am pretty sure the only issue of Concern over the last few months has been when Pitchers and Catchers report.

  18. Hopefully the suburban vote is split between Ford and Canseco, allowing an actual politician (Adam Vaughn or Olivia Chow) who actually gives a shit about the city to become the next mayor of Toronto. This is a great city deserving of someone who’ll take the job seriously.

    Mr. Stoeten, I appreciate that this article has been posted on the score. It’s definitely sports related AND political at once, making it of great interest to me. Thanks!

  19. Bring it on Jose! The trouble with Ford is he’s all football, and football is boring. Jose will bring baseball back to its proper place as sport #1, and he will get those councillors into shape by feeding them his special milkshakes at every council meeting. Even the commies from the Annex will be buff. Plus the frustrated CBC listener Margaret Atwood reader hags of T.O. need a man to worship. What’s not to like?

  20. I googled Jessica Canseco. I found that she has some kind of retail outlet specializing in cosmetic tattoo removal. Also on the site is her ‘exes blog’ where she’s writing about what I must assume is a reality show called Hollywood Exes, largely bragging that it’s like Real Housewives, but better. But this blog post, about having had her vagina lasered (for rejuvenation), is by far the best one:

    How did she and Jose NOT work out as a couple? They’re perfect for each other!

  21. [...] post originally appeared on Drunk Jays Fans on January 10, [...]

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