Former Toronto mayoralty candidate Doug Ford says he might want to go on to fame as leader of the Ontario Conservatives. This is serious folks. Doug Ford is the guy who said that what the Ontario Conservatives really need is an enema. We would all have a good laugh and go home if it were not for the fact he might be serious about his next challenge.
And the reason many Conservatives are cottoning to the idea is the showing the older Ford brother made in the recent Toronto election. Sure, Ford Nation as it is called really belongs to Rob Ford. Rob Ford loaned this army to his brother for the recent mayoralty race because of Rob’s illness and what happened gave political experts something of a surprise. Doug Ford, in a very short period, grew the size of the support
In a municipal election that saw some 60 per cent of Toronto’s eligible electors go to the polls, Doug Ford polled 34 per cent of the vote. He produced at least 30,000 votes more than the highest projections. While he was beaten by the 40 per cent vote for John Tory, it is the voting pattern that told the tale of the city. The 23 per cent who voted for former MP Olivia Chow made no difference.
Doug Ford won in the north of Etobicoke and in most of Scarborough. These are provincial riding areas where the Provincial PCs have never dreamed of winning. They are the lowest income areas of the city. The voters are the most impoverished, poorly housed and least educated losers in the city. If you can get them angry enough, they will vote to get even.
It takes a populist politician with the least to lose to motivate these voters. They will vote for the irrational, for the bigot, for the fascist, for the inflamed rhetoric. The rules in municipal elections allowed Ford to use his own money to fund and drive a less than smooth or well organized mob of supporters. It was a campaign that thrived on ignorance and bias. If some of the promises conflicted and confused, so be it. Never give your supporters time to think. It would just puzzle them.
The guy having the best laugh at the prospect of Doug Ford in the race for the leadership is former leader Timmy Hudak. A win by Doug Ford would vindicate him.
And the frightening thing is that the combination of Doug Ford’s Ford Nation and the Ontario Landowners’ rural strength could defeat the Liberals. They would only win once.
Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry
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