Good writing, bad math in the Star.

The Toronto Star editors certainly enjoy stirring the pot. They are always in the market for 800 words of controversy to support differing opinions on current subjects. This is why it has always been easy to sell them op-eds (these are guest-written think pieces usually located on the page opposite the editorial page). Take the latest one that tries to use mathematics to explain why Doug Ford could win the Toronto mayoralty. They must have chortled over the reaction they will get to that one.

It will certainly generate a spate of letters-to-the-editor. Many of them will be about the bad mathematics used to make the case for the elder Ford brother.

And to describe the older Ford brother as the one without a crack pipe is titillating but terribly misleading. Sharing the last name does not mean he shares Rob Ford’s political acumen or work ethic.

First and foremost, nobody voted for Rob Ford four years ago because he smoked crack cocaine, had a potty mouth and would seriously embarrass Torontonians. They voted him into office because he wanted to stir the pot and end the dominance of downtown councillors who think bicycles are the answer to traffic congestion. At least that was the perception in the suburbs.

Rob Ford won and definitely stirred the pot. His older brother seemed to think supporting Rob in that effort was to make more enemies for both of them.

The 2014 municipal election in Toronto is hardly a rerun of the 2010 election. The players have changed. Olivia Chow is there representing the downtown left-wing councillors who have not changed much in the past four years. She is only now trying to get her flagging campaign off the ground.

John Tory entered the race representing the moderate middle ground. He has built a solid coalition that brings considerable strength from the suburbs and is he is respected as a thinker, leader, conciliator and doer. By combining the less extreme conservatives and broad liberal support across the city, he is now the leading contender for mayor.

To suggest that Olivia Chow has any votes to grow is to call on some yet unknown political magic. The numbers just do not add up. Doug Ford has entered the race at the top of a slide to oblivion. There is nowhere else for him to go but down.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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