The existential Doug Ford?

For today’s philosophy class, we are going to debate whether or not we have seen the real Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, this past week? When we saw him in action at the premiers’ meeting at the Toronto Airport on Monday, are we to assume that all the premiers were acting out for the national audience that would be seeing them on the late day news? And where was the Doug Ford who rarely came out of hiding during the recent national election campaign?

As much as you wished he was in rehab, he must have been in training at a political obedience school. Obviously, somebody got to him. It was like the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Instead of the boorish, brash and boisterous Doug Ford, we have all grown to hate, we saw a civilized version of deceased brother Rob Ford. Rob always was the Ford brother who understood politics. The older brother was just a load of bull in a china shop.

But what have we here? Ford shows up in the Toronto hotel, where the premiers were meeting, with a cheesy load of Toronto Maple Leaf jerseys. It was the old political chestnut of giving the local team’s jersey to the visiting politician. Whoever on Ford’s staff dreamed that one up has been in politics far too long.

And you would think that with all the trouble Dougie has gotten himself into as a climate-change denier, there would have been some gas pump stickers for his fellow premiers. They also need to assure their voters that fighting carbon should not cost money for the major polluters across Canada.

But was any of it real? (That is what we mean by existential.) Seeing as how the communique from this type of meeting is agreed upon well in advance, there was nothing contentious in it. There was no mention of pipe lines that Quebec does not like or dress codes denoting religion that Quebec does not like—and someone else might like. They want you to think the premiers are a harmonious group—not a troublemaker in the bunch!


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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