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Posts Tagged ‘Doug Ford’

In the spirit of my commentary on the night before election results in the 2016 US presidential election, I am writing my thoughts on the Ontario June 7, 2018 election night, publishing this minutes before the polls close at 9 PM.

If various polling companies prove correct, with their predictions 24 hours before the election, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives will form a majority government.

And I will be very happy for Doug Ford. It will be quite the monumental event, with the general Leftist mass media contempt for him, and it is very significant, given that he had a failed run for Toronto mayor in 2014, and was likely to lose against John Tory in 2018. But, as fate would have it, he is set to win the premiership that John Tory would’ve won in 2007, had he not stubbornly personally insisted on a horribly unpopular pledge to resolve the matter of discriminatory public funding of Catholic schools by pledging full public funding for all religious schools.

Sure, the PC’s never released a fully costed platform, and the numbers don’t add up in terms of the lost revenue from scrapping the cap-and-trade tax and spending promises, but they will tax and spend less than the Liberals and NDP. And he did indeed sound somewhat like a used car salesman and vacuous beyond his talking points at the third and final leaders’ debate, but the man is totally sincere.

I had the fortune of meeting him in person in Kitchener for an early leadership campaign event. While Wynne and Horwath would’ve left after meeting with some people near the front after their talk, he stayed there, talking with everyone who was still there and interested in talking to him. As I waited patiently near the back, I noticed that he was taking his time to talk with everyone.

And when he approached me, I put out my hand and said how great it was to meet him, and that I specifically took out a PC Party membership once Patrick Brown had been ousted from the party, and that I only wanted to vote for him. And, for the first time in my life, despite voting on my occasions since I was first eligible to in 1997, I voted for the winning candidate in any sort of election.

Before Tanya Granic Allen had made it a big issue, I was separately aware of the significance and opportunity of the provincial government voiding bad hydro contracts without penalty, and not simply canceling them and losing money having to uselessly fight it out in court. So my main goal in addition to meeting him, was to convey on him the existence of this power of the provincial government, and to impress on him the importance of doing so.

I didn’t expect the Liberals themselves to directly paint him as Trump, instead expecting the Star and other scoundrel mass media sources to do so, but they surprised me in doing so. Of course Ford is Trump-like in terms of his non-specifics, in exaggerating, but the comparison in the way that Trump was mostly portrayed in the US, is actually defamatory in the way it was used against Ford by people who should know better in Canada. Trump was and is mostly derided as racist, and Doug Ford is obviously the opposite of what even Trump was portrayed as, given that Ford Nation specifically made outreach to all racial and ethnic groups in Toronto, and that fact has been very confounding to the radical Leftist identity politics practitioners, specifically in the Liberal Party, and the Leftist media sources accounting for most of the Canadian mass media.

I was a big opponent of Rob Ford once it was shown that he was using crack cocaine, because of the bad example that it was setting for the youth. I believe that public officials should be held to a higher standard, and what particularly irked me was fiscal conservatives who had no issue voting for him whatsoever, where those in high-level business positions would never tolerate such behaviour from a subordinate employee, nor even an executive, who would otherwise jeopardize their business.

Remember when Washington D.C. mayor, Marion Barry, was the epitome of the rot of urban politics when he was known as the crack smoking mayor who got re-elected, and was rightly ousted by Congress? Yet Rob Ford was celebrated in a lot of quarters! That’s why, separately from Rob Ford’s addiction problems, he had no business staying in as mayor, and the provincial Liberals should’ve amended the Municipal Act to specifically grant Toronto council the power to remove him by a two-thirds majority vote.

Only later, after Rob’s death, did I learn from an interview with Mark Towhey, that Rob Ford really developed his problems after the death of his father, and that Rob had always specifically struggled with trying to live up to his father’s high expectations, and felt that he could never do that, and that’s what had motivated his run for Mayor.

Despite Rob’s shenanigans, I knew that Doug’s support of him was as a brother, and that his brother’s behaviour had nothing to do with how Doug himself would behave in office, and I knew that Rob’s missteps would not follow Doug in office.

So from the first time that I had heard Doug Ford do his first interview when running for leader, I quickly got past my slight surprise of how he was comporting himself compared to the media caricatures that had been put out there. Then I heard a completely different person than that, directly answering questions, cleverly, but not in a cynical way — very straightforward and honest. And he did that for several interviews, including a prominent CBC one.

And those criticizing him for limiting media appearances since he became leader, and particularly in the election, and during the second-half, it was mostly sensible, given the proven general media hostility out there. But as far as his success as Premier, it will be based on whether he acts more like the Doug Ford I saw in person at that early leadership event, and all the early interviews I heard of him. To the extent that he lets himself be controlled, and guards himself, and limits his media appearances, despite having four years ahead of him in a majority government, he will be only a mediocre Premier at best, instead of a great Premier, that he has the potential for.

When Doug wins a majority government, I will feel very happy for him, specifically for his relationship with his late younger brother, and that his brother can truly spiritually rest in peace, and that Doug can feel some peace for what happened to his brother, and how he was unable to help him enough while he was alive. There will be some resolution for them, and for all of us who followed the Rob Ford saga.

Doug’s victory will show that genuinely appealing to the people can overcome the odds, and cynicism and elitism of some, who felt that he was eminently disqualified for office because of being a non-Leftist populist, for even being a populist, for not hanging out in the social circles of most media and political elites, and for daring to go against their so-called conventional wisdom.

So, on this election night, Doug, I offer my heartfelt congratulations for a campaign well-fought, given the odds against you, and for what you represent.

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