I Hate The War on Mayor Rob Ford
3 hours ago Â· Edited
POSTMORTEM: Well, here we are, not a good night but what can we say. Hate Ford Nation got their pound of flesh. John Liberal finally figured out how to win: have your opponent get cancer, switch parties without admitting it, have your best buddy buy the one newspaper that normally would have remained skeptical, hire off every political operative in town, make deals with all the incumbent council campaigners for GOTV, and present a platform that no one can run against because there's nothing there. So there you have it: all that and J-Lib still got 7% less of the popular vote than Rob Ford did in 2010.
As we were hopeful and even, at times, optimistic, we've said several times over the past weeks that a Doug Ford win would be a political miracle. Stepping in at the eleventh hour for his sick brother, with no funds raised and a skeleton staff, and a hostile media that was only interested in trying to make him look bad, the odds were unbelievably long. Even with the loss, the arc of this year's drama was positively Shakespearean. With a win, it would have been biblical. We give Doug undying respect and admiration for what was, under the circumstances, an amazing effort. Anyone who was watching the debates knows, this is a man of charisma, character, and intelligence, who would have made a damned fine mayor. Plus, we all learned that the woman-behind-the-man is someone really special.
We also give great respect to Olivia Chow. Her campaign got off to a deplorable start against Rob last March, when she went hard-negative against him. She tanked in the polls immediately because of it, and could never recover. While she could not recover her lost plurality, she did recover her dignity. She never went overly personal on Rob or Doug again, and while many were predicting a complete free-fall, Olivia ended up with 227,000 votes and a respectable 23%. The lefties didn't fall for the arrogant push for "strategic voting" force-fed on them by their own supposed allies at the paper formerly known for its Atkinson Principles (now known for its corporatist Board of Trade bend-over-for-Wynnebag Principles), The Toronto Star, which by rights should now be on its final death-rattles. The hard-left base has been said to be in the low 20% range in Toronto, and she managed to take it all home in the end thanks to keeping it classy down the stretch.
So that leaves J-Lib. J-Lib and the media war against Ford, which he encouraged wholeheartedly for at least two years on his top-rated radio show while pretending not to run for Mayor, managed to peel about 15% off the top from Ford's 2010 result, and that was the difference. Who were these 15%? You tell us. We all know someone who was with Ford Nation in 2010, but bailed for Tory now. Tell your stories below.
We're going to be a little quieter on this page for a while. Not because there won't be news to report on, or things to ridicule, or balloons to puncture, but because we are simply grassroots unpaid individuals who need to focus back on other things in life after this exhausting, dramatic year. But don't worry. For those of us who have bonded over the past three years, we have too much in common to let it go. Great friendships have been made. Political alliances have been formed. The iconoclasts of Toronto have found a home together. The laughs have been too delicious.
But above all, the politics remain the same, and remain orphaned in our current political culture. The Ford Nation values: lower taxes, respectful spending, derailing the gravy train, working towards smart infrastructure, supporting independent business, supporting car drivers - have no home in any political party in 2014. And yet, we contend, these remain the most popular issues for the majority of voters! Notice John Liberal never mocked the Gravy Train. Notice he defended until the end the Scarborough Subway extension (albeit through gritted teeth), and talked endlessly about gridlock despite the fact that his un-scrutinized transit plans will make gridlock worse. Notice he continually promised low taxes and fiscal prudence, even as it became so obviously clear that the promises he was making to barter for endorsements would make it a fantasy in his administration. John Liberal never attacked the Ford Nation values at all. He simply attacked the men, Rob and Doug Ford. Which makes him a dirtbag who sold his soul to get elected. But a dirtbag smart enough to recognize reality.
So, get ready folks. We are here to hold John Liberal and his landslide leftist council to account. We must all pledge together that, for the next four years, in the absence of media and partisan political scrutiny, we will become the J-Lib administration's OFFICIAL OPPOSITION. And we're under no obligation to preface that with the word "Loyal".
Enjoy the honeymoon, J-Lib. New Year's is just around the corner. 2015 brings us the Pan Scam Games, and the next labour negotiation. Sid Ryan was already scoping out the waters tonight. He smells Miller Time...