You’d think, having a living example of the fool-hardiness of electing a blowhard with no political experience right to the south, the people of Ontario might have thought twice about putting Doug Ford in a position of leadership. But no, Ontario Progressive Conservatives, apparently taking no lesson from the dumpster fire in the States, have decided to start one in their own backyard.
Yup, Doug Ford was elected the Ontario PC leader last weekend. Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in shall we? His only political experience was one term on Toronto City Council, where his chief duty was defending any and all actions by his brother, the late, and notorious, Rob Ford.
He’s a “bombastic, self promoting clone of Donald Trump” says the National Post’s Kelly McParkland. Also, “he has a thin grasp of issues, simplistic policy notions and lack of familiarity with the shoals and eddies of provincial government”.
And that’s from the National Post!
“Slogans but no plan for Ontario” says the Toronto Star. “Shambolic leadership campaign”; “torched the progressive part of the party’s name”. Ouch. These are not ringing endorsements of the man who would be the next Premier of the most populous province.
Ford’s chief opponent, Christine Elliott (widow of late federal finance minister Jim Flaherty) was so dismayed by the result she at first refused to concede, citing a mix up in allocating ballots to specific ridings. Elliot said in a statement that her scrutineers identified entire towns voting in the wrong riding.
Electing party leaders is complicated, not just a first past the post thing, as we saw recently in B.C., but I don’t believe we had problems of that sort.
However, it’s all about party unity going forward. Former Premier Mike Harris, a god to Ontario Conservatives, hated with the passion of a thousand fiery suns by all others who do not lean right, urged party unity. Let’s just forget all those irregularities like they do in other democracies like the US and Russia, the message appears to be.
The similarities to the Trump election are hard to miss. A woman wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college, so to speak.
The Ontario PC party is currently selling the talking point that Doug Ford won a “clear mandate”. I bet his inauguration crowd will be ‘yuge’ too.
Earlier Ford had called the election process corrupt, unfair and biased toward Elliott. That tune has changed. Now it’s fair, and unbiased and Ontario Conservatives must all pull in the same direction, he says.
Helping him, of course, will be the deep unpopularity of Premier Kathleen Wynne, and a population weary of the Liberals after 15 years of them in charge, albeit with different leaders. So sick of them, that a Toronto Star poll says that while 48 per cent of Ontario voters disapprove of Ford, the PCs would still win the election. However, the Liberal election machine in Ontario is vast and well oiled, so we’ll see.
It’s a mess in any event.
So Ontario voters, I appeal to you, search your souls, study what is happening in the States, which is a country so divided that it may never get back together.
Doug Ford is not just a fiscal conservative, he’s a social conservative, and he plans to begin immediately by rewriting Ontario’s sex education curriculum. I can just imagine how well that will go for girls and the LBGTQ community. He is divisive and gains popularity by stoking anger rather than providing answers.
Just think Ontario. Think about how embarrassed you were by Rob Ford. And now you have Doug Ford, by any measure the lesser of the Fords, on the brink of the Premiership. How are you going to explain that to your children?