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What’s needed to get rid of Mayor Ford; provincial or federal type voter turnout

Well, I don’t think I need to re-hash everything that’s gone on in Toronto; other then Mayor Rob Ford has had 2 press conferences in a single day where he’s come out and managed to combine a tearful ‘I smoked crack while in a drunken stupor’ admission into a tearful plea for forgiveness and a tearful re-election plea for Oct 2014, when the next Toronto election for mayor is. Of course, he also said he’s not stepping aside for medical leave, and definitely no resignation.

It appears short of new police revelations and the province taking extraordinary measures to remove him (not sure if that’s even possible without a conviction), he is Toronto’s mayor and will be running for re-election. City Council cannot impeach or remove him, though they may be able to make him into a lame duck.

One cannot automatically assume, however, that “Ford Nation” – that pool of voters who seems to not care what Ford does as long as he keeps taxes low, says he’s saving them a billion dollars (even though he hasn’t) and drops a subway off at their neighbourhood – will turn on him.

If he is still in office by then, pending a change in heart due to new revelations/not in jail/dead from an overdose, those folks may still come out en-masse to vote for him. If Ford opponents are going to beat him, they will need to to get the anti-Ford bloc to come out and vote with provincial or federal type turnout numbers (50-60%). Municipal elections are traditionally much lower (30-40%), and it gives folks like Ford the advantage when his portion of that 30-40% is the more motivated of the bunch to come out and support their “persecuted” guy (which I no doubt believe is what a lot of them will think).

Provincial and Federal parties and their riding associations are normally not involved in municipal elections, but there are plenty of people in NDP, Liberal, and yes, maybe even Conservative riding associations who have a lot of interest in getting rid of Ford. It’s up to those folks to try and motivate their federal/provincial supporters to come out and vote in Oct 2014, if they want to ensure Ford is made a distant bad memory.

(As a footnote, I can honestly say that with whats been going on around Toronto these past few days and months, former Mayor Mel Lastman’s decision to bring in the Canadian army to help in blizzard snow removal all those years ago is looking pretty good in comparison.. but it shows that anyone can get elected in a municipal election with motivated supporters, a half decent marketing image, and low turnout).


2 comments to What’s needed to get rid of Mayor Ford; provincial or federal type voter turnout

  • kwittet

    Ford has been a nightmare as far as making it easy for his haters to attack him. But lets face it….he has lowered taxes and reduced the City’s deficit. Under Miller the citys budget grew 44 percent and debt spiralled out of control. Miller caved into every union demand. Miller extended the jobs for life provision to all CUPE employees in 2005 — who still brought the city to a standstill in 2009 with a 39-day strike. Ford stood up to them.
    Here is what i see. You have a guy that has a lot of personal problems but still seems to be able to get the cities finances under control.
    Or they could elect a die hard socialist like Miller and Toronto could be the next Detroit and then the rest of Ontario can have taxes raised AGAIN( that is the provincial Liberals way of dealing with everything>>>>spend to keep every one happy) or we can have a guy that seems to get it that tax payers are not a bottomless pit.
    Dont misunderstand me..the man is a trainwreck in his personal life but to be honest I would rather see his train wreck than go back to a Miller regime.

  • I couldn’t agree more. As someone who is active in provincial and federal partisan circles, prior to the Ford administration, I often heard an air of distaste for municipal politics. That is was small potatoes, or insignificant, less thrilling, and not as glam as the other levels of government. There are no political parties at City Hall (I like that). That also turned some partisans off because it’s very easy to define yourself as a New Democrat, Liberal, or Conservative and fashion your activism in that manner but harder to act as an independent activist who needs to work with councillors of all stripes to move an agenda forward (Through my municipal activism, I regularly talk to people who don’t support the party I support and I get along with them just fine).

    This isn’t the time for partisans to be complacent. Provincial and federal activists of all political parties have sophisticated operations. They all know how to Get Out The Vote. If you’re an activist and you don’t like Ford, do something about it.

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