Election called a referendum on Ford years

Analyst sees new era in Toronto politics

A new political era may have begun in Toronto with the defeat of Doug Ford as candidate for mayor tonight.

“The election was a referendum on the Ford´s years,” says Nelson Wiseman, political scientist and director of the Canadian studies program at the University of Toronto.

“[Doug] and his brother stand for the same thing although their personalities are different, and that´s what killed Olivia Chow, people voting strategically,” Wiseman said after the election.

For the next four years, a Ford will not run the city. However. an ailing Rob Ford will serve as councillor for Ward 2 in Etobicoke.

“I don´t think we will heard from Doug Ford again, although his brother will be in the council if he gets out of the hospital,” Wiseman said.

Even with Rob Ford on the council, it’s the end of the Ford era because he won´t be as strong a figure as before — and he was a marginal figure before he became mayor, Wiseman said.

For Wiseman the big surprise wasn´t the somehow expected results but the stamina of one candidate in particular.

“I think the biggest surprise is that Doug Ford has done as well as he have. I thought that Tory would win by double digits.”

Some observers have suggested Doug only needed more time to catch Tory in the polls, but Wiseman disagrees.

“I don´t think that with more time Ford´s votes would be closer but, instead, Tory´s lead would have increased,” said Wiseman.

Now, all the eyes are in John Tory. His mandate could mean the end of an era saturated with political scandals in the city.

“With John Tory there will be much better relations with everyone. I mean, now it will be relations between the mayor and the federal government in a way that hasn’t been for over a year,” Wiseman said.

And a former candidate could find a new job soon.

“I also think he might offer Olivia Chow some senior position in the municipal government, because she was an elected representative for a while and now she doesn’t have a position anywhere at all.”