Does Toronto really want another Ford Nation?
Has the city learned from its mistakes? It’s been almost three years since the first showdown between John Tory and Doug Ford — incumbent mayor Rob Ford had to drop out of the race because of his cancer diagnosis and his brother Doug took his place and lost to Tory.
Tory is far from perfect — and quite frankly needs to spend more time and put more money towards issues that affect areas outside the downtown core that isn’t the Scarborough subway or renaming an Etobicoke stadium after Rob Ford.
Doug Ford announced his mayoral candidacy at Ford Fest last month. Will a certain nostalgia for the Ford years give him a fighting chance? Probably. But Doug is not his brother.
Ford appeals to the blue-collar families. Take Ford Fest for example, that event in itself makes it feel as though Ford could be your next-door neighbour. Opening up your family home to thousands of people and having a backyard barbecue? Brilliant.
Ford Nation is cult-like and the Ford’s know it. Famous for their customer service-like take on politics (they’ll call you back and spray-wash graffiti off walls themselves) — this works to a certain extent. People will vote for candidates who can bring them change they can physically see.
People may not see the impact that larger issues such as transportation, public services and even city planning pose until after decisions are made at city hall and have been implemented.
Many have said that Ford Nation died along with Rob Ford. Is it fair to make this conclusion? Maybe. Is it true? We will see over the next year.
Let’s just hope that the next mayoral election won’t become a Shakespearian tragedy like the last one. With everything going on south of the border, Toronto needs a reliable mayor who doesn’t have a flare for the dramatic or have a dislike for the media.