Why Most of Toronto is Fear and Loathing Election Day, 2010
By: James Di Fiore
Three quarters of Toronto despise him, and yet Rob Ford may be the next mayor of the city.
‘But how can that be?’ says the uninformed Ford supporter, ‘After all, he is ahead in all of the polls with 45% support of voters.’
And that’s the answer – he has the support of voters, which is roughly 40% of the city. So, Ford has approximately 20% support citywide. How’s that for harsh realities?
Far be it from me to try to educate Ford supporters about percentages, apathy, splitting the vote and other items slightly more complicated than slogans like ‘End the waste at City Hall!’ Seniors gravitate towards slogans, suburbanites live in a bubble and the remaining Fordians are simply, tragically, uninformed. Christie Blatchford, who mused about City Hall employees being overpaid, is not uninformed. She is a hypocrite, however. On one hand she chastises councilors for making close to a hundred grand a year, all the while saying nothing about her own salary – $180 000/year for tapping keys on her laptop in the wee hours from her house in the Annex.
And Fordians say we are out of touch.
This whole election has been one folly after another. One man has cemented himself as the champion of seniors, suburbanites and the intellectually bankrupt, while the remaining four have shown our city to be a den of opportunists who couldn’t play politics to save their lives. If Rocco Rossi had been busted for DUI he would have been done. If Sarah Thomson forgot that she got busted for pot she would have been as irrelevant as Ellie Kirzner, the NOW Magazine flower-child throwback who thinks it is still 1969. And if George Smitherman had told an Iranian man that his wife should go back to Iran to get beaten and raped, we may have at least questioned his homosexuality.
And if any of these things had happened to Joe Pantalone, it likely wouldn’t matter. Sorry, but Joey Pants doesn’t resonate enough for even the worst scandals to make a difference.
But here we are; a city about to elect Chris Farley as our mayor. Who would have thought this could have happened in a post-Mel Lastman city? Most people look back at those years as some sort of dream, a Coen Brothers Production of what happens when the water supply is laced with LSD. Speaking of which, Hunter S. Thompson once ran for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado on a platform consisting of removing all the roads and replacing it with grass, and renaming the town Fat City in order to deter an influx of elites from moving there.
Toronto might become Fat City. And while Hunter S. Thompson was making a statement, likely drug induced, about the repression of young, liberal citizens who were being forced out by the ultra-conservative bunch, at least he wore his blunt on his sleeve. Ford is the opposite; a Tea Party-ish buffoon running on slogans directed towards the old, suburban middle-class who are tired of the downtown, liberal hippies.
A cosmopolitan destination once adored for its inclusiveness and cleanliness, its friendliness and commerce, may soon have an alleged wife beater at the helm who calls journalists ‘socialists’.
No word yet if FOX News is suing for trade mark infringement.
What is clear, and this is an against all odds play, is that non-voters need to shed that apathetic skin, get off their asses and cast a ballot. A low turnout means Ford wins, but anything higher than 50% means Toronto does not have to experiment with yet another mascot mayor. The math is simple: and since Fordians aren’t very strong at anything that can’t be emblazoned on a foam finger, there’s still a shot at saving Toronto from 4 years of being known as the modern day Fat City.