Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ford did not win the Toronto mayoraly election/ his opponents lost it

Most accounts of Ford's victory in the Toronto mayor's race, like accounts of election victories generally, have focused on how he won it.  Ford struck certain themes that helped him greatly.  However, all the negatives thrown his way, the arrests for drunk driving and so on, also stuck firmly, and could have defeated him if he had faced a decent competitor.  The story of the 2010 Toronto mayoralty race was as really about how weak Ford's opponents were. Joe Pantalone never rose to the level of being regarded as a serious candidate.  Smitherman was the major opponent but his campaign was pathetic. Ford's victory in the end was at least as much about Smitherman's weaknesses as Ford's presumed strengths. It seems clear that if Miller had run again, he would have won.

Read the comments section of this post on Blog TO comparing Ford to Mel Lastman.  Even Ford's supporters didn't like him much.  An example:
I couldn't stand Lastman and I think Glenn Beck's existence runs contrary to natural selection, yet I'd still take Ford over almost any candidate out there (and I don't like Ford either).
The best account of the campaign overall was by John Lorinc in the Globe and Mail. Smitherman's campaign reminded me of the Liberal campaign of Lyn Macleod in the 1995 provincial election, completely unfocused and directionless, and premised upon winning easily. 

I am not optimistic about the next four years of civic governance in Toronto.  The one certain prediction we can make about Rob Ford is that being elected mayor will not change his essential character.