I believe Mayor Rob Ford will be re-elected.
Some of you Ford haters, critics and doubters may question my position.
You may rightly retort that all the polls suggest Ford will lose to Chow and Tory, in some hypothetical political match-ups.
All I can say is the so-called expert pollsters had NDP Adrian Dix beating Liberal Christy Clark for BC Premier. Or Wildrose leader Danielle Smith beating Alison Redford for Alberta Premier. Or the Federal Liberal candidate beating the Tory candidate in the recent Federal by-election in the Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris.
The only relevant finding is that despite the continuous 24/7 anti-Ford feeding frenzy by old media, Ford’ssupport and approval rating have held steady in the 40 per cent range.
Unlike these robo-calling pollsters, my associates and I have actually gone out into the field, into the darkest, deepest Ford Nation, (Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough). We have talked to real people about Ford.
For months I have been writing that Ford Nation is staying with Ford. That itssupport and loyalty are growing. And that Ford is the man to beat.
Still these pollsters and old media types cannot believe why Ford Nation is sticking with Ford.
So they have come up with another cockamamie theory: Ford supporters support Ford’s fiscal agenda, but not Ford the man himself. So if another candidate (read, more presentable candidate) can espouse a conservative fiscal agenda, then John Tory can grab Ford Nation support and Ford will be defeated.
Excuse me while I go all Marshall McLuhan.
Ford is both the message and the medium. The message and the messenger. The people trust Ford to deliver on his hard-nosed, tight-fisted fiscal agenda of stubbornly keeping the rise of taxes low, city expenditures moderate and to respect taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.
I believe Ford supporters do not trust Stintz, Tory or Minnan Wong to support, fight and implement a strong and stubborn Ford fiscal agenda.
Tory will always talk and talk and talk a good game. But Tory will cave to his elitist buddies. And in the end, he will deep six the Scarborough subway out of deference to Metrolinx Chairman Prichard, and cave to garbage union and city workers. He will also put the brakes on Porter Air expansion.
I think Olivia Chow would be worse.
I believe Chow would stop Porter Air in deference to her base, the elitist/NIMBY Toronto Islanders living on very expensive city island properties. She would undo privatization of garbage and re-institute city union jobs for life with overgenerous pensions. She would increase property taxes and land transfer taxes on home owners to further her tax and social/infrastructure agenda. In other words, a return to pre-Miller days of anti-biz and anti-development.
But what has solidified Ford Nation’s support for Ford is his public performanceduring the recent nine day power crisis. Ford was focused. He gave daily updates to the media and the people. He was genuine and sympathetic.
He stayed in Toronto in the cold and helped while his deputy mayor flew off to sunny Florida. Ford often showed up at cold apartments and homes, trying to lend a hand. Ford did what he has always done best: looking after the little important things that mean so much to the people like warm food and getting the lights and power on for Toronto residents.
Ford supporters are ready for Chow and Tory. They will leave no stone unturned, no subsidized apartment unquestioned. Bring it on! Let the games begin.