Once again on the brink of victory, John Tory has falsely accused his main rival, Doug Ford, of being, racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic.”
That horribly, politically bonehead move, lost the provincial Conservatives the election and Tory personally lost in his own bid for a provincial seat in the Ontario legislature.
Fast forward to the Toronto Mayoral campaign of 2014. John Tory, is once again in the lead.
As of a few days ago, Tory was leading his next rival, Doug Ford, (brother of the infamous and outgoing Mayor Rob Ford), by a solid margin of 42 to 28.
But that strong lead seems to have disappeared overnight.
(Note Mayor Rob Ford had withdrawn from the mayoral race due to illness and had previously apologized for these intemperate remarks, made while heavily inebriated)
The implication was that Doug Ford shared these views and was also anti-Semitic.
For the record, Doug Ford, is a teetotaler, an exemplary family man, a successful businessman and a real straight arrow. Doug Ford had publicly condemned his brother Rob’s behavior and he had distanced himself from such conduct.
Doug Ford is not racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic. He has never expressed any such comments or acted in any way as to suggest he was deserving of any of these horrible labels.
John Tory knew this.
But John Tory, as in 2007, believed it was necessary to pander to potential voters, outside his natural base of self-satisfied and self-entitled elitist twits- in this case, the Toronto Jewish, black and gay communities.
In response to being criticized, by association, as an anti-Semite, Doug Ford’s inelegantly defended himself by suggesting he had lots of Jewish friends and associates.
Unfortunately, this response was met by some booing by the predominantly Jewish crowd.
(As an aside, as a Jewish person, I was disgusted by the response of the predominantly Jewish crowd, which I found offensive, insulting and disrespectful. Especially, since Doug and Rob Ford had in the past stood up for the Jewish community by trying to ban the Jew-hating, anti-Semitic Queers Against Israeli Apartheid group from marching in the publicly-funded annual Gay Pride Parade. )
As reported in the Toronto Sun, John Tory issued a statement after the debate accusing Doug Ford of using “the classic refuge of racists, anti-Semites and homophobes” to defend Mayor Ford’s “inexcusable comments” about Jewish people.
John Tory’s unfair smear against Doug Ford has badly backfired against John Tory.
In response, Doug Ford has taken to the airwaves and the press and has demanded a public apology from John Tory, for calling him such hateful names without any basis or justification.
It seems Doug Ford’s wife is Jewish, and she was deeply offended by Tory’s unfounded accusations against her husband. As was Jeff Silverstein, (also Jewish) formerly Rob Ford’s director of communications and now Doug Ford’s director of communications.
Mr. Silverstein confirmed that he would not have worked for the Fords if either was anti-Semitic. He confirmed that the Fords deeply cared about the Jewish community as their fight against Queers Against Israeli Apartheid so indicated. Silverstein concluded that Tory’s comment was a really low blow.
And quite ironic, as revealed by Doug Ford, considering that for many years, John Tory was a member of the exclusive Toronto Rosedale Golf Club, which specifically banned Jews as members.
Coincidentally, the latest poll from Forum Research, a day after Tory’s attack on Doug Ford, indicates that Doug Ford (37%) has surged forward and is now in a statistical tie with the faltering John Tory (39%).
It is clear that once again the silver spoon, self-titled , swishy Rosedale-bred in the bone, John Tory, is demonstrating the same poor political judgment, that has plagued him throughout his thirty years of political life.
In short, Tory’s arrogance, stubbornness, and political and public myopia are finally coming to the fore.
Tory’s comments have enraged Doug Ford’s supporters, especially his many supporters in the Jewish and ethnic communities.
Tory’s comments have also accomplished the impossible- turned the hard-driving, tough-talking Doug Ford into a more popular and sympathetic character.
Elections have been won on less.
I predict that Tory’s ill-advised comments against Doug Ford and his refusal to apologize for such comments, may have just cost him the election, less than 3 weeks away.