Here’s something interesting: in a somewhat surprising turn of events, Doug Ford beat rival candidate Christine Elliott in a down to the wire leadership race, ending with Mr. Ford as the winner for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
The business owner and former Toronto city councilor, supported by influential religious leaders like Charles McVety and Paul Melnichuk, identified himself as pro-life, and ran on a roster including parental regulation on teens’ sex ed., cutting taxes, providing better paying jobs, and most famously, opposing the carbon tax.
His tweets clearly propound his political objective of a prosperous Ontario (and read much like those of a nearby, controversial president). On Feb. 21, Ford tweeted “Friends, it’s time to take back #Ontario.” The potential future premier is as defiant of media as his fellow political leader, Donald Trump. In one of her articles for National Observer, Montreal-based writer and editor Toula Drimonis attempted to collate the two leading businessmen-cum-politicians. Her one observation that really struck me was that both envisage the world as black and white.
Internationally famous for his abrupt temperament and sweeping statements on immigrants, Mr. President plans to build a wall deterring Mexicans, and enact policies deterring a myriad of migrants from other corners of globe. Nonetheless, Ford seems to have a humane heart when it comes to immigration policies, and is proud enough to credit them as a base for Canada — a land of migrants. Ford distinguishes himself from Trump in that Ford contrives himself as a “man of common people.” Every now and then in his interviews he gave instances of how, when he met the crowds during his campaign “the roof [would] come off,” as well as talked about the grievances of “grassroot people,” considering their takes on common issues and proposing amendments accordingly.
While the list goes on, Ford caught the limelight when Christine Elliott conceded the elections and, according to CBC News, cited “serious irregularities” in the whole process. Speaking to the same news outlet, Ford asserted that his party is always going to be progressive, and that he’ll do his best to curb party infightings. Christine Elliott, after narrowly losing the vote, wasn’t seen in the room at Ford’s victory address to the media. A review of the votes held is underway, and is supported by Ford himself. Ford apparently has no qualms or quandaries with the review, and says he’s patient enough to wait for another week or so, if required.
With the premier elections still down the road, and after the incredibly narrow victory Ford just took, nothing seems easy to predict. The reason why Doug Ford could win the elections is that he, again like Donald Trump, is offering something that people have wanted for a long time — more jobs and less taxes. He promises to boom the Ontario business industry, which is plausible and credible, given his business tycoon image.
Current premier Kathleen Wynne’s personal life has also come under scrutiny. Her sexual orientation (and previous marriage) have become a matter of popular talk, which should not be an object of discussion owing to the nature and sensitivity of topic. Policy-wise, Wynne’s sex ed. curriculum at school is thought of as too extreme by some people. Ford also has an edge over Wynne in fiscal aspects of the campaign. Moreover, the religious sects take pride in defending the young generation from what they may consider “bad elements,” which again butters the bread on Doug’s side.
As the campaign for premier draws nearer, someone might be coasting on clout, while another needs a trump card to win majority of the votes. Regardless, the campaign and debates are definitely going to make it worth your while.