You’d think that the federal election would be getting a mite stale after nearly eleven weeks. You’d be wrong. Just when the old-stock media was settling into a triumphant “Trudeau’s going to win, ding dong the sorcerer’s dead” mantra, along came Doug and Rob Ford to stir things up.
Of course the Liberals just couldn’t help themselves – from the Red Star:
“Stephen Harper should be embarrassed that he’s having to count on the support of Rob Ford for his re-election,” Trudeau said during a campaign event on Thursday.
“There’s a lot of people talking these days about the hypocrisy of the Fords and their drug problems and Mr. Harper and his positions on that.”
It’s worth noting here that the Ford brothers, and especially Rob Ford remain very popular with a lot of Toronto voters. How popular? Despite his brother’s meltdown, Doug Ford still managed to poll 34% in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election, just six points back from the winner, John Tory. And Doug’s the unpopular one. Trudeau may be leading in Ontario, and particularly in the Toronto region but even if he is, his lead is hardly insurmountable, and there are plenty of Tory incumbents with all the advantages that entails. Why on God’s green earth the Liberal campaign thought it wise to slag off the 40% or so of voters who worship the Ford family escapes me. Actually it doesn’t. It probably wasn’t the campaign team but the village idiot ad libbing it.
The Fords can give as good as they get, and, well, let’s just Doug Ford do the talking:
At one point, news anchor Jennifer Burke said Conservative Leader Stephen Harper appears to be “distancing himself” from the Ford brothers, not “embracing” the family’s support. She then asked Doug how he squares his support with the Tories’ tough-on-crime stance.
Doug responded as follows:
“You know something, I’m tough on crime too and I think it’s essential. I know one thing, it wasn’t Stephen Harper sitting around a table smoking a joint at a dinner party like Justin Trudeau was, so I find it pretty hypocritical.”Burke challenged Doug on the point by bringing up Rob’s own drug use, but Doug persisted. “I find it very hypocritical that Justin Trudeau would go down that avenue,” he said.“Justin Trudeau wants to get personal like anyone coming after us, let’s talk policy. Let’s wipe the veneer of[sic] Justin Trudeau and let’s look at his resume. His resume, he wouldn’t be hired as a floor sweeper, not to mention prime minister.”
He concluded the interview by imploring voters to have a “sober second thought” about voting for Trudeau.
Rob Ford’s personal life matters very little to anyone outside of Toronto (and apparently it matters very little to a large swathe of Toronto voters!). On the other hand Trudeau’s accomplishments, or more accurately the complete lack thereof, is of interest to Canadians from every part of the country. And even if you take a dim view of elected officials (or anyone else for that matter) using illicit substances, Rob Ford isn’t a candidate in this election, Justin Trudeau is.
Yet some in the media are spinning this as a setback for the Tories.
Harper rally organizer Doug Ford in full rambling assault on Trudeau on CTV. Says Trudeau is unfit cause he has smoked weed. Oh the irony…
— Don Martin (@DonMartinCTV) October 15, 2015
Rambling? Really? He got his points across clearly and succinctly. Expect a lot of head-scratching from Don Martin and lots of other media pundits on Tuesday morning when the polling results for the Toronto area prove to be a lot closer than they expected.