Doug Ford’s haters are absolutely burning hell to establish themselves as the #1 group of op-posers of all time. They absolutely will not tone it down, even if you ask them politely.
It has only been two months and they’ve already:
-called his win “a victory for white nationalists”
-called him a bully
-called him a coward
-launched a podcast devoted exclusively to owning Doug
-declared that he has a particular brand of authoritarian abuse
-threatened to boycott any brewery that dares sign onto the PC Party’s Buck A Beer Brainwave
-threatened to secede Toronto from the rest of the province and set up an NDP nation-state where pro-life protestors would be run out on a rail
-called the cut-council-in-half decision a declaration of war
As I type this, Toronto is bailing out after a particularly nasty flash flood. I cannot find anyone who’s called this obviously difficult and inconvenient situation “Ford’s Katrina” yet. I really hope they don’t, but I can’t safely rule it out.
This is all par for the course and I’m not going to lecture the Opposition about the right way and the wrong way to resist Ford. There’s no way I credibly could, after 15 years of PC Party of Ontario tantrums every time the Ontario Liberals so much as sneezed.
I do, however, want to know what happens when Ford finally does something really dumb (which he will, because it’s Doug Ford). Do they call him a SUPERdictator? A MEGAracist? Do we get a “Trumpsday Clock” where Ford gets closer and closer to Trump the more Trumpy he gets?
To be sure, active resistance is a lot better than the NDP being overly deferential to “Mr. Ford“. Unfortunately, it’s an attempt to put a Ford-shaped circle into a Trump-shaped hole. These people have been jealously watching the circus south of the border and have been just itching to enact their own version of the #Resistance now that populism (of the right-wing variety) has finally come to Canada.
However, until Ford separates children from their parents, soft-pedals the threat of white nationalism, campaigns with an accused pedophile, or evidence emerges that Vladimir Putin has Doug Ford’s campaign song on his workout playlist, the “Ford Is Trump!!!!” play isn’t going to work.
The other problem is that, for 15 years of Liberal government, the august newspaper folk at the Toronto Star never got themselves into such a frantic state over anything Dalton McGuinty or Kathleen Wynne did. New taxes, Scarborough subway shenanigans, multiple scandals, by-election interference, out of control spending with little, if anything, to show for it didn’t draw half as much ire as Ford’s tinkering with the basic income supplement from the Star‘s opinion writers. After the PC’s were turfed in 2003, they played defence for the Liberals before switching once again to offence when the PC’s got back in. And since some of these same ink-stained wretches were actually around for the Harris years, it just lends credence to the theory that there is a lever down at 1 Yonge Street that gets flipped depending on which party is in power.
I guess it’s controversial to point out that if you look like you’re being self-interested, hyperpartisan, or disingenuous, even when it comes to prosecuting a government headed up by Doug Ford, people are less inclined to believe you. The voters want a political party that demonstrates that they are actually, measurably, better than the bums in power, which is what Ford did during Election 2018. Granted, the bar was set extraordinarily low by Kathleen Wynne and her crew, but still.
Then again, when every political operative in the land is copying off of each other’s “playbooks”, it gets very difficult to adjust the level of partisan outrage to match the situation at hand. If both the government and #Resistance in the United States are at each other’s throats, the PR masterminds in both parties here superimpose the American political climate over the Canadian one with nary a thought, and without asking Ontarians what they think.