Pro­vin­cial To­ries’ Ford fo­cus

When it comes to plow­ing ahead, this model’s tough to stop

Toronto Sun - - NEWS - JOHN SNOBELEN Snobelen was a cab­i­net min­is­ter in the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment of On­tario premier Mike Har­ris from 1995 to 2002

The On­tario PC party went shop­ping and came home with a Ford.

It wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly pleas­ant trip.

The On­tario Lib­eral party is much bet­ter at the busi­ness of se­lect­ing a leader. They don’t fuss with the no­tion of democ­racy and go straight to the power pol­i­tics of a del­e­gated con­ven­tion.

It’s bet­ter tele­vi­sion and the party movers and shak­ers get to­tal con­trol of the process.

When the PC party goes shop­ping for a new leader, it’s any­thing but or­derly.

The one-mem­ber, one-vote sys­tem puts the whole is­sue into the un­seemly hands of reg­u­lar mem­bers.

But that’s democ­racy for you: Messy, un­pre­dictable and of­ten frus­trat­ing.

To bor­row from Win­ston Churchill, the only thing worse is ev­ery­thing else.

Some­time late on Satur­day evening, party mem­bers were fi­nally in­formed that, af­ter a few weeks of kick­ing tires and look­ing un­der hoods, the party had set­tled on a Ford. Why?

The an­swer is de­cep­tively sim­ple: Doug Ford is a tough cam­paigner.

He doesn’t of­fer the most com­fort­able ride. In fact he can be a lit­tle rough.

He doesn’t sport one of the party’s favourite colours, red or blue. He is more into ba­sic black and white.

He doesn’t even of­fer some of the more mod­ern frills that are stan­dard with other mod­els. He lacks virtue sig­nalling, moral equiv­a­lence and gen­der neu­tral­ity, just to name a few.

Heck, he doesn’t even have a re­verse gear.

But when it comes to plow­ing straight ahead through what­ever is thrown in the way, a Ford is hard to stop.

Care­ful read­ers will have noted that Ford was not my first choice. A new Mul­roney model was avail­able and I thought it was a good idea for the party to take a spin.

Other folks thought it wiser to pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the safety rat­ings. An El­liot with a few more miles on the odome­ter seemed like a good choice.

But, in the end, the party de­cided it needed the bull­dog tough­ness of a Ford to win the next elec­tion and wres­tle the prov­ince back onto sound fis­cal ground.

They’re prob­a­bly right. We are speed­ing to­ward a spring elec­tion that is un­doubt­edly go­ing to be messy.

The Lib­er­als will throw ev­ery­thing they can at the PC leader.

If past elec­tions are any in­di­ca­tion, truth and de­cency will be road­kill when the Lib­er­als and the pub­lic-sec­tor unions work over­time to paint the PC party as an evil gang of Ne­an­derthals bent on kick­ing se­niors out of their homes, clos­ing hos­pi­tals and pick­ing on the poor teach­ers.

Cam­paign­ing against the head­winds of third-party ads is like fol­low­ing a garbage truck with no tarp down the high­way. You’re bound to get a lot of rot­ten stuff thrown at you.

Hav­ing lived through this mess a cou­ple of times, the ma­jor­ity of PC mem­bers re­jected the safe model. Safety is an il­lu­sion in a po­lit­i­cal war.

They re­jected the newer, more ar­tic­u­late model. They weren’t con­vinced that the shine would hold up when the fe­cal mat­ter hit a re­volv­ing ob­ject.

In­stead, they opted for Ford. Ford will not be de­terred, or even slowed down, by the pub­lic-sec­tor unions. Heck, he seems to be pow­ered by their fumes.

He will run a cam­paign that re­lent­lessly takes on a gov­ern­ment that has failed mis­er­ably at the one thing Fords take most se­ri­ously: Re­spect for tax­pay­ers.

It’s go­ing to be a heck of an elec­tion. Maybe this time the tax­pay­ers will win.


Doug Ford, the new leader of the PC Party, is built to han­dle the bumps and pot­holes on the road to the next elec­tion.

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