Elites, start your engines!
The race for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, which unofficially began even before Patrick Brown’s corpse began to chill last Thursday night, has taken yet another turn – and it’s one that will define the race. Doug Ford, businessman, former Toronto city councillor, and of course brother to late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, withdrew his candidacy for Mayor of Toronto and is now seeking to succeed Brown as party leader. And the theme of his campaign can be summed up in two words: elites, beware.
“I had every intention of running for mayor of this great city,” Ford said Monday. “But I can’t watch the party I love fall into the hands of the elites. The elites have shut the door on the grassroots, the foundation of our party… The elites of this party, the ones who have shut out the grassroots, do not want me in this race. But I’m here to give a voice… to give a voice to the hardworking taxpayers of this province, people who have been ignored for far too long.”
Ford made this anti-elite announcement, ironically, in the basement of his mother’s sprawling house in Etobicoke, source of the Ford political dynasty which includes his late father (Doug Ford Senior, an MPP from 1995-1999), late brother (Rob Ford, city councilor and then Toronto mayor from 2010-2014), and nephew (Michael Ford, former trustee and currently a councilor in Rob Ford’s former ward of Etobicoke North). Doug himself served and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor in 2014 against John Tory.
In terms of political dynasties, read, elites, the Fords really don’t have much competition in the GTA, or even in Ontario. But that’s not how Ford will depict it. Despite their wealth and influence, the Fords have a family tradition of communing with the common man, and connecting with voters far less fortunate than they.
So who are the elites Ford is referring to? It’s a long list: members of caucus (who didn’t want a leadership vote so close to the election), the party executive (split as to whether they want to hold one anyway, over the opposition of elected members), and the backroom operators and bagmen some accuse of facilitating Brown’s ouster, to install more saleable replacement ahead of the election, for the good of the party, perhaps, but also, for the good of all those who have an interest in seeing the Tories defeat the Liberals this June.
Read the full article on iPolitics.