The campaign to elect the City of Toronto’s next mayor got even more bizarre as Rob Ford withdraws from the race because of ill-health.
Ford isn’t the most popular politician these days, but those who have wished he’d drop out of the race and leave the centre-right vote undivided are now wishing him a short hospital stay and speedy recovery. And I don’t believe either John Tory or Olivia Chow would have wanted to see Ford’s illness benefit their campaigns.
That having been said, the general wish by about 65 per cent of Toronto voters to be rid of Rob Ford and his antics once and for all will only be realized partially. After removing his name from the mayoral ballot, Ford promptly registered to run for city council in Ward 2, and the mayor’s brother, Doug Ford, has taken the mayor’s place in the mayoral contest.
Yes, folks, the same Doug Ford who had decided to give up municipal politics and had not registered to run in the Oct. 27 election.
According to media reports, Doug Ford had the third-worst council attendance this past term, and he has missed over half the votes taken in 2014. This gives, I believe, a pretty good indication of his lack of commitment to local politics and supports his past comments that he is more interested in provincial office.
So does the circus that is Toronto city council threaten to dominate GTA politics for another four years? Well, polls suggest Rob Ford can win the Ward 2 seat and Doug Ford is shown to have 34 per cent support as mayor—good enough for second place ahead of Olivia Chow—according to a poll taken by Forum Research on Friday. So don’t bet on seeing the last of the Fords anytime soon.
Perish the thought.