[URBAN NOTE] "Ford’s dumb mistakes make Mayor Olivia Chow more likely"
The National Post's Matt Gurney argues convincingly that current mayor Rob Ford's unending series of gaffes are making credible candidates--like Olivia Chow, like Karen Stintz of the TTC recently, like Adam Vaughan--more popular. People like their politics to be serious.
There’s a new poll out, showing that Rob Ford would lose in a hypothetical election campaign against NDP MP Olivia Chow. Chow, who was a Toronto city councillor for years alongside her late husband, Jack Layton, hasn’t committed to running, but has of late left the door to a potential run increasingly open. The poll is consistent with others that have shown Ford with a core group of supporters that would give him an excellent chance of being re-elected in a three-way race, but trouble if running against only one (presumably left-leaning) challenger. Ford’s approval rating is still hovering in the low-to-mid 40s, where it’s largely stayed since he took office two years ago. But as much as 10% of the city, while approving of the job he’s doing, would shift their votes to someone else, like Chow.
This might have something to do with what even Ford admits is his habit of doing stupid things. He recently told the media that going forward, he needs to avoid support-sapping little mistakes. “Minor stupid things like talking on the phone [and] reading while I’m driving,” the mayor listed as the sort of thing he needs to stop doing.
That was a pretty generous self-appraisal — the mayor routinely does things that are way stupider than that. Recent examples: Suggesting the city’s integrity commissioner positions be scrapped because they annoy him, giving out the wrong emergency telephone number ahead of Hurricane Sandy’s arrival in Toronto, writing an apology so grudging and half-hearted that the city’s integrity commissioner thinks he should be reprimanded for it, pressuring the city to spend money improving the area around his family business and seeking provincial help for his football team. Only his football team.
This list of Ford fumbles is far from complete. It’s just stuff that’s happened the last few days.