An Unholy Alliance

September 26, 2010

Oh, what polls will do to some people.

With panic breaking out in the streets at the prospect of Rob Ford becoming Toronto’s next mayor, some arm twisting and politicking has begun in and around the campaign. The question is: Should Anyone But Ford (ABF) really be Everyone For Smitherman (EFS)? The Toronto Star is all over that idea with articles on both Thursday and Friday touting George Smitherman as our only saviour from the gruesome fate of a Ford victory on October 25th. This pissed off a Twitter-sphere of Rob Ford fanatics who called out bias on the Star which is funny coming from a group of people getting their news from the Toronto Sun. And each other.

But as much as it pains me to say, I have to agree with the Fordites on this one. Not so much on the bias angle although, I will admit, that the Star was front and centre in vilifying the Miller administration and hounding Adam Giambrone into political exile. No, this time I’m in agreement with people I seldom agree with on the idea of EFS. What’s your thinking on this, Toronto Star?

I know anywhere from 55-60% of us here can’t even begin to get our heads around the notion of His Worship Rob Ford. Everything that is within our legal, democratic power needs to be done to avert that inevitable train wreck. But what’s the idea of everyone else stepping aside for George Smitherman?

The man has run a shitty, shitty campaign. His numbers began to drop almost as soon as he officially declared himself a candidate and he’s done nothing to stem the flow. Instead of standing back aghast (like most of us) as the Ford campaign began to gather steam, and hold on tightly to the centre/centre-right vote (as big a presence as Rob Ford is, ideologically he occupies a small fraction of the small  ‘c’ conservative vote), Smitherman rushed to embrace him. This only served to legitimize Ford as a viable political entity.

Smitherman had profile, money and this election from the very beginning was his to lose. So far he’s proceeded to do just that. His campaign’s performance has been so bad that it stuns me to think the man ever won an election. Yet, the good people at the Toronto Star want to reward such incompetence by insisting that everyone else now pack it in and allow Smitherman to blunder on?

On top of which, there are those of us on the left side of the spectrum who might not cherish the prospect of a two candidate, far right-further right battle for mayor. At least not with over a month still to go before the election. This call to anti-Ford order under the EFS banner feels a little premature, and not half calculated to prop up a sagging campaign that has done little to warrant the kind of strategic consideration being asked of voters.

Take a deep breath, Mr. Hepburn, Ms. Doolittle and everyone else over at the Toronto Star. It’s not time to pull the ripcord on this yet, let alone start worrying about the reserve chute. Just because you’ve pushed the panic button and are demanding we fall in behind your candidate of choice, a few of us out here still think there’s a lot of game still to be played and George Smitherman hasn’t proven to anyone but you that he’s the go-to guy.

cucumber coolishly submitted by Cityslikr