Life Inside The Bubble

October 4, 2011

OK, so what gives?

Mayor Ford goes out to mingle amongst the people, chatting them up in Tim Hortons line ups and his takeaway message? Stay The Course, Rob. Keep Doing What You’re Doing. Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters! (Wait a second. What are you doing here, downtown elitist? Shouldn’t you be sipping lattes at Starbucks?)

Yet, when Metro Morning host, Matt Galloway, travels out to the hinterlands of Etobicoke, what’s he hear? What are the people talking about with him? A desire for reliable transit. Cue the Scooby Doo ‘Huh?!

I thought all you people just wanted to drive your cars, your big, big cars and SUVs and minivans on well maintained roadways, free from streetcars and carjackings. That’s what the mayor tells us you want. What’s all this blather about ‘reliable transit’?

Is Galloway just making that shit up? Doing his CBC best to undermine yet another conservative politician. A kooky downtowner simply not understanding the wishes and desires of those living in the suburban semi-circle that surrounds us. How’d you get out to Etobicoke, Matt? Public transit? Kind of skews your survey sample, wouldn’t you say?

No. I think when it comes to uncovering the truth, I’ll throw my lot in with a politician over a scheming, glory seeking journalist any day of the week. Especially one who has to get up as early in the morning as Matt Galloway. Can you say sleep deprived?

Who better to speak the truth to power than a politician? A politician with tanking polling numbers, a browbeaten caucus sensing they may’ve been backing the wrong horse and growing unrest in the general population. What benefit is there to not being frank in that situation?

So when Mayor Ford tells us that 90% of the people he talks to demand that he Stay The Course, I believe him. 90% of the people willing to talk to the mayor in person at this point very likely think he’s doing a good job. It’s all about adhering to that Miss Manners rule of etiquette: if you don’t have anything nice to say… Most of us are still polite enough (or socially reticent enough) not to go getting up in somebody’s face, yelling and screaming about what a terrible person they are, what a horrible job they’re doing and maybe even attempting a head butt to the bridge of their nose. We’re not that conflict driven.

The mayor cuts a rock star figure when he ventures out into the wider public. Those folks who want to have their picture taken with him, planting one on his cheek, probably either don’t mind how he’s running the city or haven’t been paying that much attention. Mayor Rob Ford may be many things but inconspicuous is not one of them. He is a celebrity around town. People treat him accordingly.

90% of the public willing to talk to the mayor in person right now are probably OK with the way things are going. Extrapolating from that wider support, however, may not be, how do the scientists refer to it, exactly rigorous. Like asking someone on a bus what’s the most important thing government can provide for them, the sample size and composition shouldn’t be considered reliable.

It may give comfort to the mayor and his supporters. Life in a bubble often does.  But it ain’t in any way representative of what’s truly going on out there in the world outside. A big shock is in store for those thinking it is.

Or maybe I’ve just been living in my own bubble, listening to too much morning radio on the CBC.

travoltaly submitted by Cityslikr