Saturday, September 09, 2023

For A Long Time

The Greenbelt scandal has become quicksand for Doug Ford. It has exposed the "man of the people" for what he is. Emma Teitel writes:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford must assume us “folks” aren’t too bright. How else to explain the premier’s lame excuse that he wasn’t aware of alleged biases in the disastrous Greenbelt land swap process because he doesn’t “believe in micromanaging” his ministers?

There’s no question: whether you’re loading a dishwasher, or trying to build housing on a mass scale, micro-mangers are annoying and bad for morale. But in order to be a micromanager one must attempt to manage, period. And Ford appears to have done nothing of the sort.

A halfway decent manager, never mind a micromanager, would stop this project in its tracks, not steer the thing in a marginally different and likely harrier direction. But once again, we’re not dealing with a good manager, or a manager period. We’re dealing with a premier embroiled in a potentially career-ending scandal, whose usual shtick cannot and will not save him now.

Ford pretends to be just a regular guy. He isn't:

“I meet with the common folks,” he said. “Do you know what I do? I want to find out what the people are doing. I go into the local Walmarts, the Home Depots, the Sobeys and the Loblaws and the Metros to talk to people. I go into the Canadian Tires. That’s where you get how people are feeling.”

Unfortunately for the premier people aren’t feeling very good about his government at the moment. According to a new survey from Abacus Data, overall support of Ford’s Progressive Conservatives fell two percentage points in the last two weeks — to 27 per cent. Even worse for Ford: the government’s support among committed voters has fallen seven percentage points since July, a shift Abacus’ chief executive called “significant.”

Throughout this scandal Ford has all but scoffed at reporters for hammering him on the land swap scandal, characterizing it as a non-issue in the minds of regular folks who just want housing built. But clearly it is an issue, one that is probably made worse by Ford’s insulting invocation of “regular folks” to distract from his government’s arguably low moral character.

Regular folks — a.k.a. the people of Walmart, Sobeys, Canadian Tire and every big box store Ford didn’t mention — are perfectly capable of reading a report indicating that their housing minister did a horrendous job managing the province’s most critical file.

Regular folks are perfectly capable of seeing in the news that the premier initially stood by that minister and when asked about this fact by reporters, shot off a string of non sequiturs about the common man.

Doug has never been who he pretends to be. Some of us have known that for a long time.

Image: Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS


zoombats said...

Unfortunately Tweedle Dee has already left the building.

and only Tweedle Dumb is left to haunt us

Owen Gray said...

It's hard enough dealing with one at a time, zoombats.

Lorne said...

Beyond the huge environmental costs of the Greenbelt theft, Owen, I think the thing that has rankled me most about this corruption is that Ford and his minions take us for absolute idiots. In this, I hope and believe he has made a grave miscalculation.

Owen Gray said...

I hope you're right, Lorne. I'd suggest that the idiots are in Ford's own circle.

jrkrideau said...

If you  read the Auditor General's report and, to some extent, that of the Integrity commissioner, it's pretty clear that it's not a matter of Doug not supervising. It helps to have read a lot of bureaucratize but it is pretty clear they both think it was the Premier's baby and that it was a rigged deal. The author here is being either polite or watching out for libel suits.

Northern PoV said...

Meanwhile the media is engaging in in unrestrained lust for the 'new, improved, cuddly' CON leader.
Boosting Lil'PP and providing a distraction from the Drug Ford imbroglio.

Owen Gray said...

Experience should dictate Buyer Beware, PoV.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps he wants to keep his job, jrk.

Anonymous said...

Politics has a bad smell in Canada and for a long time. Anyong

Owen Gray said...

That, unfortunately, is quite true, Anyong.