An article in today’s Star suggests Rob Ford may well run for Mayor after all. There is still plenty of time to get into the race if he wants to, in fact I’d say there are at least 6 more weeks to ‘enter’ the race without risking getting in ‘too late’, if not a full 10 weeks. Regardless, we must look as to how this will impact the race.
I still maintain that my list of plausible candidates from earlier stands, that Mammoliti is not one of them, and that there still is a gap in the middle of the right wing that is probably just waiting to get filled.
Lets first examine who Rob Ford is. For anyone from outside Toronto, I will explain this using three words. Reform / Canadian Alliance. Rob Ford is the most right-wing person elected to Toronto city council, perhaps ever. He is not just your standard Stephen Harper neocon, he is very ‘populist’ in nature, focusing his attention not on lower taxes but on wasteful spending, especially from office budgets of politicians.
So, how would Ford fare in the election? Well, he would lose. If there was even the slightest inkling that Ford could win, the rest of the city would rush to get behind another candidate – any other candidate – that Ford would be crushed. The question is how much support he could get. My feeling is he could get anywhere from 10% to 20%, depending on if another right candidate enters the race, possibly going as low as 5% if he makes gaffes. Where would these votes come from? Not the core that is certain. There are however enough people in the inner suburbs that could and would support Rob Ford. Remember that he does consistently win his own ward.
Why run? Ford has never proven he is in touch with political reality. He probably thinks there is an off chance he can win. There are, however, two ‘bigger’ reasons that I see. One, to embarrass Mammoliti, whom he will easily trounce in the popular vote, and Two, to perhaps build a party-like organization of right minded people in Toronto. If the latter, he may work with the Toronto Party to do this.
What kind of Mayor would he be? In general, very right-wing. I do not, however, think he would “destroy” the TTC. Rossi is more of a threat to that. Ford would lower funding, that is certain, but he does not seem to have the same ‘hate’ for the transit system that others do.
So, what are the numbers? As I see it:
Smitherman – 40%
Pantalone – 25%
Rossi – 20%
Ford – 10%
Others – 5%
Sorry, no extra data today!