Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Some Low-Hanging Fruit - UPDATED

Feeling singularly uninspired this morning, I offer a tidbit of the obvious: 'Ford Nation,' that much vaunted segment of the population that stands by their man no matter what, is under-educated and from lower-income backgrounds. Since I am not one of those that the Fords and their right-wing fellow travellers like to contemptuously characterize as 'the elites,' I will quickly add that those two facts do not in themselves qualify them for membership in the PSC (Profoundly Stupid Club). However, their unwavering support of the big boy and his brother, no matter what outrages they commit, no matter what levels of ridicule they invite upon the city of Toronto, perhaps does.

A story in this morning's Star reveals some interesting information about Ford Nation based on data from a poll conducted Nov. 7-11 by John Wright, senior vice president at Ipsos Public Affairs:

His first surprise was that Ford Nation — defined as those who will vote for Ford no matter what — for the most part don’t live in Etobicoke.

In fact, Ford only enjoys 16 per cent support in Etobicoke, the same level of backing he has downtown.

The mayor is most popular in York and East York, where 30 per cent of voters say they’d support him. Next comes Scarborough, with 27 per cent, and North York, with 22 per cent.

Perhaps the following facts speak for themselves:

- They are predominantly people with lower-income and lower education levels. Some 44 per cent of respondents who don’t have a high school diploma support Ford

- People who make less than $40,000 per year are twice as likely to be part of Ford Nation than those who make $100,000 or more

- Some 22 percent of respondents aged 18-34 still support Ford, as do 24 per cent of those over 55. Only 20 per cent of voters in the 35-44 age bracket support Ford.

The data clearly indicate that while support for Ford is not the exclusive domain of the young, the uneducated and the working poor, they do comprise the majority of his backers.

Draw what conclusions you will.

UPDATE: Jeffrey Simpson has an interesting piece in The Globe on the many contradictions inherent in Ford Nation's ongoing support of their idol.


  1. And there's the irony, Lorne. I understand that the family business brings in $100 million a year.

    1. So much for Ford's self-serving myth about fighting for 'the little guy,' eh Owen?

  2. It is because Rob Ford says he stands for 'the little guy'. Maybe he means when he loses weight. Poor misunderstand him. :)

    Rob Ford and Doug Ford's program on Sun News is cancelled after one episode. Did not last long.

    1. Again, the need for yet another 'clarification' from the big boy, LD.

      Regarding the Sun News cancellation, I guess they came to the conclusion that the Fords having the same rant every week, much as they been uttering on their media tour, would grow tiresome even to his base base.

  3. They would characterize you as one of the "elite", not based on your income or profession, but based on your political and cultural affinities, that you aspire to intellectual pursuits, higher ideals, have little appreciation for the virtues of violence, brawls, a grubby existence. Given the proper crisis situation, such a political base turns into a right-wing mob, and finds an outlet for their hatred of "elite culture", liberalism, socialism, gay parades, trade unions, public libraries and cultural centers, foreign culture, ideologies and foreigners in general, burning books, attacking "deviants", immigrants, socialists, trade union meetings, etc.

    It's nothing new, right wing populism fueled by demagoguery and political or economic crisis can transform into a fascist mob. All the elements are there now, minus the crisis catalyst, but Ford could easily become a "fascist" leader.
    If you recall, Hitler was elected to office, challenged the "democratic" legitimacy of his critics and detractors, "socialists" and the cultural and economic "elites" and the political institutions which sought to limit or restrain his power.

    1. This is all very true, Rene. In reading your comments, i couldn't help but think of the debacle the other day in the council chambers, where the Ford, exchanging words with opponents in the gallery, incited a near-riot from their supporters. Such is the danger these lads truly pose.

      Your historical reference is well-taken, but of course, history always seems to repeat itself, doesn't it?