Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Simpsons Have His Number

Those whose memories extend beyond last night's hockey scores may recall that in 2011, while he was a Toronto city councillor, Doug Ford proposed an 'exciting' vision for that city's waterfront: a monorail, a megamall, and a giant Ferris wheel,:
“What we’d like to do is have a monorail system that’s running right from the Pan Am Games (site) right along the lakefront and stops at Union Station and Ontario Place and right across the front of the lake,” Ford said.
To complement this 'vision,' the megamall
“... would be 1.6 million square feet of one of the most prestigious malls in Canada. We’d try to attract Nordstrom and Bloomingdales and Macy’s".
The above 'magnificence' would be topped off by this 'gem':
The councillor said he hopes to have looming over all of it the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, similar to England’s London Eye, but that would be “just a cash cow.”
If you see nothing wrong with this scheme, please read no further, as you will only be offended.

Several years ago, The Simpsons tapped into this curious zeitgeist:

Notice how the huckster even bears a more-than-passing resemblance to the conman who now leads the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and will, according to the latest poll, be Ontario's next Premier.

Fortunately, some are able to see through the facade and understand that all of Ford's faux populism is something that needs to be soundly rejected if one cares anything about an inclusive and progressive society. The lead letter in yesterday's Star amply reflects the need, not to embrace empty rhetoric, but rather to engage in one of responsible citizenship's harder duties: critical thinking:
Doug Ford purports to denounce the “elites” and stand up for the “little guy.” I’m not sure who these groups are.

Are these elites the Liberals who have introduced progressive initiatives such as labour reform and increased minimum wages? And does the little guy refer to those who have been subsisting on precarious employment and low wages? As premier, Ford would cancel the next minimum-wage increase, surely a blow to the working poor.

Are these elites the Liberals who brought in the beginnings of a pharmacare program for those under 25 and is the little guy all of those who previously couldn’t afford necessary medicines but now have access?

Are the elites the Liberals (and the PCs under Patrick Brown) who have embraced carbon taxes for assuming some responsibility for our planet? The federally mandated carbon tax is not something Ford can ignore. Is he not being disingenuous in suggesting otherwise?

As a wealthy business owner, is Ford not an elite whose pro-business and anti-tax policies meet his needs and not necessarily those of the little guy?

It is truly disheartening to see polls predict a PC win in June’s election when there is no platform — only promises to scrap the sex-ed curriculum, revisit abortion policies, cancel a much-needed minimum-wage increase and cut taxes.

We can’t go back to the 20th century. Times have changed and continue to change rapidly. We desperately need a truly progressive government.

Norah Downey, Midland, Ont.
So will it be the monorail or responsible government? You will literally have to decide which future best reflects the quality of your character.


  1. Do you ever get that feeling that politics is becoming a playground for degenerates?