Doug Ford should drop out of the Toronto mayoral race – he is splitting the anti-John Tory vote. John Tory should drop out of the mayoral race because he is splitting the anti-Doug Ford vote. They should both drop out because they are both splitting the pro-Chow vote.
If that sounds silly or presumptuous, then think of how arrogant and pretentious it sounds to Chow supporters (or NDP supporters in federal and provincial elections) that progressive-minded people should roll over, abandon their principles and “strategically” vote against their own interests just because one right-wing, pro-corporate, anti-labour, elitist candidate “isn’t as bad as” the other right-wing, pro-corporate, anti-labour, elitist candidate.
The thing that self-proclaimed “progressive” Liberal supporters of the diehard Conservative John Tory cannot comprehend is that real progressives do not want Tory in office, period. They do not see Tory as an improvement over Ford, because Tory is, in fact, not an improvement over Ford.
Ford and Tory would both be terrible mayors, just different. Their main difference is in style, not substance. Both Conservative candidates have policies and outlooks that primarily serve the rich and powerful while screwing over the rest of society. They both want to privatize public services (including healthcare, if they had that ability), want to sabotage the public transit system, want to irresponsibly slash taxes, and want to drastically cut services that benefit the poor, the working class and the environment. They both promote brutal competition and greed over cooperation and pooling our resources for the common good.
For some of us, the thought of voting for any Conservative politician in any election makes us physically sick to our stomachs. If the self-entitled Tory fanatics got their way and Chow dropped out, many Chow supporters would either seek out smaller fringe candidates, spoil their ballots or not vote at all. Attempts at belittling and shaming Torontonians into voting for one of the two pro-Harper candidates will not work. We are not weak-minded suckers or masochists.
The loud and abrasive conflict between Tory and Ford is more like an internal family spat than a gang war. Many of the criticisms that they lob at each other are valid, but are ridiculously hypocritical considering the sources. If their pompous trash-talk sessions seem like segments from a professional wrestling TV show, that is partly because they are just as fake.
Ford and Tory are both children of privilege who have had most of their opportunities (and much of their money) handed to them on a silver platter. Neither of them has ever had to struggle to pay the bills. Neither of them has had to apply for a job like a normal person and go through a hiring process that was more than a mere formality. Both have ridden their fathers’ coattails to get where they are today. Neither of them understands how hard things can be for regular working people, and neither of them really cares. Their main goal is to keep what they have, get more, and exchange favours with their friends and acquaintances.
I know it’s difficult for comfortable, wishy-washy Liberals to understand, but some people actually have principles that they stick to. To those of us who aren’t sheltered by wealth and privilege, politics is more than just a debating club for abstract philosophical discussions. We understand that actions by governments directly affect our lives on a daily basis.
For some of us, we are already moderating our leftist beliefs enough by parking our votes with the centrist Chow (and the centrist NDP in provincial and federal elections). After decades of incrementally further-right economic policies and the intensified race to the bottom, what Canada really needs at all levels of government are radical socialist governments to get our country back on track. Barring that, we certainly do not feel obligated to abandon all semblance of community and human decency and endorse the very policies that have been actively destroying our standard of living. That is a line we will not cross, so don’t even bother trying to pull our legs.