Canada Why Doug Ford’s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians

15:21  16 april  2018
15:21  16 april  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Doug Ford insists he is no Donald Trump

  Doug Ford insists he is no Donald Trump Doug Ford insists he is no Donald TrumpThe rookie Progressive Conservative leader told Toronto Life in November 2016 that he would have cast a ballot for the mercurial New York businessman — “not a doubt in my mind” — but he bristled Friday at being compared to Trump.

Abby Ayoola, a Mississauga mother of six, plans to vote PC for the first time because of Doug Ford ' s leadership. Like many Ontarians , Ayoola is worried about her family’s future and fed-up with out-of-touch leaders and status quo politics . It’s part of why Ford ’ s anti-elite, austerity message is

Why Doug Ford 39 s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians .


Abby Ayoola is a longtime Ford fan, first-time Ford voter.

The 32-year-old Mississauga resident is a regular at Ford Fest, the annual backyard barbecue hosted by rookie Progressive Conservative leader and former Toronto councillor Doug Ford and his brother, late mayor Rob Ford, at their mother Diane’s Etobicoke home. On June 7, Ayoola plans to cast a ballot for a party she’s never voted for before, now that there’s a Ford in charge.

“The way they care about the little people, the way they help them, that’s what matters,” said Ayoola, who moved to Canada from Nigeria in 1998. As a mother with six kids between 16 months and 11 years old, it can be “tough” to make ends meet, she said.

Doug Ford says he’ll fire Hydro One’s CEO if he wins election

  Doug Ford says he’ll fire Hydro One’s CEO if he wins election Doug Ford says he’ll find a way to fire Hydro One’s “six million dollar man” Mayo Schmidt along with the former Crown corporation’s board if elected Progressive Conservative premier on June 7.Doug Ford says he’ll find a way to fire Hydro One’s “six million dollar man” Mayo Schmidt along with the former Crown corporation’s board if elected Progressive Conservative premier on June 7, even though the company is no longer controlled by the province.

As more citizens feel insecure and disconnected, populist sentiment in Ontario may weigh heavily on voters’ decisions at the ballot box, putting Ford in serious contention for the premier’ s seat.

Why Doug Ford ’ s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians . I do know that this is typical of these just-so stories populists often tell: they point at what looks like a simple picture, and suggest a simple solution is obvious.

“The food prices are going up, everything’s getting higher and higher. Like, how can we cope?” Ayoola said. “(Ford) said it’s going to get back to the way things were.”

Like many Ontarians, Ayoola is worried about her family’s future and fed-up with out-of-touch leaders and status quo politics. It’s part of why Ford’s anti-elite, austerity message is appealing beyond the Greater Toronto Area and heart of Ford Nation and puts him in serious contention for the premier’s seat in the spring election. The PCs have also come out on top in most public opinion surveys for more than a year.

As more citizens feel insecure and disconnected from the political ivory tower, populist sentiment in Ontario may weigh heavily on voters’ decisions at the ballot box. In extremes, autocratic rulers and xenophobic or nativist platforms can start to look attractive, and extremist or fringe political factions may be empowered.

Doug Ford unveils campaign bus, 'For The People' slogan

  Doug Ford unveils campaign bus, 'For The People' slogan A large mid-April ice storm didn't stop Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford from unveiling his new campaign bus and slogan on Sunday. Ford offered a glimpse at his election bus at the Toronto Coach Terminal downtown, despite police and city officials urging people to stay off the roads this weekend.

Why Doug Ford ’ s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians . As more citizens feel insecure and disconnected, populist sentiment in Ontario may weigh heavily on voters’ decisions at the ballot box, putting Ford in serious contention for the premier’s seat.

Why Doug Ford 39 s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians . Vadim_ S , booksjava@narod.ru.

Populist movements have picked up steam in democracies around the globe, including Turkey, the Philippines and Italy, and is most often applied to Brexit and the political stylings of U.S. President Donald Trump.

It’s an approach to politics that generally favours the people over the privileged, average folks over fat cats. In the U.S. and Europe, right-wing, conservative populism has an anti-immigrant tinge as people who are feeling uncertain about their own status may feel more suspicious over newcomers.

What’s unique about made-in-Ontario populism is also what’s special about Ford’s brand — it’s diverse. Visible minorities, immigrants and religious people of all denominations are some of Ford Nation’s staunchest supporters.

“It’s not only white people, like it is supporting Trump,” said Frank Graves, president of EKOS polling firm.

Ford hits home with an electorate that is “working class, pessimistic, deeply suspicious of elites and professionals,” especially in areas such as Windsor, Hamilton, Barrie, London and Oshawa that have experienced sharp manufacturing losses. Those towns are the top five in Ontario most prone to populism, according to a recent study by EKOS and The Canadian Press.

Kathleen Wynne compares Doug Ford to Donald Trump, saying he 'traffics in smears and lies'

  Kathleen Wynne compares Doug Ford to Donald Trump, saying he 'traffics in smears and lies' Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne blasted Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford on Wednesday, comparing him to U.S. President Donald Trump and saying he 'stands for nothing other than Doug Ford.' "Doug Ford sounds like Donald Trump and that's because he is like Donald Trump. Ugly, vicious, a brand of politics that traffics in smears and lies," Wynne told an audience at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Why Doug Ford ’ s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians . At an event on Friday, Ford mentioned Ford Nation Live, saying that it would provide people at home with an opportunity to follow him on the campaign trail.

Why Doug Ford ’ s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians . The rates will be detailed in regulation and be specific to sector, region and existing collective agreements — akin to a job-specific minimum pay rate.

Windsor resident Melissa Kozak is a single mom to two children under 12 with learning disabilities. She relies on social assistance and has struggled to find steady employment. Kozak, 36, says she feels left behind by government and let down by politicians.

“People need to have hope,” Kozak said. “Even though we’re down here in Windsor, (Ford) realizes that we exist.”

Graves said the more “homogenous” a population, the more prone it is to populism. For instance in Toronto, ethnically rich neighbourhoods like Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York are relatively more closed off and susceptible to populist sentiment, as are predominantly white neighbourhoods.

“That sort of populism is steeped in a broad view that the elite prescription and the economy aren’t working for me the way they used to in the past … and pulling up the drawbridge and putting up our own interests first is a good idea,” Graves said.

“Doug Ford by far is the one speaking the language most closely to what the constituents are.”

Ford has already proven himself an unwilling cog in the party machine by scrapping the party’s People’s Guarantee platform designed last fall under ex-leader Patrick Brown. He’s promised to slash taxes, reduce the size of government and tackle the provincial debt, but hasn’t fully explained how exactly he’ll pay for it. He also ripped open the debate on carbon pricing and Ontario’s controversial sex education curriculum, and raised questions about access to abortion during the PC leadership contest.

COMMENTARY: Kathleen Wynne plays the Trump card

  COMMENTARY: Kathleen Wynne plays the Trump card Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's personal attack on PC leader and chief rival Doug Ford was ill-timed, Tasha Kheiriddin says.

Ford ' s populist message of taking down the "elites," cutting taxes and standing up to the federal government on things like the carbon tax resonated with many Ontarians . His timing could be perfect. So what happens if Doug Ford is elected the next premier of Ontario?

There are 2 comments on the The Toronto Star story from Apr 15, 2018, titled Why Doug Ford ' s populist politics are resonating with Ontarians . Doug Ford makes his way through the halls of Queen's Park to a caucus meeting on March 20.

Meanwhile, the Liberals say they’re all about “fairness” for Ontarians and the New Democrats are promising to make life more “affordable.” Both have offered a raft of progressive policies, including a $15 minimum wage and expanded public health care.

Ford is also a self-branded political outsider who doesn’t play by the rules and spent much of his single term at city hall propping up his brother the mayor’s cut-the-waste agenda. He’s come out swinging against journalists and on Thursday his campaign put the brakes on having a media bus follow him on the stump.

Slogans such as the Fords’ “stop the gravy train” and Trump’s “drain the swamp” and “make America great again” may not have much substance, but they often stick when people are increasingly worried about their status in society.

Populist politicians tend to use straightforward messaging that caters to someone’s emotions, said Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol who studies the spread of fake news and misinformation.

“They’re simple messages that promise solutions and appeal to emotions. In a world that is incredibly complex … a lot of people find the pace of change difficult to cope with … that’s when simple messages become attractive,” Lewandowsky said.

Liberal official apologizes for crude remark about Doug Ford

  Liberal official apologizes for crude remark about Doug Ford A senior campaign official for the Ontario Liberals is apologizing for a crude comment he made on live television about Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford. David Herle, the campaign co-chair for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, issued a statement this evening saying he regrets the comment and he apologizes "without qualification." "Doug Ford has a long history of using derogatory and insulting terms to refer to a wide range of people with whom he disagrees — including female journalists, parents of autistic children and many others," Herle said in the statement.

The populist might speak to something that needs to be heard or stir up stagnant waters. If, for instance, Ontarians are seeking change, the Progressive Ford ' s ouster of Granic Allen has some asking why it didn't happen sooner. Doug Ford ' s media strategy includes his own reporter.

In an election in which it appears Ontarians are sick of the incumbents -- the Liberals have been in power 15 years, and poll after poll finds the majority of voters want change -- Ford ’ s populist message appears to be resonating .

Ford’s candid and brazen approach to politics has won over Gordon Hazelwood, 52, who owns a small print shop in his hometown of Hamilton.

“No surprise I’m also a Trump supporter. You can quote me on that,” Hazelwood said.

He thinks Ford is cut from the same cloth as Trump and does “the things he says he’s going to do and actually follows through on them.”

“Ford is just being a regular person up there. He’s speaking normally. He’s speaking from his heart, as himself — not (as) somebody who wants you to hear stuff that’s scripted and, you know, the right way to say it,” he said.

That goes beyond just repeating talking points — Hazelwood feels political correctness has gone too far and pervaded public policy, citing a recent report about Service Canada’s directive to avoid honorifics like Mr. and Mrs. and the All Families Are Equal Act in Ontario that swaps out “mother” and “father” for gender neutral “parent” on government forms.

“We’ve been like this for centuries and nobody ever complained about anything. It seems the whole world is going that way, it’s too far,” he said.

People may be more willing to give up the liberties ingrained in democracies because they feel like they’re losing their place in society, but those feelings have to be nurtured, Lewandowsky said.

“Populism doesn’t just grow on a tree like apples or pears. It has to be produced,” Lewandowsky said. “You have to have messengers go out who are stoking fears and divisions because one of the crucial aspects of populism is it is turning people against some out-group.”

Axelrod's advice to Liberals: convince voters you still represent change

  Axelrod's advice to Liberals: convince voters you still represent change Re-election campaigns — like the one the Trudeau Liberals will embark on next year — hang on a government's ability to convince voters that it still represents positive change, Barack Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod said Friday. But since electoral success seems more and more these days to depend on offering voters something other than what the people in power are offering, he said, re-election can be an uphill battle for incumbents.

Ontario election 2018 poll: Doug Ford gains an advantage - … Canada's most populous province votes on Thursday, with populist Doug Ford ' s Progressive Conservative PC Leader Doug Ford says has been taken off the PC ballot in Mississauga Centre just over a month before Ontarians go to the polls.

Lewandowsky said people’s perceptions on cultural and economic issues are exaggerated. People tend to think there are a lot more immigrants in the population than there actually are, though financial stress is more subjective.

Populism may be a gateway to autocracy, but for now at least, Canadians don’t seem to be willing to give up on democracy as we know it.

According to a Pew Research survey from 2017, Canadians generally think autocratic leaders are bad — 81 per cent versus 17 per cent who said they are good. That said, one in 10 said they thought the country should be under military rule.

Ford Nation is a “strange coalition” that includes “immigrants and minorities but also people who don’t like immigrants and minorities,” said Michael McGregor, a political science professor at Ryerson University who heads a study of local elections in major Canadian cities.

“Maybe the two groups don’t recognize each other, maybe they don’t care — the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” he said.

McGregor’s national study of local elections includes a poll conducted just before Toronto’s 2014 municipal election, when Doug Ford entered the mayoral race to replace his brother, the drug-scandal-plagued incumbent mayor who dropped out at the time to focus on his health.

People who identified as East Asian, South Asian and Eastern European were more likely than self-identified Canadians and Western Europeans to give Ford a high score when asked to rank a candidate’s likability out of 100. Ford’s approval rating was about 44 per cent among East Asians, 42 per cent among South Asians and 41 per cent among Eastern Europeans. He scored an average of 31 per cent approval among self-identified Canadians — which would include visible minorities — and about 32 among Western Europeans.

McGregor noted Ford’s base in the 905 and Toronto suburban fringe tends to be low-income, high visible minority.

Doug Ford names Mike Harris’s son as PC candidate in flurry of pre-election appointments

  Doug Ford names Mike Harris’s son as PC candidate in flurry of pre-election appointments ..

“It’s this disaffected feeling (that) elites or people in power … don’t really care what people like me think,” McGregor said.

Simon Kiss, a political scientist at Wilfrid Laurier University, gauged support among Torontonians for then-scandal-plagued mayor Rob Ford, using data from Ipsos’s 2014 provincial election exit survey.

Visible minorities in Toronto were twice as likely to support the former mayor compared to white voters, Kiss said. Support was also higher among immigrants — those who were born in Canada were 34 percentage points less likely to approve of Rob Ford than those who had immigrated here.

“They (the Fords) talk about getting taxes down, they talk about taking on the elites, they talk about being the voice of the people, they talk about being businessmen knowing how to run a government better ... in Toronto, Ontario, at least, that message actually resonates quite profoundly with visible minority voters,” Kiss said.

Religion is also a key factor in support for the Ford brothers. McGregor’s research suggests Doug Ford did poorly among atheists. Kiss’s report also shows the most religious respondents were four times as likely to approve of the late mayor over those who skewed secular.

Abby Ayoola, a Mississauga mother of six, plans to vote PC for the first time because of Doug Ford's leadership. The Fords © Bernard Weil Abby Ayoola, a Mississauga mother of six, plans to vote PC for the first time because of Doug Ford's leadership. The Fords "care about the little people," she says. She is seen here with her children and fiancé, Wayne Williams.

Ayoola goes to church every Sunday and wholeheartedly believes Ford shares her religious, socially conservative values.

“Why him? Because he has a family too and he has the same kind of morals that I do,” she said.

Doug Ford names Mike Harris’s son as PC candidate in flurry of pre-election appointments .
..

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!