Doug Ford won the Ontario PC leadership contest.
When it comes to the Ontario Tories, you can have many qualified women vying for the position, but it is the white guy from money who is going to take it. This may very well be an awakening for women in this province as well, realizing that keeping that positive, “it’s all good” sunny attitude is going to not give them any returns, and perhaps a reality check would be a very good thing.
Christine Elliott was not someone I thought would win, despite all the “inevitable” narrative the press heaped on her, and that is the kiss of death for her. She is too much like Hillary Clinton with some notion that it was “her time” to win after two previous failed attempts. Like Clinton, her spouse was the bigger political name, and while her strategy was to try to court Patrick Brown’s supporters by not condemning him, they all went to the white guy anyway. She took liberally from Clinton’s playbook and ended up getting the same result.
This is Trump-Clinton all over again. Canadians are very naive in thinking that what happened in the US would never happen here. We align with Americans in our elections, and after Trump’s tariff threats, it’s going to be a factor.
I did think Caroline Mulroney would win — she would have most likely been a cake walk for her under normal circumstances — and she behaved as if it were — but she opened her mouth and made blunder after blunder. She didn’t check her privilege at the door, and then daddy went campaigning for her near the end, making that her kiss of death.
Usually, legacy candidates win, but the situation for her was quite misaligned with another legacy property; in this case, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making a colossal fool out of himself in India, and then getting dissed by Trump and then Modi in front of the world. That alone would scare anyone into not voting for another offspring of a former prime minister.
That Mulroney placed on the bottom of the heap along with the no-name-one-issue candidate is telling. At one point, it was reported the placement was reversed.
But neither Mulroney nor Elliott actually fought. They both seemed to behave entitled throughout this chaos, that makes the Tories seem completely dysfunctional. It was not the right strategy to take: you do not behave as if you are “above” warrior’s tactic in the middle of a war, and a campaign is war.
If you don’t want to fight, then don’t enlist. The little people want to know their getting off their duffs to give you power over them isn’t wasted by you just standing around. The are electing you to fight. All Ford had to say — and he did — was that he was in it for “the people.” At least he knows the answer to the question why he is running, unlike Mulroney who could not give that answer when one radio host asked her that softball obvious question. Between that stumble and her running away when reporters asked about her children being in private school (another softball question), she has no one to blame for her loss.
It was truly Mulroney’s to lose, and she went ahead and lost it completely on her own. Elliott seemed to behave as if they just give you that paper crown if you run enough times. Ford fought and grabbed that brass ring. For all of his white boy privilege, he proved to be the lone street fighter, and he wrest it away from two women who seem to have no inkling what it means to go into the trenches and fight tooth and nail for something you want.
Can he beat the Liberals? Wynne is many things, but she is a survivor who does get that it is a war to fight. Toronto’s core is having meltdowns right now at the thought of a premier Ford who will lord over them as Mayor John Tory is forced to beg his rival for spending money for Hogtown. This is going to pit Toronto with not just rural Ontario — but many enclaves who will want Ford in power, including GTA suburbs. He is not a shoo-in by any stretch, but if he wins, women in this province might awaken from their slumber.
Journalists will be going into meltdown mode now, particularly the Toronto Star. Like Trump, Ford has a very bad history with Canadian media, and it is now officially war.
I am amused, at any rate. Sometimes, there are surprises that ought to upset you, but to me, this isn’t one of them. I am relieved that legacy candidates are getting smacked for their shallow entitlement. I have been writing a lot about how women do not actually have their own war manuals, and this proves me right.
So, it will be a very uncharacteristically interesting street brawl. The Grits will now have to pull all of the stops because there has been a change in the cast. Ford Nation seems to let the country know just where that family is planning to move — to the top.
But right now, after bagging Toronto, they are now eying the province. Stay tuned…