Rob Ford, meeting Sandro Lisi in suburban parking lot, in his Cadillac SUV.
Fifteen years ago, conservative premier Mike Harris forcibly amalgamated Toronto with its surrounding suburbs, trying to smother the downtown left wing elites with votes from the more conservative suburbs. It worked; the first mayor after amalgamation was a laughing stock from the north of the city, and the current mayor is an embarrassment from the west, who just admitted that he smoked crack cocaine while in a drunken stupor. It is expected that there is more interesting news to come. It raises the question: why are people who live in lower density suburbs traditionally more conservative? Who are the citizens of Ford Nation?
In the Toronto Star, Chris Hume wrote a nasty piece the other day that gets some things right:
The truth is that Ford Nation is made up of thousands and thousands of ordinary Torontonians, suburban Torontonians, who, like the mayor they so admire, see the city as little more than a place they drive through on the way somewhere else.....
Like Ford, they see little value in the city, prefer Tim Hortons and choose to drive everywhere. Their interest in civic issues goes no further than how much they pay in taxes, noisy neighbours and the state of the roads they depend on to get around. Like him, they want subways not because they will use them, but because they will replace the streetcars that would otherwise slow them down.
Like Ford, they view any attempt to curtail the car as an assault on their right to drive, a “war on the car,” as the man himself likes to say.
Rob Ford admits smoking crack
A tweeter that I follow put it in a shorter form:
Rob Ford. Urban design determines politics. Suburban sprawl means political disfunction, as well as literal car congestion. Going nowhere.— neil21 (@neil21) November 5, 2013
There is real truth to this. Meanwhile, watch Jon Stewart.
Meanwhile, from the TreeHugger archives:
I took this photo of a sign on a neighbor's house just before the election. It proved surprisingly accurate.
More in the related links to the left.