Doug Ford’s good snowstorm neighbour coincides with lowest ever approval rating as provincial premier

Jan 18th, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
“Oye Pablo, qué tal?” — mixed media by Michael Seward, January 2022.

ONTARIO TONITE. COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON, 18 JANUARY 2022. Yesterday marked a very big seasonal snowstorm in these parts.

It started while we were sleeping, and was well underway when we got up. Various hands at our global headquarters here on the shore of the smallest great lake shovelled three times before the day (and the snow) was done.

This morning it was a winter wonderland. Unlike yesterday the sun was shining. And for the moment there was (still) no more snow!

The mood on the streets seemed upbeat. People (especially kids — and dogs) welcomed the way an unusually large snowfall can break up the narrow life of the pandemic, now in yet another weary wave.

Meanwhile, yesterday in the warmth inside we regional political observers were briefly a little puzzled by the Richard Southern tweet about how Ontario “Premier Ford is helping dig out stranded motorist across Toronto as seen in this video.” Is this just some new kind of Ford Nation stunt? We along with no doubt many others could not help but wonder.

Premier Ford “drives around Toronto helping people stranded in the snow,” Monday, January 17, 2022.

The first step in our growing understanding of the film clips of Premier Ford the good neighbour in the snowstorm came from Robert Benzie, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star : “Twitter will have a totally rational view of this and it won’t be at all predictable or tedious. (From Ford hagiographers and from Ford haters.)”

Our understanding deepened with Lauren O’Neil’s excellent blogTO report : “Doug Ford is driving around Toronto and picking up people stranded by the blizzard … What some are seeing as a string of good deeds, others are seeing as cheap PR stunts and a waste of provincial resources … ‘Out doing photo ops during a massive blizzard and once-in-a-lifetime pandemic? Sounds like Ford,’ wrote one critic.”

And then the deepest truth rushed in with a post from Chris Fox, CP24 Web Content Writer, dated Monday, January 17, 2022, 5:03PM EST : “1 in 3 Ontarians approve of the job Doug Ford is doing months away from election, poll finds … Premier Doug Ford’s approval rating has dropped to the lowest level of his entire tenure with a provincial election now less than five months away, a new poll suggests. ”

Chris Fox went on : “The Angus Reid Institute poll of 1,081 adults in Ontario found that only 30 per cent approve of the job Ford is doing as premier, compared to 67 per cent who disapprove … The premier’s approval rating is down about six points from October when 36 per cent of respondents supported the job he was doing.”

Serious observers of Ontario politics will also want to note an improvement in the electoral fortunes of Premier Ford’s Ontario PCs between P. J. Fournier’s “November 24, 2021” and “December 23, 2021” 338Canada poll aggregations for Ontario.

But this could just mean that Doug Ford’s party is doing at least somewhat better than he is. He may never have been that important to recent Ontario PC political success. The party’s big assets are division of the progressive vote between Liberals and New Democrats, and the currently unshakeable conservative mood in so much of the old rural and small town Southern Ontario countryside.

However you look at it, we came to some conclusions over coffee in front of a warm TV set in the late afternoon …

We leaned towards contemplating the judgment that driving Premier Ford around in the wake of a record snowstorm, and having him intermittently get out to be be filmed helping people in the small jams that happen after any big snowstorm was transparently inauthentic at best …

Yet whatever else, it probably was also smart election campaign activity — good footage for commercials, with the premier in a jacket that just has a Canadian flag on the shoulder …

… (no musty old colonial Ontario flag, that won’t appeal to the voters Premier Ford needs to attract to win on June 2) …

In any event the fans of Niccolo Machiavelli among us are claiming there remains a linkage of some sort.

They themselves urge a strategic relationship between the Angus Reid report that “Premier Doug Ford’s approval rating has dropped to the lowest level of his entire tenure,” and the appearance of the good-neighbour premier, helping ordinary voters (in his riding even) in the immediate wake of the Great Southern Ontario Snowstorm of January 17, 2022.

Then in a very final conclusion the irrepressible Ford Nation critic at blogTO, Becky Robertson, has just posted another piece of solid research entitled “People are noticing more and more similarities between Doug Ford and Homer Simpson” — the “particularly rotund and inept cartoon character” on US TV for so many remarkable years.

And the ultimate thought this leaves us with is : It could actually be a long four months and 14 days until the Ontario election on June 2, 2022.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave Comment