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For months, members of Ford’s former campaign staff have been quietly drawing up plans to form a right-wing advocacy group. The intention is to monetize and organize this huge ideological voting base, essentially forming a quasi Tea Party North.
It would means millions of dollars for the conservative movement, high-profile publicity for Tory-friendly issues and an energized right-wing base.
“But it won’t be called Ford Nation. It’s going to be an advocacy group for the taxpayers of Toronto. It will be something like: Respect for Taxpayers Action Group,” said Nick Kouvalis, the mayor’s former chief of staff and deputy campaign manager.
Ah, so it’s going to be like Tea Parties without the religious, racist and homophobic parts? So you’re just going to talk about tax policy? That sounds boring.
There’s an idea. The best these guys could hope for is to become the Eastern Canada version of the Reform party, spending a decade getting nowhere until eventually withdrawing back into mainstream conservatism.
People talk about Rob Ford like he represents some kind of right-wing revolution but I have trouble seeing it. He did’t take out an incumbent mayor. The candidates he DID beat all had major problems, to the point where it was hard to find vociferous supporters who didn’t work for the Smitherman or Pantalone campaigns. And while his win was comfortable, he did not see a majority of the vote. As we learned earlier this week, his approval rating isn’t setting records either.
Unlike mainstream liberalism or conservatism, which are more flexible ideologies, you can’t push Ford’s brand of populist politics forever. Eventually people will realize that you really can’t cut taxes while simultaneously improving services. The centre isn’t going to hold on that one.
Tags: ford nation