I’m not going to address the reality of coming from a political family or being heir to a multi-million dollar company. I’m not going to discuss anything other than the lens of perception.
You know why people voted for Ford?
They could see a little of themselves in the guy’s projected image.
They wanted someone who represented their interests. Suburban Torontonians felt shut out of the political realm. For them, that was someone who was flawed and average. The narrative of his story mirrored their lives. This guy, Rob Ford, who likes things they like – was one of them. He preached a message lacking in complexity. Respect for the taxpayer, respect for the taxpayer, respect for the taxpayer.
A lot of railing against “downtown elites” who look down their noses at the unfashionable family-raising sort went on. The story shifted. The votes tallied. Suburbanites resoundingly shouted their feeling of being disrespected.
We should be listening to that message and seeking solutions to the problem.
I feel strongly that mocking a man for choosing to wear unflattering pants while grocery shopping is disrespectful. It is unhelpful. It does not build bridges. A very large segment of the population does the same. They got off their asses and voted for Ford. Things like #MayorPJMcWalmart feed into the narrative that “downtown elites” have no respect for the suburban way of life.
If we want to bridge the divide between Torontonian demographic segments, it might be time to lay down the snark and focus on respect for each other.