Coyne On Ford

Andrew CoyneIn a National Post column yesterday, Andrew Coyne (pictured) offered up a firm denunciation of the mess Toronto currently finds itself in. After recapping the litany of misdeeds by Ford and suggesting that what’s playing out at city hall these days should have caused any self-respecting politician to resign long ago, Coyne turns his attention to those in the Ford circle (staff, media commentators, partisan supporters) who have enabled his dysfunctional behaviour since he was elected mayor in 2010.

They are certainly deserving of criticism, but Coyne saves his harshest words for strategists who crafted Ford’s image as a populist mayor whose mission was to protect the suburban “little guy” from the downtown urban elite. It’s the type of populism, Coyne adds, that has become a “playbook” for the right in Canada at all levels of government.

Here’s Coyne in his own words:

And of all his enablers, the most culpable are the strategists, the ones who fashioned his image as the defender of the little guy, the suburban strivers, against the downtown elites, with their degrees and their symphonies — the ones who turned a bundle of inchoate resentments into Ford Nation. Sound familiar? It is the same condescending populism, the same aggressively dumb, harshly divisive message that has become the playbook for the right generally in this country, in all its contempt for learning, its disdain for facts, its disrespect of convention and debasing of standards. They can try to run away from him now, but they made this monster, and they will own him for years to come.

Get help? He’s had plenty.


Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

5 thoughts on “Coyne On Ford”

  1. As for this, well, yes, it’s insightful for the average Canadian; Coyne, however, has been pretty reliably right of centre supportive of this type of strategy, at least until recently. It took a wholly unattractive train wreck like Ford to get him to turn his back on this Tea Party/George Bush/Stephen Harper/Brad Wall (little guy against the “Big Unions”) messaging. There seem to be a lot of national reporters with right-sympathies who’ve been moving more to the centre, following careers as self-styled business-friendly iconoclasts. I don;t really buy it.

    It’s great that Coyne published this in a business-friendly mainstream paper; I guess that lends it more credibility. However, states-side and even in the alternative press here, dissecting and calling the right and guys like Ford on their phony-palookaville bullllshit is standard fare. When is Coyne going to call out Stephen Harper for his embarrassing forays into piano performance and book-writing?

  2. Talbot: your final sentence is either an attempt at wit or a demonstration of pettiness. As to your perception of national reporters, you should go back farther in history. Since before PE Trudeau, reporters have tended more to the right than the left. Look up how many journalists have run for federal office in the last 50 years, and you’ll find a significant number in Conservative ranks, and this long before Mr. Harper and the united right.

  3. All of a sudden, even the Sun has turned against Ford. They used to put his big tough guy slogans on their front page daily, but now enough people are outraged that it’s convenient to suddenly act as if they knew it all along. When it happens in the National Post, it’s just slightly less obvious.

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