Ha ha ha ha ha! Hey, actually, this is pretty good:
On the surface, Toronto looks better than ever. Because of our well-regulated banking system, we had an extremely mild recession. Toronto recently passed Chicago in population, and the quality of life is high, with good public schools, good free hospitals and a government that combines meaningful regulation with open markets. Toronto is basically the model of what a postindustrial city can be.
And yet the city is divided and angry. Mr. Ford has played off its fissures perfectly. City Hall is broken — a result of a disastrous amalgamation undertaken by provincial conservatives. And our failed system of government has had serious consequences. The subway system is frozen in time at approximately 1980, and a Torontonian’s average commute has recently surpassed that of an Angeleno.
Despite his racist slurs and his sister’s connection with the Ku Klux Klan, Mr. Ford’s support exists principally in the immigrant-heavy neighborhoods on the outer edges of the city, and he has built his support on the basis of their alienation. He speaks the language of thrift and outsider status to the powers that be — City Hall and the media. He has insisted on subways being built in those outlying neighborhoods rather than much more sensible light rail proposals — he insists they should get exactly what the fancy people get in the heart of the city. The rage against the old elites is evidently profound and resilient.
I love smart writers and newspapers. Ford Nation, not so much. I guess I’m just another dirty elitist.