The night before E-Day and the campaigns are pushing, hard or not, to hit the last few swing seats. Smart war rooms have closed down the news cycle and are throwing what resources they have left at GOTV efforts for the Day. (Really smart campaigns have been working the advanced polls to get as many of their committed voters “in the box” before E-Day as possible.
The media seem to be hedging a bit as the polls are pretty inconclusive – JT up a bit, but then there is EKOS… – but they are all pretty sure Harper screwed himself being seen at a Ford Brothers shindig on Saturday night.
Chris Selley marked the desperation:
And then, there was Saturday night — a brand new low for a conservative party that has abandoned so very many of its conservative principles. Drugs or no drugs, the Fords’ politics is a flailing, nihilist mashup of spite, fantasy and delusion masquerading as “Respect for Taxpayers.” The Tories wear that now. If they lose on Monday, they will have utterly debased themselves doing so. national post
Young Justin, fresh from discovering that one of his key campaign aides has been peddling advice on how to reach out to the new Prime Minister, went deep Annex on Harper:
Trudeau, asked during an appearance in Montreal about the prime minister’s association with the Ford brothers, said Harper should be “embarrassed that he’s having to count on the support of Rob Ford for his re-election.” national post
The Fords touch a very deep-rooted snobbery which lies at the heart of Canadian politics. Rob Ford’s fall from a weird sort of grace was, from the Annex and the deep bunkers of the CBC and the Toronto Star all the way to the languor of the virtual common room which the Globe and Mail effects, a much needed correction in the Canadian universe. People like the Fords, brash, uncouth, beer-drinking – Labatts not artisanal – get up the noses of the decent people who recycle, cry for refugees and are convinced global warming is the moral challenge of our age.
Oddly the people whining about Harper sharing a stage with the Fords were not going to vote for Harper. The question is will Ford Nation turn out? Harper probably has very little time for the Fords; but he needs the votes they can bring in order to win the suburban ridings which ring the orange and red ridings of downtown Toronto.
Like most Canadian elections, this election is not going to be won in the downtown core of Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or Calgary: it will be won in the burbs. Burbs where Ford Nation and the bluer sort of Tory feel right at home. The years that Jason Kenny has invested in the Sikh and Chinese and Hindu communities have made whole tracts of the burbs winable CPC seats. An ethnic strategy which recognizes the social conservatism of many ethnic communities is about to be tested.
The Canadian “middle class” does not live downtown. It lives in cul d’sacs and townhouses and Vancouver Specials. For a decade Harper and the CPC have been weaning it away from the Liberal Party. Ford Nation is about aspiration.
Aspirational, middle class, voters are a huge part of this election. Either the CPC strategy has worked and these voters will stay aligned with Harper and the CPC and their pocketbooks or it will have failed and those voters will take a flyer on JT.
Chris and Justin are “shocked and appalled” that Harper would take seriously these sorts of people. It will be interesting to see if Harper has made an astute political bet or if Ford Nation is just déclassé bluster.