It looks like George Smitherman is really desperate. The Ontario’s Provincial Liberal Party just endorsed his mayoral campaign. In normal circumstances, that would have been a marvellous news for him, but Smitherman never ran under normal circumstances.
His whole campaign was designed to show him as a fiscally responsible candidate, who would change the way the city politics is conducted. It’s my guess that with his popularity lagging behind Ford, he requested Dalton McGuinty’s support, but the latter opened again the jam-packed with skeletons closet, which Smitherman so carefully tried to hide until now.
Everybody who has followed the Ontario politics even vaguely, would be reminded again about his participation in the government that brought the largest deficit in the province’s history. They will also remember the numerous tax grabs that have delivered very little to the people who pay the taxes. And let’s not forget the eHealth scandal, with him as a major participant, which cost the people of Ontario over one billion dollars.
Of course all these things are important only to the people, who are really taxed to death and want to stop the robbery.
However, for Smitherman’s hardcore supporters those are small insignificant details. It’s much more important to stop that grumpy and so un-romantic guy named Rob Ford, who wants to cut the taxes and stop the wonderful gravy train.
Yes, if you don’t work a real job, you probably wouldn’t support Ford, because Smitherman offers much better promises. If you are a social activist, who relies for living on the subsidies provided by the government for your organization, Ford is not your guy. If you work for an educational institution getting an income guaranteed for life, you will never figure out why all other people who struggle to keep their jobs get so upset when you want to give away their money to phoney refugees and weird artists. If you are college student who studies on mommy’s and daddy’s dime, you would be puzzled why your parents hate to watch thugs trash police cars, when in your opinion those thugs just express their protest against an “oppressive” society.
Smitherman is so out of touch with Toronto’s reality that it isn’t even funny. At least he will have a built-in excuse for his defeat: as the first serious gay contender for the mayor’s position, he can always blame it on the bigotry of the Torontonians (if he doesn’t use this move, his supporters certainly will).
But the voters don’t care about sexual orientation or any other minor issue: all they want is somebody, who would be serious enough to notice and respect them. Let’s hope that they will get him.