Rob Ford: Wait! He’s not a shoo in?

On September 21, 2010, a poll conducted by Nanons Research gave Rob Ford as 24 point lead over George Smitherman, his closest rival. (see: Rob Ford: Toronto’s Next Mayor, Oye Times, Sept 21/2010)
 
In a surprise turn of events, a new poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid shows the gap between Ford and his rivals to have dramatically shrunk. This poll shows Ford at 28% while Smitherman is at 23%, just a 5 point spread down from the 24 points reported just 2 weeks ago.
 
Some analysts have stated that these new results could be the result of the efforts of the other candidates to send out the message of "anyone but Ford". Nevertheless, voting day could see just about anything at this stage of the game since Toronto’s municipal elections usually have a low voter turnout. Apparently only 40% of Torontonians bothered to cast a ballet in 2006.
 
Going from a coronation for Rob Ford to a neck and neck race with George Smitherman, the mayoral campaign was humorously explained by pollster John Wright. He described the key political differences between the 2 frontrunners by referring to this past weekend’s sports event: “Ford was angry about the road closures for Sunday’s Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Smitherman ran in it.” – Actually, Mr. Smitherman only ran in the five kilometre race but the point is nevertheless well taken.
 
Therein lies a key difference between the 2 men. While Ford has articulated over and over again a message for the "average person" of cut waste and reduce spending, the analysts say that Ford seems to fail to grasp that things are not quite as simple as Ford pretends. The message may have resonated with the voters but once behind the wheel, Ford may find himself in for a surprise in trying to enact all the supposed fixes he claims to have for what ails Toronto. – As an aside my wife reminded me of this past weekend: Rob Ford is rich; he’s a millionaire. Being a spokesman for the "average guy" seems a bit of a contradiction.
 
Monday, September 27: Rob Ford’s Saving Our City Plan

Ford has released a video explaining his financial plan for the city. (Oye Times: article by Tapa Menon and video) Once again, there are lot of great talking points but do the numbers add up? While cutting city council in half seems like a great cost-cutting measure, Ford turns around and promises to drop the land transfer tax and the vehicle registration tax. This may be catchy for grabbing voters, but with those 2 taxes clocking it at $250 million per year, just where in the heck does Ford propose to find the money? That is a huge chunk of change which must be at least equalled elsewhere in terms of cuts.
 
In the coming days, newspapers and pundits will be analysing Ford’s plan. We will see what the future holds for us. As I said in my last article:
 
If we all vote Ford into office, let us all hope he is actually up to the job. If not, we will all pay dearly for our mistake.
 
Click HERE to read more columns by William Belle 

References

 
Ipsos Canada: With a Month to Go, It’s Shaping Up to Be a Horserace for Toronto Mayor
Unfortunately, you seem to need a subscription to see the actual poll. Nevertheless, the "overview" states that Ford is ranked at 28% while Smitherman is 23%.
 
official web site: Rob Ford
 
official web site: George Smitherman
 
official web site: Sara Thomson
 
official web site: Joe Pantalone
 
official web site: Rocco Rossi
 
video: Rob Ford’s Saving Our City Plan
 
2010-09-27
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