Tag Archives: Rob Ford

Paul Donofrio: NDP Candidate. Rob Ford Supporter. Social Media Cautionary Tale.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the PC candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo, Tracey Weiler, has been running away from the PC leader Tim Hudak. In the riding of Vaughan, the ONDP and their leader Andrea Horwath, the opposite has been the case. Paul Donofrio, the ONDP candidate, has been completely ignored by his party. When he was nominated on August 10th the ONDP did a short, boilerplate press release. Since then, there has been hardly a peep about Mr. Donofrio out of the ONDP.

Paul Donofrio is a classic perennial candidate. He ran for City Council, and lost. He ran for mayor of Vaughan, and lost. And he ran in Vaughan during the 2011 election, and lost.

The point I want to make is not only that the NDP are not competitive in both by-elections (the PCs aren’t either, the Ontario Liberals are the only party competitive in both Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan.) Donofrio offers an important political social media lesson for us all. His twitter account is effectively inactive (he has tweeted 4 times since the 2011 election.) His tweets from over the last 2-and-a-bit years include non sequiturs, lots of ALL CAPS, dead links and some interesting opinions (see below.) When a candidate signs up for twitter (or any social media platform) and doesn’t know what they are doing/has no social media communications team behind them, their dead account will linger online forever. The lesson: you don’t have to get twitter just because other people have twitter. If a candidate gets twitter, make sure that they have a good team behind them and take down the account after the election if the candidate is planning on running again.

Getting back to Mr. Donofrio. Perhaps the NDP doesn’t want to draw attention to some of Mr. Donofrio’s previously held political positions. The website from his mayoral run is still up: http://www.pauldonofrio.com/ and his endorsement of Toronto Mayoral candidate Rob Ford on twitter is still up:

The next day he retweeted a Rob Ford GOTV tweet*:

“WAIT, WHAT?” you may ask. An NDP candidate endorsed Toronto’s regressive mayor? He most certainly did. Now, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. Andrea Horwarth and the Ontario NDP regularly take regressive positions because they have populist appeal (just like Rob Ford.) Andrea Horwath voted against the Clear Energy Act, the Clean Water Act and the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban.** The ONDP’s HST policy would lead to a large tax cut for big polluters. Since the 2011 election the ONDP have advocated an auto insurance scheme that would raise rates for safe drivers and lower them for dangerous drivers.***

This does raise some serious questions for Andrea Horwath and the ONDP:

Does Paul Donofrio still support Mayor Ford? How would Mr. Donofrio have voted on the PC’s motion in support of subways in Ontario? How does the ONDP reconcile their candidate’s views with the views of the ONDP?

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* Click on each picture for a link to each tweet. You can visit Paul Donofrio’s twitter page here: https://twitter.com/PAULDONOFRIONDP
** I am a big fan of bees. They gives us all of our non-wheat/rice/corn food with their pollination. The Cosmetic Pesticides Ban is a great piece of pro-bee public policy.
*** It was denounced by Andrew W. Murie, Ceo of MADD Canada: “[T]he Bill will force responsible drivers to subsidize the insurance premiums of dangerous drivers… In our view, the Bill sends all the wrong messages, punishes responsible drivers, rewards dangerous drivers, and will increase the risk to Ontario road-users.”

Doug Ford as Ozymandias (or How I learned to stop worrying and love libraries.)

“When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that society has found one more way to destroy itself.”

 – Isaac Asimov

OZYMANDIAS

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear –
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

- Percy Shelley

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I am a big Margaret Atwood fan, so when I first read that Doug Ford had ignorantly dismissed her while ignorantly dismissing libraries, I was angry. Then I realized that in 20 years no one will remember who Doug Ford is and Margaret Atwood (who has a list of accomplishments that is most likely longer than anything Mr. Ford has ever read) will still be taught in high schools, and considered a national treasurer & one of Canada’s greatest writers.

The problem with conservatives like the Ford brothers (and Stephen Harper) is that they don’t follow their nonsense anti-government philosophy to its logical end by actually cutting waste, they go after government programs that actually work efficiently (like the long-form census, and the Toronto Public Library system.) The Globe and Mail  neatly summarizes the awesomeness of Toronto’s 99 libraries: “Toronto’s system is the second largest, by number of branches, and the busiest by circulation, on the continent. New York City public libraries lent out 24 million volumes in 2010; Toronto’s lent out over 32 million. The system has innovated, offering music and e-book downloads, making Internet access widely available, delivering materials to local branches, and lending out cards that give free access to local museums.” The library is one of humanities greatest accomplishments. It is a place where anyone, literally anyone can come for the ultimate democratic experience. Immigrants and those who live in poverty can help lift themselves up with the information found in our libraries. Libraries are one of the last/best places where people are brought together in the world of social isolation that we all now inhabit. Doug Ford’s dismissal of libraries is an attack on an institution that brings out the best in people.

Finally, the fact that Doug Ford said that he would only talk to Mrs. Atwood if she were an elected politician is complete horse-feces. During the election campaign both Ford’s claimed to have received calls from private citizens demanding an end of the so-called “gravy train.” Margaret may be an internationally respect author but she is also a Torontonian, one of the “tax-payers” that the Fords falsely claim to defend.

When industrialist Andrew Carnegie wanted to create a legacy he donated money to build gigantic libraries in New York City as he knew that they were a public good. What will Doug Ford’s legacy be? A $60 saving on a car registration fee? Several bleak parking lots where libraries used to be? Look on his works, Toronto, and despair.

Update:

From July 27 to 31, Indigo Books & Music Inc. is offering library card-carrying customers a 30 per cent discount on Margaret Atwood titles.

The Grapes of Wrath

Don Cherry’s Speech to Council

Actually I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in. What’d ya expect, Ron MacLean, here? To come here?

You know, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing, coming down with Ron—Rob—and I was gonna do this here, and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I’ve been bein’ ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a pink…a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I’d wear that for him too, today.

You know, it’s funny. In those articles I was made fun of ’cause I go to church. I’m easy to do it that way. And I was called maudlin for the troops, because I honor the troops. This is the kinda, uh… You’re gonna be facin’, Rob, with these left-wing pinkos. They scrape the bottom of the barrel, but AGAIN, I was asked, why I was asked, and I asked Doug, “why?” And he said: “We need a famous, good-looking guy.” And I said, I’m your man, right? Right off the bat.

You know, I was asked: why, why, why [the] landslide. And I was in their corner right from the start. They phoned me. Doug phoned me, the morning. They’ll get a landslide! And why? Because Rob’s honest. He’s truthful. He’s like Julian Fantino. What you see is what you get. He’s no phony. And I could go on right now, all the millions and millions and thousands of dollars he’s gonna save and everything, but I’d just like to tell a little story that was in the Sun, I think it was in the back pages. It was just a little, little thing. And Fiona Crean, for eighteen months, has been trying to get something done with City Hall. And then the story—I think some of you know the story—that there was a little old lady and all of a sudden she got banged on the door and two guys were there and said: “We’re cutting your tree down.” You know that’s just a little thing, but to me that’s a big thing. “We’re cutting your tree down!”

And she’s, well: “I don’t want it. That’s my favourite tree. A hundred year-old…”

“No! It’s down. Cut it down.” And then they give her, send her a bill for five-thousand dollars, for cutting it down. And for eighteen months her son and Fiona were: “City Hall. City Hall. Please help us.” Thirty, forty calls. Unbelievable. Nothing. Laughed at. Rob’s the mayor one day, apology comes, and a five-thousand-dollar cheque.

And that’s why I say he’s gonna be the greatest mayor this city has ever, ever seen, as far as I’m concerned! And put that in your pipe, you left-wing kooks.

Thank you very much.

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Some thoughts:

  • Don Cherry did back track a little bit today.
  • Don Cherry is wealthy, and Rob Ford became wealthy at a company he inherited. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but both men need to be called on their faux-populism.
  • The day of this speech was the first time Rob Ford and Don Cherry met in person.
  • The Cold-War ended more than a decade ago. So not only is Mr. Cherry’s use of “pinko” dated, he was so unimaginative that he has to use it two times. The fact that he didn’t have the decency to break out his “Meathead-Thesaurusis what I found most insulting.
  • It was Rob Ford’s decision to invite Don Cherry to his inauguration. Ford himself actually delivered a fairly moderate speech but he set a bad tone with his choice of speaker.
  • In the National Post Tasha Kheiriddin argues that the right-wing in Canada need more “Don Cherrys.” The Conservative Party of Canada actually has a surplus of individuals who prefer yelling to rational debate so I’m inclined to disagree.
  • Was anyone really surprised that Don Cherry was so disrespectful? I didn’t lose any respect for him in the aftermath of this speech. You can’t jump out of a basement window.

Rob Ford’s Gigantic Campaign Debt: Foreboding Irony

Today the Toronto Sun reported that Rob Ford’s mayoral campaign ended with a staggering $650,000 deficit.

This is just one more example of how Mayor Elect Ford is penny wise and pound foolish (for example: replacing streetcars with buses and hiring hundreds of new TTC employees to do so.)

In many ways the 2010 Toronto Mayoral Election was in no way unique. Rob Ford’s campaign was a class conservative campaign which pitted right-wing ideology against reality. David Miller was actually a pretty good mayor and Rob Ford was the ultimate establishment candidate as a long-time city councillor.

Rob Ford is now Toronto’s mayor after an election campaign based entirely upon what he is against (art, bike lanes, and non-existent but delicious-sounding “gravy trains.”) Let’s hope the way he ran his campaign, which may have got suburban-Torontonians riled up but certainly didn’t unite the city with a grand vision, isn’t how he governs Canada’s greatest city.

$650,000, let’s stop pretending that Rob Ford is fiscally responsible.