Magazine for professional home renovators.

Why so many of us still support Rob Ford

Earlier today, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford filed his papers to officially put himself on the ballot for another term as the city’s chief magistrate when mayoral elections are held in October.

Only six weeks ago, Ford’s indiscretions went around the globe, making him the laughing stock of the free world. Yet even at the peak of his humiliation, a Sun Media poll showed that his approval rating in Toronto remained respectable (42 per cent) and in an election held today he’d win 33 per cent of the votes.

Polls like this make Ford-haters apoplectic and, more importantly, blind to the reasons why, I believe, the man will get re-elected this fall. (Mark it on your calendar and congratulate me when it happens.) Ford’s popularity is no surprise to business owners who have to deal with government agencies who make them feel like a disrespected outsiders – especially if you’re a contractor. There is no gravy train for us.

When I was a framer, Local 183 of the Brotherhood of Something or Other came to town and forced me to unionize. My piecework pay remained the same. In fact, everything remained the same except that every two weeks the union boss would come around to take his cut. The union very quickly became another mouth to feed. Even though I was a “member,” I was an outsider to Local 183, useful only for my ability to pay the salaries of its employees.What make it all the more galling was the pretending. The guy that came to collect the union dues was full of public relations speak about how valuable the union was to me and how much it was going to help me secure my future. And I had to nod and smile as I handed over the money lest I be labeled a dissenter.

Government workers enjoy public service salaries and almost total job security  from a deep well of funding provided by us, the outsiders. We see them when they come to our jobsites to check our paperwork and our green-tag boots and shut us down if we don’t comply.

Rob Ford’s fiscal fanaticism and crude behavior makes him the mortal enemy of the “in-crowd.” The city’s broken, hard-bitten, feral citizens recognize him as one of their own somehow snuck inside, now tearing up the privileged, hard-packed ground and mocking the entitled class with his vulgarity.

The insiders will kill Rob Ford eventually (hopefully, only politically) but while he is still breathing, you should support him because he is one of us. Hold your nose if you have to.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by
Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. Rkoci@bizinfogroup.ca 647 407 0754
55 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. WELL SAID

    He is one politician that is fighting the unions and other government privileged.

    The interesting thing is that more and more people are starting to recognize the unfair situation that now exists.
    People in the private sectors are starting to grasp the costs of salaries, benefits and pension plans that the public sector workers enjoy at the expense of our tax dollars…….and the reality that the cost of these programs is not sustainable.

    There was a time when many would consider the benefits that public sector employees were getting and think… ” good for them ! ”
    BUT, now, most people don’t have these kinds of perks in their employment anymore and are often struggling just to make ends meet.
    So now the sentiment is ” why should my tax dollars give them so much, when I can’t get any of those benefits myself”
    And, hopefully, that is the beginning of a turning tide.

    We need politicians like Rob Ford that are able to fight for us and our tax dollars……and say ” we can’t afford that ! “

    • Fact: He never fought any of the unions,

      …he gave the TTC an essential service designation and we are paying millions more for it, he gave the TPS union a guarantee that they will be paid the highest of all police forces for years to come. He contracted out a bit of garbage= to his friend.

  2. Except despite his hard stance, many unions actually got raises out of him. Most notably TTC employees and police officers. But it is not as if facts have ever meant anything meaningful to Ford Nation.

    • Look friend, the TTC needed this done, no raise, just an essential service, so no more leaving my teenaged daughter stranded on the subway at 1 in the morning.

      So far as the police go, time you do some proper research, the only reason they got a raise is because of all that is wrong with the union construct but more importantly it was because of the HUGE raise that Dalton gave to the O.P.P.

      • by making it an essential service, it cost the city millions more. Your daughter is getting the same level of service, nice try!

  3. @Dennis Charron – We just learned this week that CEO salaries are 171 times the average Canadian’s salary. The ratio used to be more like 50:1. THAT is why private sector employees do not have the wages & benefits they used to. Executives are keeping it for themselves. Why not go after them? They can afford to share. Why should everyone else have to reduce their expectations EXCEPT executives?

    • This is bang on. And somehow the “solution” is not to raise private sector wages — it’s to drag down people who work for the city!

    • W/E, what about all the athletes, musicians, actors/actresses and the list goes on and on and on, how much are they making relative to the average joe.

      There are far far far more of these people then there are CEO’s, give it up already.

      • Gary, Those actors are employing others at fair wages. If an exec has the lions share of the money and the workers are struggling to get by, that is called an inequitable equation. Maybe grade 5 shouldn’t have been your last year of education.

  4. It sounds like you don’t like your union.

    “We see them when they come to our jobsites to check our paperwork and our green-tag boots and shut us down if we don’t comply.” You need these people to check these things, because if unchecked, bad stuff happens. If you think for a second that most employers would not take shortcuts to save a buck, think again.

    “you should support him because he is one of us” That is the curtain the magical Oz has drawn. Are you a career politician born on 3rd base with a silver spoon in your mouth? And drop out of university? Did you inherit a successful business? Do you smoke crack, lie about it, make insinuations about the anybody disputing this, only to confess when the heat was on? Do you chug vodka while driving? Do you barely show up to work and meet your drug dealers during work hours

    “Rob Ford’s fiscal fanaticism and crude behavior makes him the mortal enemy of the “in-crowd.” The city’s broken, hard-bitten, feral citizens recognize him as one of their own somehow snuck inside, now tearing up the privileged, hard-packed ground and mocking the entitled class with his vulgarity.” If this is how people pick their leaders, people who are supposed to have a vision and act upon it, Winston Churchill was right about everything he said about democracy.

    • Robert Koci

      I was not a big fan of my union, for sure.

      Smoking crack does not keep a person from having a vision for the future of anything, including a city. It’s the excecution of the vision that is affected.

      I never defended his behaviour, I was trying to explain why he is so liked. He appeals to people who are fed up with being talked to like children by a political class that always seems to think they are better (more moral) than you and know better than you how to spend your money. They are the Pharisees of today’s political class. Preaching judgement, full of dead men’s bones.

      If someone wants to oppose him, they had better understand the disafection he has so effectively captured.

      • Rob Ford was voted in on a platform of reform , no different than Mike Harris was !
        His Job is to stop the hemorrhaging of city monies from this corrupt bunch of ( supposedly)straight walking stuffed whiteshirts and Unions !( who in fact dont give a damn where the money comes from , even if its borrowed! and impossible to pay back !)
        Hes here to save thius otherwise beautiful city from bankruptcy.
        That was his mandate !
        If anyone can prove that he hasnt done his job because he was smoking crack , id certainly love to hear from you !

        Very very well articulated comment mr Koci !!
        You certainly havnt missed you calling !
        im on your team .
        Where do i sign ??

      • Robert Koci

        No signing necessary. Thanks for your comment.

      • Are you suggesting Rob Ford has ‘vision for the future’? Are you insane? That is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. PS. I don’t like unions either, but I detest the Fords much more.

    • Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were university dropouts as well. If you posted this using an Apple-based or Windows-based product, and in all likelihood you are, passing judgment on another for being in the same boat is hypocritical.

      If you think for a second that most employers would not take shortcuts to save a buck, think again.

      I suggest to you that you have a listen to Yaron Brook sometime. He’s got a wonderful take on this pertaining to elevators. If there were no government inspectors, elevators would be just as safe, if not safer, than they are now. Killing elevator occupants and their workers isn’t good for business, in terms of the court of public opinion, in terms of lawsuits, and in terms of getting hired in the future to build elevators.

      I suspect the contactor who wrote this post will know exactly what I’m referring to.

  5. Thanks for your responses…..you both have valid points.

    it’s unfortunate and unfair that CEO’s make so much more that the people that work for them…..but that’s a different battle that I don’t think our politicians can regulate….(although I wish they could)
    and although it may very well be a contributing factor to the reduction in pay / benefits that private sector workers get, I would suspect that the day to day reality of the current world financial situation is the main culprit.
    There just isn’t as much money to be made out there as there used to be……it’s that simple.
    And that’s also true about incoming public taxes……there’s just just not as much coming in, as there are expenses to pay for.
    So our politicians need to stop spending more than what we’ve got.

    As far as some of the raise that have come for the TTC and police, I’m not against that. Everybody deserves to have their pay move along with the cost of living.
    It’s the golden hand shake pensions , banked sick days and job security despite accountability that need to be addressed

    • The hate on for CEOs who make a lot of money is misplaced – it does not consider that they could be gone tomorrow if the tide turns (granted they leave with some great benefit packages). But it is also a job that is 24/7/365. If any employee, public sector or private sector, wants to work those hours be may guest but you will not get overtime pay. Most people want to go to their job a 8 and be gone by 5, no evenings or weekend work. Most people also don’t have the passion that it takes to drive a company or organization. In one of the first professional jobs I had, one of the employees expressed to me that she should have been hired into my job. I asked her what she thought I did – her response was telling – “you read a lot and talk on the phone”. She had no concept of my job and never would, but she was convinced that she could and should do it. I suspect that if you asked employees what they thought the CEO did they would say that he/she attends meetings, talks on the phone, goes to lunch and parties – no actual content.

      Are all CEOs worth the money paid to them – probably not, but that is up to the owners of the company or the shareholders – NOT government, NOT unions and NOT employees.

  6. “a political class that always seems to think they are better (more moral) than you and know better than you how to spend your money. They are the Pharisees of today’s political class. Preaching judgement, full of dead men’s bones.”

    Who are you talking about? I mean that quite literally. Who has been talking like that in Toronto’s political discourse? Off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone who could accurately be described that way.

    • Robert Koci

      “Who” they are depends on your particular obsession. For Ford’s supporters, it is the Toronto Star and left wing city politicians and special interest lobby groups like the People Against Poverty coalition or any one of the many environmental activist groups that use public money to further their cause. It might be the anti-Island Airport expansion lobby. It could be the smoking ban lobby. It is people that want to force their brand of morality on them.

      • But doesn’t Rob Ford force his brand of morality on others? E.g. his goal of “reducing the size of government”. That is not everyone’s goal. A great example is his move to shut down libraries, when there were clearly many Torontonians who strongly disagreed.

        Every example you give – anti-poverty, environment, island airport, smoking – has at least one group who are pushing FOR that very thing. That is also forcing morality. How is “people should be allowed to smoke wherever they want” not just as much of a moral position as “people should be free from the carcinogens of secondhand smoke”?

  7. You have lost me on this one Robert. Rob Ford is pathetic. What has he really done for you?

    • Robert Koci

      All I was trying to do was to point out why he is popular, not whether he was a good mayor. It’t the popularity that is the story, I think, and I was trying to explain it.

      I believe Ford’s popularity comes from people who, similarly to people involved in small business, feel powerless in the face of political privilege. It comes from people who see no way to stop their taxes from subsidizing policy that goes against their conservative values and erodes their standard of living without providing any benefit in return.

      Whether he actually does anything to help them, this is his brand, and it remains very successful, even as the vast political machine of the city of Toronto rails against him. YOu could make the point that is the hatred he receives from the political class that fuels his popularity. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

      • fail.

        I ain’t even a contractor but I URGE you all to FIRE ROBERT KOCI

      • Robert Koci

        The good news is that if I don’t do my job I will be fired. As a worker in the private sector, I am on a very short leash.

      • that is good news.

  8. @Dennis Charron – Sure politicians can regulate CEO pay. They are working on that right now in Switzerland. (I think to 12 times average pay or thereabouts.) We could do it here too, by TELLING our politicians to do it. We don’t have to just roll over and let income inequality happen.

    And do you know why there isn’t as much tax coming into public coffers? Corporate tax cuts, for the most part. PLENTY of money is being made, and executives are keeping it. That’s why there are more billionaires in the world than ever before. Lots of companies post record profits every year. You can look all of this up for yourself, you don’t have to take my word for it.

    It’s not the retired government clerk on a modest pension (that he/she paid into for years) sucking up all the money in this wealthy country. It’s the guy with 6 multi-million dollar house around the world.

    • Income inequality is just another word for individuals who have failed to fulfill their dreams and are blaming others for it. Look in the mirror – can you really say that you did all that you could to succeed – were you prepared to move to another location to get work (or did you expect that your seasonal job in PEI was going to provide you with the same salary as the oil rig worker); was your education in one of the soft areas (any program the ends in studies) vs the STEM areas; did you actually complete high school or did you default to a GED; etc. etc. etc.

      Yes there are some people (and it is only some people) where the blocks did not fall into line, but in most cases it is adults making poor decisions and adults have the right to make poor decisions. But they don’t have the right to blame others!

  9. Robert Koci

    It is true, there are a lot more rich people in the world today than there ever was. But when I buy their products, I chose to do so and the choosing is immediate and clear. They are rich by my choice. They provided a service I wanted. Not so the public servant.
    More importantly, I can’t identify with that rich guy but I can identify with the government clerk. I know the service he provided. I know how hard he worked because he was bragging about how little he did for his pay and his pension when I saw him at the neighbourhood barbecue.
    I don’t want him to be poor, but I want him to be paid like me. That might be unfair, but so is his defined pension benefit plan and retirement at 50.

    • That is an unfair characterization of public sector workers. Obviously they don’t all do as little as possible or your toilet wouldn’t flush, your kids wouldn’t have a school to go to, and you’d have to pay out of pocket to get that broken tree removed from your street. But I guess you don’t really want those services?

      How about INCREASING private sector workers’ pay and benefits to be equivalent to the public sector? Why just keep accepting less and less? So there can be more billionaires for you not to identify with?

      And how will you choose to buy the rich person’s products (huge assumption there that the rich person actually made anything, they have gotten rich off stock market shenanigans, but anyway) if your wages just keep falling?

      • Robert Koci

        You are correct, it is an unfair characterization of the public sector. I appologize.

        But it is true that the public sector is now paid on average 30 per cent more than the private sector. That is an inequality that needs to be corrected.

  10. Going back to the thesis of this article, as to why Ford is so popular, I will admit that Ford has rewritten the book on political science, arguably for the better. He does do a good job at giving people a voice, being relatable and down to earth, and not talking down to his constituents. This is a refreshing change, and isn’t even mentioning his master sloganeering.

    That said, one can have these qualities without being a wife beating, crack smoking, gang banging bigot. These qualities need to be adapted by all politicians across the spectrum, and as a society we would be better off for it.

    • Robert Koci

      Not sure wife beating is on the list of his faults, but never mind. I think you’ve hit on an important question: what kind of person DOES it take to be able to handle the incredible hatred directed at them when they rewrite the rules on how political power is aquired? Maybe it DOES take a crack smoking, bigoted guy with a thick skin and an incredible appetite for punishment.

      • Mr. Koci,

        Are you trying to say that there is NO other candidate among those running in the coming election that you would rather have as Mayor?

        It is interesting that you excuse the Mayor’s excesses, not because he ever helped you with anything, but because you had the feeling he sympathized. Given his lying about everything else, poor attendance record, false ‘constituent visits’, and general incompetence, could you not find that sympathy from a competent Mayor?

      • I would rather have someone like Ford who has many obvious faults that some self-serving nanny who ‘knows’ what is good for me and is out to ‘save’ me from something that only they know is important.

        At the end of the day, where are the criminal charges against Ford or is his opponents going to spring those 1 month before the election?

        He lied about a personal issue – again I would rather have a politician lie about a personal issue than lie about the taxes they are taking from me to use for some personal project they are going to try to convince me is ‘good for me’.

        The point of the article is correct – way too many politicians pretending to have the voter’s best interests at heart when the wouldn’t ever talk to any voter who doesn’t agree with them. There is a concept called ‘how thick is your bubble?” and for many politicians their bubble is very thick in that they only ever consult or meet with people who think and reaffirm exactly what they think. Ford, I suspect has a very thin bubble as he will talk to anyone and be friends with anyone including drug dealers (who after all are residents and voters of Toronto as well)

  11. Please. There will be many candidates who hate unions just as much as you. It doesn`t mean that we should put up with a lying, drunk, crack smoking, bully.

    • Robert Koci

      Pearl E. Gates? Seriously?

      • you can only comment on a person’s screen name? Seriously?

        The intelligent, productive discussion continues …

      • Robert Koci

        Just trying to lighten the mood.

      • maybe you should stick to the discussion instead of trying to be a jokester. What was that about getting fired if you don’t do your job? Is being a comedy emcee part of your job?

      • Robert Koci

        Keeping the content civil and establishing our brand is certainly part of my job. And the end of the day, I approve your comments before they appear, and I and the editor Steve Payne have control over the content.

  12. Why would anyone support a wife-beating bigot?

    Presumably because they are wife-beaters or bigots.

    Nothing else need be said.

    • You forgot to mention fat slob,
      Bad role Model
      Non attendee , go to the family cottage instead of the Gay pride parade kinda guy .
      Only mayor in the world who has had warts….. big ones …..and got caught with them
      Anymore defamatory and immaterial comments we can find here ?
      have we missed anymore derogatory embellishments ?
      step up to the plate !
      We may be able to save the liberal agenda once and for all !

      Have you noticed the shoulders on this guy ?

      So what would you say Ontarios new premier is Gay , or queer? and a certified liar ? or “typical politician” that lobbies the “politically correct ” proper channels ?or purveyor of smoke, mirrors and other distractions ?
      Name calling is an unfair , last resort childs game !

      Has this city saved any money due to Fords tenure here ?
      Did the otherwise good lookin mayor Miller do even one single iota better ?
      If anyone reading this could recoup the billions of tax payers monies from the
      now cancelled gas fired hydro plant in Oakville from the appealingly politically correct mr Guinty ..once again ,please by all means , step up to the plate now !!

      AND DO IT ! dont just talk about doing it !or belittle the impact it has had on the tax paying public !

      I for one , and i KNOW i speak for many would like to see where the rubber hits the road !
      Sure Mayor Ford a public buffoon ,

      So are a lot of people i know of , that do the job they pledged to do !

  13. Robert Koci, you are quite gullible if you believe what you say you about Ford.

    • Make that profoundly gullible.

      • Bobo: You should use your real name when you post to our site. It gives your comments more credibility.
        As for my “gullibility,” I an curious to know exactly what I am gullible about? Who is pulling the wool over my eyes?

  14. Vote Ford, because who cares about having a leader who obeys the law, doesn’t lie all the time and has a basic grasp of facts?

    • Robert Koci

      None of us, let alone politicians, obey the law, don’t lie and never miss a fact. Even by the Toronto Star’s count, he has saved tax payers $800,000. That money that city residents can now use to buy food, put their kids in hockey or do whatever they want with. He got the subway he promised Scarboro. He IS doing what he said he would do. That is unusual in a politician of any stripe.

      • so you’re going with the “takes one to know one”/”I know you are, but what am I?” route. Amazing. I can’t believe you’re an associate anything of anything.

        Also, all of this “he’s doing what he said he would do” nonsense is just that. Nonsense. Most of the things he’s “done” have been “done” by others (i.e. budgets that save money, etc). He has not acted alone in this. Moreover, he’s doing a lot of things he didn’t say he’d do (purchase illegal drugs, lie to everyone in the city), and there’s a lot of stuff he SAID he’d do, but hasn’t done (subways funded by the private sector, being accountability to the mayor’s office).

        Your support of him is nothing short of pathetic.

  15. Excellent piece! And I agree with you 100%! The sheeple who prattle on and on abut how much they hate Rob Ford, and mock Ford Nation can all take a flying leap! Their hollow claims and empty accusations are so clearly just sour grapes on their part. They are nothing but a pack of disingenuous rabid left-wing malcontents, and talk nothing but trash about Rob and Doug, and Ford supporters!

    The fact of the matter is the haters just don’t matter! The upper class is far outnumbered by we lower and middle class citizens, and we are the ones that voted mayor Ford into office, and we are also the ones that will keep him there. All the morons and pinkos in Toronto will not stop us!

    See you in October, you leftist losers! ;)

  16. Rob, I have thought quite a bit about all your comments about Rob Ford.
    You are correct when you say that most likely he will win due to his popularity. However the question remains is he the best man for the job of Mayor of the largest city in Canada. The answer is a profound NO.

    The question I put to you and the Canadian Contractor Magazine is this. What has Rob Ford done for any contractors in the city of Toronto in the past 4 years?
    Where was he when Canadian Contractor Magazine and others were opposing the College of Trades when it came in last year? Was he seen at any of the protests about the College of Trades?
    What was his stance on Bill 119 WSIB ruling for self employed owner operators?
    What has Rob Ford done about the Building permit process in Toronto to help the independent renovators and contractors get their permits faster and streamlining the process?
    What about the parking in Toronto. How many small builders, renovators and home services have to include parking tickets into their quotes because they get no leniency with the City. Is there anything that can be done about this issue?

    Why was there a visible absence of Rob Ford when the young man fell to his death in August in downtown Toronto? Where were his comments about improving the Health and Safety of the workers?

    I think these would be some of the issues that Rob Ford should be asked during this election year as well as every other municipal candidate across the GTA and in every other municipality across the country when their elections come up.

    Isn’t it time that the Contractors had a better voice in the city especially considering how much income to the city is generated from the construction industry.

    These views are my personal opinions and not the opinions of CARAHS.

    • Your question about what has Ford done for contractors is revealing – NO politician should be doing ANYTHING for a special interest group of any political stripe. They should be doing things for the city as a whole, not to please a special interest group. And Ford, in his bumbling and impolite way, was heading in that direction.

      Politics is too much about meeting the needs of fickle special interest groups rather than addressing the overall needs of a city, province or country.

  17. Having done some web-related work for government-funded organizations as a contractor, I can attest to paragraph 4 in spades. The only thing the public sector workers involved with these organizations were good for is rationalizing their own existences and forcing me to cope with bizarre regulations and rules that ended up making a two-month project drag out over 3 years. Of course, they were all crying wolf about how hard they worked and how difficult their jobs were, even though most of them were never in the office. This is the gravy train being spoken of…overly paid pseudo-workers who can turn an air conditioner into a heater with the power of fanatical speech and nothing whatsoever to back it up.

    Here’s something for every Ford basher to think about…right now, the alternative candidates to Ford include a saxophone player, a Nazi, a pothead, a guy who’s campaigning on becoming “Beer Mayor” and creating laws supporting public drinking, and an OPSEU local chapter leader. How does smoking crack and drinking really stand out as a negative when compared with all of that? I’m not saying any mayor should do that, but Toronto’s in the unenviable position thus far of having to pick between the “lesser of about 20 evils”.

  18. Thank you Mr Ford , you have done a wonderful job at running City hall !! your powers as Mayor should have never been taken from you. But don;t worry all councilors will hang them selves with the voters, they already have . Your powers were stripped & in the next breath our property taxes went up more because they are to lazy to find ways off cutting spending , instead of hitting the taz payers again. People will soon start to really protest in this country !! I’ll be right in line with the protesters !! enough is enough !!! old saying you can’t get blood out of a turnip !! Good luck Mr. Ford, you got our vote again !!

  19. Rob Ford voted to increase taxes to cover over $900 million to spend on a three-stop subway extension that would serve fewer people than the grade-separated LRT (that wouldn’t have taken away any lanes of traffic because it was just going where the SRT is now) that we would not have had to raise any of the $900 million for. Not to mention squandering $660 million dollars of federal taxpayers money on the same. Also if not for him, the Scarborough LRT would be under construction now not in a few years. The reason he is still popular is because he is a master at misleading people about things like this.

    • Oh please Jim, how convenient that you leave out the fact that his major platform item from the election was subways, guess why that did not happen, because of slimy maneuvering on council to try and undermine the mayor, by Stintz and Matlow among others.

      In other words, the subway should have been dealt with long before it was actually dealt with, so none of the wasted money should have been wasted if not for those on council who had ulterior motives to undermine the mayor and considering that one of them is now running for mayor that in of itself confirms that, presuming of course one remains objective and looks at the whole picture that way as well.

      Going by one of Fords enemies and that would be Daniel Dale and the Toronto Star Ford has saved the city close to 700 million and considering the source it would seem conceivable that the number is even higher, this is how one helps to get a shovel in the ground for a project as big as a subway, find savings then use it for something bigger and better.

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