Friday, May 31, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, May 31, 2013

A ticking time bomb for the Ontario Tories

Toronto city councillor Doug Ford has always been known as a pugnacious, say-anything loudmouth — even more so than his brother Rob, Mayor of the city. On Sunday, though, amidst drugs-related allegations — Rob’s alleged recent use of crack cocaine; Doug’s alleged dealing of hashish in the 1980s — the Brothers Ford cranked it up a notch on their regularly scheduled Sunday radio revue.

When PC leader Tim Hudak last visited the National Post‘s editorial board, Doug Ford had just declared his intention to contest a riding for the Tories. The party had reacted with unbridled enthusiasm. And Mr. Hudak seemed genuinely confused when some of us at the Post expressed misgivings.

Recent days have driven the point home: Doug Ford will say absolutely anything that comes into his head, without a moment’s thought to tact, let alone fact. In a recent interview with the Toronto Sun‘s Sue-Ann Levy, Mr. Ford declared his certainty that the Toronto Star timed its crack cocaine story in order to distract the media from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s troubles. This is psychedelic nonsense: The Star story was frantically written on deadline after Gawker broke its version. But this is a man for whom life seems essentially to be performance art.

On an every-man-for-himself City Council, that’s fine; in a party system, it’s not fine. Could he learn to hold his tongue? It’s entirely possible, but Mr. Hudak’s Tories seem oddly certain of it.

Doug Ford is not some garden-variety loudmouth; he makes Queen’s Park’s legacy loudmouths look like Trappist monks. He’s a magnet for controversy, a sworn and virulent enemy of the media, playing a key role in a thoroughly botched attempt to manage drug allegations against his brother. If Mr. Hudak and Company think he’s really what Ontarians want, and really what their party needs, I greatly fear for their prospects. (Source: National Post) http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/05/28/chris-selley-tim-hudaks-time-bomb/