Politics isn’t always all sunshine and rainbows for those elected to serve. Sometimes politicians have to face upset constituents or voters, sometimes for reasons that are beyond there control and other times for reasons that they are the cause of. So in the grand scheme of things, to go to a public event and face upset or angry folks isn’t a new thing or concept. Yet from time to time, you witness something that shows that things aren’t normal, that the people are very upset, that you might be totally off the mark. Last night one such event happened in Toronto, amazingly live on TSN:
That was Ontario Premier Doug Ford getting booed….. at the Special Olympics. Think about that for a second; when have you ever seen a politician get booed at a Special Olympics event? On top of that, think of the timing of this happening; Doug Ford hasn’t even been Premier for a year yet and he’s managed to create the environment that led to that video. And in this case, those boos were completely earned due to the Ford Conservatives ugly cuts to Autism services in the province, that have devastated so many families.
When faced with such an event, most politicians would take a moment to think about what happened to them. They would reflect, maybe look inward a bit and ask themselves what brought that about and how they might do better. I’ve seen politicians get booed in many environments and places before, but I’ve never seen anything like that before. So you’d think that this would be one of those times for introspection, but folks, to think that would be to ignore who Doug Ford is. And well, Doug Ford shone through in his responses to this event as only Doug Ford and a hand full of others would:
Even now, there is no humility, no introspection, no nothing. Just spouting off easily provable lies. First he says he’s never been booed before, when the truth is that this was far from a new experience from him, as noted above. But that’s not the worst fib by far, oh no, no, no. The worst fib came next, one that was obviously just wrong but flat out insulting to the historical record and those who were subject to it:
Kind of like when dealing with a certain American President these days, I hate to say that we’ve come to expect a fair number of creative mistruths from this Premier, which is a sad commentary onto itself. But what makes this all the worse is this guys gaul to say that he’s “spent his whole life helping children with special needs”, when that’s just not true. We all remember the story from his Toronto City Hall days, that came up again in the last provincial election, about his attempts to close a home for people with autism. Remember he went so far as to say it a “ruined” a neighbourhood, and then blamed the Ontario Liberals for not doing anything about it. He actually berated the staff running the group home, saying that they “ruined the community” and even said he’d personally “buy the house myself and resell it”, effectively closing the home. Yes, don’t you feel that love, care and compassion for people with autism?
Stories like these are just a strong reminder of why elections matter so much. I don’t expect Mr. Ford or his party to learn anything from this episode, nor do I expect the crap lines like those uttered today to stop; it’s not in their MO and this is just who they are. We’ve got another three years of this and I doubt that this will be the last time that Premier Ford will face such a booing that is so well earned by his decisions and behaviour. It’s just striking to me that last nights event happened only 11 months after the last election; that’s how little time it took. You see this kind of thing happening years into a term, long after the bloom has come off the electoral rose. The fact that this bloom died in less than a calendar year is just another striking achievement from this government. It also portends three rough years ahead for the people of Ontario, you know, the same people they say this government is for. But they should have no illusions or confusion; they were saying boo and those are boos that Mr. Ford has earned.