Last week, Mayor Rob Ford declared that he was at the centre of something called “Ford Nation.” This movement, he said, was gathering momentum and could steamroll Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty if the City’s demands for extra cash weren’t met. While some were skeptical that a mayor who garnered 47% of the popular vote against a weak field of candidates could wield such widespread influence, others enthusiastically backed the notion that Toronto could be at the centre of a new, more right-wing Ontario. By the end of the week, word came that Nick Kouvalis, Ford’s former chief of staff, was floating the idea of taking Ford Nation big-time, creating a “Respect for Taxpayers Action Group” that would spread the mayor’s stop-the-gravy-train message across Canada.
But has Toronto’s city council really embraced the new mayor’s agenda?
Do we, in fact, live in Ford Nation? In an effort to capture the political mood and shed some light on this, here is a Toronto City Council Scorecard: it tracks the votes of all forty-four councillors, plus the mayor, on major issues, ranging from reducing councillor expense accounts to closing the Urban Affairs library at Metro Hall. Each councillor also has a “Ford Nation Percentage,” a quick indication of how often he or she voted in harmony with the mayor.
The results are striking, and not exactly good news for Ford’s opponents: there are eighteen councillors who have voted with the mayor 100% of the time on major issues. The “mushy middle,” the group of councillors who could swing either way, have—at least so far—broken for Ford more often than not.
Want to see how your councillor stacks up? Click on one of the options below to view the City Council Scorecard sorted in three different ways:
The Toronto City Council Scorecard is cross-posted on Ford for Toronto.