In politics, you're never doing badly when your rivals spend more time talking about you than they do about their own policies.
The new "scandal" that Rob Ford's desperate rivals have managed to dig up about the front running candidate in Toronto's mayoral contest involves an 11 year old uncontested DUI charge and a dropped marijuana possession charge that happened in Florida.
The only trouble Ford may have with this is that he was evasive before finally admitting to these matters which are totally irrelevant to his ability to lead Toronto as mayor.
Particularly when one considers his chief rival, George Smitherman's addiction to what he evasively described as "party drugs." That is compounded by Smitherman's baggage from the eHeath scandal and the insult to Ontario's senior citizens in nursing homes during his tenure as provincial Health Minister.
I really don't think Ford's in any trouble. He's the front-runner so all the long knives are coming out from everyone else. But this may actually be helping Ford.
1) this hysteria over trivial nonsense shows how petty and desperate his rivals have become
2) It makes Ford stand out as the only candidate that has ideas that vary from the others. I saw the Tuesday night debate and on just about every issue, it was Ford taking one position and the 4 others taking the opposite.
Only one candidate has been able to differentiate himself from the others and that's Ford.
One indication of what the city would become is all of Ford's rivals opposition to his proposal to eliminate Toronto's "Fair Wage" policy. This rule, which Ford terms "Unfair Wage Policy," forces employers who win city contracts up for tender to pay their employees at the same rate for city jobs. This drives the costs of these tenders to the city up by tens of millions of dollars and removes the competitiveness that is one of the main points of tendering contracts.
The "Fair Wage" policy is good for unions but bad for the city. That the other candidates are afraid to oppose it shows that they are beholden to the unions. And his willingness to take it on shows how Ford is not.
Toronto had a union-controlled mayor for the last 6 years and that didn't turn out very well. In October, Ford's rivals are going to hope voters are bothered more by an 11 year old joint than hundreds of millions of wasted tax dollars that career politicians have cost us in pandering to special interests. And the media hatchet-jobs by intellectual pipsqueaks who have a vested interest in condo development make Ford's supporters even more committed to him.
The Toronto Sun broke this story and comments on it are so enormously in favour of Ford that the Sun has done something I've never seen them do before. They've shut down the comments on the Ford story.