Blaming Doug Ford For Conservative Defeat Is Weak & Wrong

Ford is more popular in Ontario than Andrew Scheer is.

A big part of leadership is persuasion. Can you make a case that causes people to reconsider something, or view it from a new perspective?

For example, the idea that Doug Ford has gone around slashing everything in Ontario is widely accepted, yet isn’t actually the case.

Spending in Ontario has gone up, and is up even from the Wynne years. What has changed is the rate of spending increases. And of course, we know that reducing the rate of spending increases is not actually a cut.

That’s the case that Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives could have been making, instead of hiding Doug Ford away. They could have used the spotlight of the campaign to – instead of hiding Ford – to help improve his popularity numbers and thus improve their own chances, by pushing back against the false ‘Ford cuts’ narrative.

And when it comes to Ford’s popularity, the idea that he is some sort of universally-loathed figure is simply false.

As I wrote back in June, the evidence seems clear that Doug Ford is actually more popular than Justin Trudeau:

“The latest Angus-Reid Institute survey of the approval ratings of Canada’s provincial premiers shows Doug Ford with 36% approval. The Ford PCs won 40.5% of the vote in the provincial election, meaning that he is keeping almost all of his support – despite making some tough decisions forced on him by the horrendous record of the Ontario Liberals.

So, Ford is at 36%.

What is Trudeau at?

Eric Grenier’s Leader Meter – the most comprehensive accounting of federal leader approval ratings – puts Justin Trudeau’s approval rating at just 31%. That’s based on compiled leadership polls.

The most recent poll included in the ‘Leader Meter’ puts Trudeau at 31%. Some have him even lower, with Angus-Reid putting him at 28%.

The Nanos Survey asks a different question – preferred PM – and even on that score Trudeau has weak numbers. He’s at 27%.”

Despite a federal campaign, those numbers haven’t changed much. Ford is still holding most of his base, while Trudeau is clearly unpopular. Yet, it turned out that in Ontario, Scheer was even more unpopular than Trudeau.

And here’s another key point:

Doug Ford is certainly more popular in Ontario than Andrew Scheer is.

Again, the PCs won about 40% in 2018, while Scheer won just 32%. In fact, Scheer did worse in Ontario than Stephen Harper did in 2015, in terms of percentage of the vote, losing about 2 points over that span.

Doug Ford was able to win Ontario despite having the entire media establishment and many public sector unions launching constant attacks on him, while Scheer was unable to even come close to Ford’s numbers, despite facing a heavily-weakened Justin Trudeau.

So, the attempt by some on the Conservative establishment to pin all the blame on Ford is nothing but weakness, and it’s totally wrong. They are attempting to pretend that campaigns don’t matter, and are ignoring the fact that many polls showed the Conservatives leading in Ontario prior to the start of the federal election period. If Ford had really destroyed the Conservatives chances, then not a single poll would have shown them leading at any point.

The reality is this: Justin Trudeau and his campaign team effectively won the messaging battle in Ontario by relentlessly demonizing Ford, while Andrew Scheer hid Ford away, barely defended him, didn’t persuade anybody, ceded the argument on Ford to Trudeau, and lost votes in Canada’s largest province.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – Twitter

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Don Taylor
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Don Taylor

I agree,conservatives missed many chances to improve ,Scheer is shown as being weak and I am disappointed in him,I am a strong conservative ,I believe the party had at least 3 people that would have been stronger.

Sue
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Sue

Blaming Ford, no. The media that tried to make out Doug Ford a monster along with all conservatives, yes. The people that did not take what happened in last 4 years into consideration and voted for Justin again, yes.
Thank you to people like Spencer that helped some of us see the light. Common sense is on the back burner for another 4 years. Time to hit the gym and put down the news. Hold on to your pennies, oh right we don’t have those either.

Mike
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Mike

In a minority government the longest term before calling the next election has be two years.The shortest term 6 months.Look up the federal stats on election.

THOMAS TASS
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THOMAS TASS

Monday morning quarterbacking is not necessary. Doug Ford come out and defend Ontario’s interests NOW and stop hiding from the clowns in Ottawa. Of course its going to be very tough with the globalist leftist/socialist media that is in cahoots with the multicultural robots created by the Liberals in the GTA. Quebec knows what it wants, two provinces want out, and only Ontario can kick the cabal in Ottawa in the pants politically so that the next 18 months are not a cake walk for them. As for Scheer he needs to be as ruthless as his adversaries. If he… Read more »

alan skelhorne
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why only two provinces wants out, what happened to Manitoba, what happened to the part of british Columbia, it doesn,t matter who will go, its a matter of when. I say go now for the separation before Quebec goes.

Brian
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Brian

look at the block voting by certain culture groups , example Brampton tells what is really going on for Liberals.

Joanne
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Joanne

Scheer is to blame for the defeat. No one else. He must resign or the party must vote him out. Given another chance, JT will get a majority next time.

NancyW
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NancyW

if Andrew Scheer had really wanted to win Ontario he would have asked Doug Ford and Ford nation to campaign with him, Doug has already took down corrupt lieberals finally after 15 years, he is with the people and for us people, he has a big barbecue for Ontario all are welome free hot dogs and hamburgers from the Conservative party he is working for us all and is doing a really good job at cleaning up the utopia big spend for the rich, things like the just announced us all going out together for the first big spring cleanup… Read more »

Eric Blair
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Eric Blair

Again I ask “when was the last time Ontario had a Prime Minister in Ottawa of any political stripe”. Answer: 1968 when Lester Pearson left office. this just doesn’t make sense as Ontario is the most populous province and Canada’s powerhouse and yet if does not produce any PMs. If the Conservatives want to govern Canada they need a leader from Ontario.

NancyW
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NancyW

That is funny I used to think that too but realized most of southern Ontario is red and orange now, maybe northern Ontario still has really true Canadians, I live in southern Ontario and I am also strongly Conservative, but we did get a great Conservative in Doug Ford. I think each province and territory to be fair should have a turn to give there best Conservative up for election. Although I must say I love Lisa Raitt from Ontario she would have been my first choice to lead the CPC, but I also liked Rempel from out west there,… Read more »

Marlin
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I couldn’t agree more! Ford has an outgoing personality which Scheer sadly lacks!

shawn harris
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This article has many excellent points, Scheer and his campaign mangers made tactical errors by hiding Doug Ford from the campaign, not forcefully rebutting the misleading messages of the paid for unions and media, and not taking control of the message from the start.Also Scheer failed to make a convincing and compelling argument to vote Conservative. Another error was not confronting forcefully Trudeau’s lies and distortions of reality. It has and still is always better stand up and confront your accusers and defend your record with the facts and truth, something Trudeau and his advisors wouldn’t know even if they… Read more »

Vilma
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Vilma

#FireScheerNow
This idiot couldn’t defeat Trudeau after all his scandals means he’s a very weak LEADER. I’ll say it again they should have voted in Bernier…CPC would have won…No doubt!!!!

NancyW
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NancyW

sorry but if Bernier was leading the Conservatives I would not have voted for him. He is very much like Trudeau a bad actor, but I guess that is what Canadians want.

Sue
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Sue

Not this Canadian Nancy.

alan skelhorne
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bernier lost his own seat, and vilma what were you saying, another liberal troll. the elction is over , so can it now.