Hot on the heels of his “I’m not Rob Ford” political campaign, polls are indicating that the other guy has an early lead on Rob Ford in the upcoming mayoral election in Toronto. Campaign critics have lauded the other guy’s campaign strategy, with some even suggesting that it may inspire a similar cultural zeitgeist as Obama’s equally memorable “Hope” campaign.
We approached Torontonians to get a sense of their preliminary thoughts on the upcoming mayoral elections. Amy Walowitz told us: “I initially did not take seriously the other guy as a political candidate due to the fact that few people know him. However, once I remembered that he was not Rob Ford, I was immediately persuaded to vote for him.”
Robert Greenwood said, “I am definitely a huge fan of the other guy. In particular I find his promise to do the exact opposite of what Rob Ford would do to be an encouraging aspect of his campaign. If Rob Ford uses his right hand, the other guy promises to use his left. If Rob Ford leaves the toilet seat up, the other guy promises to leave the toilet seat down. Toronto needs that kind of unflinching commitment from its public officials.”
The other guy’s campaign appears to be promising, but even the other guy’s campaign manager—that guy in the suit with the Blackberry—acknowledged to us some inadequacies that would need to be addressed. For one, there are growing internal concerns that voters will not recognize the other guy’s name when they actually vote. Efforts are being made to remedy this: the other guy’s campaign team has been petitioning for him to appear as “the other guy” on ballots at voting stations. If met with resistance, the other guy will consider legally changing his name to “the other guy”, though it is unclear if such a name change would be authorized.
Not everyone is on the other guy’s bandwagon. We received an anonymous phone call at the Obiter offices late at night from a man who claimed that Rob Ford has been unjustly persecuted by the media. The man said, “So Rob Ford may or may not have smoked crack cocaine at some point in a drunken stupor, which I can’t, I mean he can’t, really be blamed for. I’ve apologized countless times for what I’ve done, or I mean what he’s done, or wait, what was I talking about? Whatever, I can kill that guy, I swear to God I’ll kill that guy!” The unidentified individual then ominously hung up on us.
Mentally disturbed persons who ramble on the phone to strangers at odd times during the night are not the only individuals Rob Ford can count on come voting time. Studies on demographics suggest that Rob Ford is also popular among ironic hipsters. Dante LeFerno told us, “Yeah, I used to like the other guy way before anyone knew about him. Now he’s just pandering to the conformist majority. Rob Ford, on the other hand, is just so subversive, daring and explorative with everything he does. It’s like he’s managed to turn campaigning into art, revealing the whole thing for the political circus it truly is. He has redefined the genre. Like, what does it mean to have a campaign anyways? Or, what does it mean to be a respectable member of public office? These are the kinds of questions Rob Ford forces us to ask ourselves. I even tell my friends that he’s the Andy Warhol of politics. He should be the Prime Minister.”
Also, the morbidly curious are eager to re-elect Rob Ford as Toronto’s mayor. Vishna Rupert said, “Rob Ford has been an endless source of fantastic gifs, as well as Buzzfeed articles and Jimmy Kimmel skits. Re-electing Rob Ford would ensure additional Rob Ford’s antics and thus entertainment material.”
In a similar vein, there is a growing wave of economists who similarly stress that Rob Ford should be voted in due to his vital importance to the nation’s entertainment sector. Economist Jane Timmins, in a statement directed to the Obiter, wrote, “Rob Ford has so consistently made an ass of himself that now the wider entertainment sector of the economy—a massive, multi-billion dollar industry—has become dependent on Rob Ford news to survive. Even worse, peripheral industries, such as tourism and general media, have similarly become dependent on Rob Ford doing such things as drunkenly stumbling into cameras, trampling elderly women and orchestrating jazz concerts during austere council meetings. A failure to re-elect Rob Ford could trigger another economic depression. Simply put, Rob Ford is too big to fail.”
Though the other guy is leading, at this early stage the outcome of the upcoming mayoral election in Toronto is difficult to predict. Ultimately, there are ludicrous reasons to support either of the two main candidates. Regardless, the upcoming election should be the most interesting one in the city’s storied political history.