Everyone wants to stop the gravy train for others -- never themselves...

When I lived on the escarpment in Hamilton in my late twenties, my house was on the edge, overlooking the city. I had a backyard that was big as a large field with trees blocking the view of Stelco and Dofasco, and I had many animals make those trees their home.

Being on the edge of the cliff gave me plenty of privacy, but also a valuable lesson.

I had neighbours who secretly — and illegally — poisoned the trees in order to get a better view. They offered me the opportunity to do the same, and I declined. Who wants a view of that?

But there was another reason, and it had to do with the environment: trees have their spread of roots, and it is the roots that keep the ground from eroding. Kill the trees, and watch your property shrink because you have nothing holding that edge together.

In the years that I lived there, the size of the property at my house never changed. I always lost two pounds mowing it myself, and didn’t mind.

My neighbours who poisoned their trees, saw their properties’s size erode, some more rapidly than others. By the time I left the neighbourhood, my backyard stuck out much more than the others.

These days, you would have people blame it on “climate change” and not on short-sighted nincompoopity.

You have wealthy morons and braggarts build on the edge of water and ravines, tearing down everything, and then when the inevitable happens, they try to milk it for all it is worth to virtue-signal as a form of deflection. No, you idiots: stop building your hideous McMansions as you tear down the flora and displace the fauna, and, ta da! none of it would be happening. Stop blaming other people for your own stupid diva demands, and stop buying your own hype.

But those tree-poisoners in my neighbourhood don’t just remind me of Limousine Liberal Environmentalism, they are a perfect representation of Ontario in general: getting rid of the spread of roots in order to show off, and then wailing like a spoiled child in soiled underpants because they lose more than the paltry sum they imagined they would gain.

Ontario is a massive welfare state. This province would be a Third World region without government nannying. Doug Ford slashing their largesse is the right thing to do, but, like all other right things to do, it isn’t a popular one.

He is in the same place as his brother Rob Ford. When he was elected, he promised to stop the gravy train. What many voters failed to realize was that they were feasting on that gravy and weren’t not as smart or successful as they deluded themselves. In Toronto, you had poor people think that they were middle class, and middle class who thought they were rich.

Along comes Rob Ford, sees that the net and gross were widely misaligned, and then brought in reality.

And then came the howling from people who suddenly had to face the fact that they were poor all along, or that they were middle class all along.

The same is happening to Doug Ford.

And the amount of provincial inefficiencies in Ontario is absolutely disgusting.

I can guarantee you if the province were to cut funding for certain kinds of public transportation, the CBC and Toronto Star would slap some poor, disabled person, as a “victim” of this horrible reduction.

What they will conveniently not mention is that wealthy people living in McMansions use the same cheaper public transport because there is no means test in order to qualify for it.

Or, when you see a minor fender bender, there are several police cruisers, a firetruck, paramedics…and no one is actually sent to the hospital. The same holds true when you call the paramedics who have to stay with you in the emergency waiting room until you are admitted.

The amount of waste and inefficiencies in the province is vile…but if they were to be efficient, a lot of people with Sunshine pay checks would be out of a job because they are redundant. They are not needed, nor should they even be there in the first place.

That’s how spending gets out of hand: you have people who get dragged in through nepotistic means, and then make a huge salary, while other people do not need the services they could afford on their own — such as a PSW, but get thanks to the province.

Doug Ford may be hurting in the polls, but so what? Kathleen Wynne gave away money the province did not have and she was unpopular because the electorate wanted even more.

And the Toronto Star has nerve decreeing that people got “burned” by the cuts: no, they are not owed a job, for instance. And for programs that were slashed, they would not have been had the public sector been doing their jobs, and were more vigilant and efficient. That is not on Ford.

When colleges and universities got lavish funding — they all went and built up their campuses, even though they had much lower enrolment rates and retentions than what they were building. They over-expanded the bricks and mortar, and did very little else with the money given. You had teachers bank sick days, which is pure lunacy. You had staff take extra time off so that they got fully paid — but then whoever took over their job temporarily got a higher rate of pay.

You cannot then push forward your sickliest client and then bemoan what will happen to them — you weren’t thinking about that when you were pushing the envelope when the gravy train was riding through your place of work.

So what we have now is a group of people who are livid that their fantasy-world has been threatened: they are not as competent or smart as they brag to their friends, neighbours, and relatives. They could have that McMansion because they were using cheap public transit meant for the poor, elderly, and disabled who had no other ways of getting around town. The family who had luxury SUV had it because they could shove their children in city-funded programs on the cheap.

That is not what taxpayer money was ever meant to do. You have to separate the genuine needs from the cheap parasites who know the loopholes and take advantage of them.

Much of the bellyaching comes from the short-sightedness of those who miscalculated and thought the free ride was never going to end. You keep sucking the life out of the province’s roots, they can no longer hold the ground together, and it erodes.

And then someone comes in, sees the rot, and then takes drastic steps to stem the losses.

And then we have a climate shift. People may get upset, but what they should be is humbled. People should not have to fund your lazy nephew in a made-up job you thought up in order to look like a big shot. Poor people should not have to pay HST so you can ride on cheap public transit so you don’t spend money on gas for your Mercedes.

That’s why a forensic accountant — and insurance investigator would find real efficiencies. Outsiders would see more and take less for granted than any in-house middle manager. There is real fraud and skulduggery happening, and since the press has decided to play cover up for the sake of a fake narrative, a more capable agent would do wonders.

And it is about time someone stopped the ground from eroding because the view without it here is very ugly, indeed…

Doug Ford says more than the obvious. Social media has made journalism obsolete.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says what Donald Trump knew when he won the US presidency in 2016: journalism is irrelevant.

It is also what I said in my 2018 book When Journalism was a Thing.

Newspapers are collapsing. Bailing them out is a wasted effort. The industry needs an alternative, and one that takes the realities of technology and audiences into consideration.

There will be a lot of people in the industry who will be livid about this observation. A little more honesty and humility would be a far better attitude to take…

Doug Ford fires Brad Blair...

The Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner has been shown the door.

That’s how this country deals with critics. Get rid of them.

Critics have a hard time getting into positions of power — and we do need innovators and critics to be accepted if we want the right kind of change to grow.

This wasn’t the way to handle criticism at all. Justin Trudeau played the same game, and now we are seeing it on the provincial level from the political right…

Quoting experts from the Stone Age: why the Ontario press keeps digging journalism deeper in its own grave.

I never cared for canned events. I never understood press conferences, for instance. Election campaign photo ops were always absolutely useless. They come off as class field trip candid shots from high school yearbooks.

So many journalistic staples are not just obsolete, but weren't actually ever needed. There are disingenuous at best, fake news at worst.

And considering how reporters' tactics haven't changed while PR firms have upped their game over the decades, they should have been boycotted about thirty years ago.

Press conferences that do not take questions really are akin to issuing a press release. It is about the visual and reporters bragging about "credentials."

So you have the Ontario government realize it is all pretence, anyway, and decided to bypass an archaic system the way it suits them.

This is what happens when your press is so weak, that it is simpler to just cut out the middle man.

It's not news! whines the CBC.

Yeah, but neither are press conferences and all those factually devoid campaign tours you covered over the decades.

The switch does not "undermine democracy." It merely reflects a world where people would like to exercise their democratic right to unfiltered free speech. Why go through the motions mindlessly?

If journalism learned to find alternatives to canned events, newsmakers wouldn't realize they could ignore the press entirely. The silly CBC piece quotes "experts" who will obviously side with them.

Yeah, that's not a rig.

Those experts obviously live in the Stone Age. We have the means and the technology to communicate directly and say the things we want in the way we want it. 

Journalism was the conduit where we had people tell us the things we had no way of accessing for ourselves. We wouldn't know what the US President was going to do or where his stand was unless we watched the news.

These days, a single tweet does the same job. Moreover, people can follow whatever newsmakers they wish on the troll scroll, and they have their own tailer-made newsfeed.

The Toronto Police have their own channel. For the last few years, you can watch Toronto city council meetings on their YouTube channel.

Once upon a time, you relied on local cable stations for it. Now, it's there for anyone.

More politicians are realizing they do not need a press to pass notes to constituents, and citizens realize they don't need someone else to tell them how to interpret information for them.

This has been the perpetual vortex journalism has been spinning in: people do not want interpretation. They want something else. The only the profession kept trying to hold on to something that has left their grasp, the easier it has been for people to not just get their information elsewhere, but for people disseminating the news to take over the things the press used to do.

Journalism waited too long. They are still waiting for some blessed miracle.

Times have change, and the miracle came: liberating the lines of communication. We have multiple news sites run by anarchists. Once upon a time, that was unthinkable and an absurdist notion.

In 2018, you have your pick. This has been the greatest democratization of communications of the history of humanity. Circa the mid-1990s.

And journalism is still doing things the Stone Age way in a Modern Age...

The Toronto Meltdown Begins: The reality of hedging your bets wrong can be humbling.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has blindsided Toronto by moving to reduce the number of city council seats from an unwieldy 47 to a more reasonable 25 to be aligned with federal and provincial districts.

The Toronto Star is squealing, giving the nickname Hogtown a more appropriate meaning.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is having epic fits, wanting to hold a referendum, throwing the heavy lifting and expense to taxpayers. You are supposed to lead, not follow.

But reality is gleefully biting Toronto's backside, and Toronto has no idea what has actually hit it or why.

So for those oblivious to reality, here is the bottom line: Toronto, for the last fifteen years, had a free ride thanks to the previous Liberal regime who doted on them because conventional wisdom had it that you could not win a provincial election without Toronto. They had plenty of representation, lots of MPPs, cabinet ministers, and even premier. Who do you think got all the goodies? Whose way did the Grits pander to for a decade and a half, rigging things to favour voter-rich Toronto at the expense of other cities and towns?

But Toronto honestly thought they were special and superior, not the recipients of the election jackpot: so long as you hedge your bets on who will win the campaign, your riding gets rewarded: you can have an MPP in that government, which is helpful, a junior cabinet minister is better, a senior one with a serious portfolio is fantastic, but if your premier happens to be your MPP, you get all sorts of fantastic perks.

More than political ideology, if a region wishes to improve its fortunes and get first pick of goodies, it is ensuring that your representative is of the same as the overall winner.

Hamilton used to do a lot better when they put on their thinking caps and voted for the winners, and then they got stupid, and always vote for losers, and their fortunes reflect their losing and loser strategy.

They keep voting NDP, and having a MPP who is the opposition is like not having representation. Your region is shut out and at most, an afterthought.

Toronto bought its own hype, and then thought the NDP had a snowball's chance of winning this time, and they didn't.

And so now, their numbers mean squat because the Conservatives got their majority without them.

So now Toronto is starting to find out how many of their crutches and how much of the graft they had to prop them up was not a sign of their innate superiority and are going to be taken away to be given to the regions who hedged their bets correctly.

For Toronto, the downsizing is just beginning. The federal Grits, who seem intent on alienating any country or province that does not brainlessly follow their decrees, are vowing to meddle, but they are not exactly in the position to do so. Their provincial counterparts were decimated in the last election for a reason.

This election was more than just a serious blow to the gravy train: it has now shown that a party can get a majority without Toronto. That is a serious blow to their image of being crucial to the survival of a political party.

Ford is cutting the fat from politicians first, not downloading on citizens or shaking them down. There is no bullying or hypocrisy there.

But Toronto thought that they were the lords of the province, and could do whatever they wanted, spending whatever taxpayers' money they wished as if it were their own personal piggy bank. The reality was they had the goodwill of the rest of the province until they got too cocky for their own good, and got slapped right back to reality.

Toronto is going to have to make due with a lot less. They do not have the clout or power they once did. They got too uppity to their one-time guardians the Liberals, thought they deserved even more, and went with the NDP, which has proven time and again to be unteachable.

Hamilton may one day learn to grow up and start voting strategically, not running after whoever makes them the most unrealistic promises they could never keep even if they had a snowball's chance of winning. 

Toronto has now jumped into the same purgatory as Hamilton. The exile will be painful and humbling. Whether they threw out their thinking caps permanently remains to be seen, but the temper tantrums for now will be ugly as they will be amusing...

Lefties in Toronto having a meltdown; Hamilton left without representation as Steel under threat.

Doug Ford gets his majority. Considering the disarray the Tories were in at the beginning, this is a feat.

Ford was shrewd: he was vague, repetitive, heavy on strategic catchphrases, didn't encourage candidates to debate, but knew which ridings to strike. It is often nearly impossible to win an election on suburbs and rural areas alone, but he pulled it off. Ford Nation has moved up a significant notch.

Those ridings who voted Blue are going to have their fortunes rise as they will have cabinet ministers ensuring their resources go to their turfs, and considering these ridings tend to be the province Haves, this can shore up the province's fortunes.

But not for everyone.

Toronto is going to be in trouble. The spoiled ridings that veered to NDP from Liberal are not going to have the same old protection having cabinet ministers who will lavish goodies to them and fight their battles. It will be a serious tactical error, but it could have been worse.

Hamilton, as usual, voted NDP instead of the party that had a real chance of forming a government. Steel City used to be robust when they voted Liberal when the Grits were in power. Dundas, usually a politically cagier area, hedged their bets on Orange, and will now not have a presence in the government. Donna Skelly is the lone PC MPP in the region, and it should get her a cabinet position for that reason. Persistence paid for her.

Now that Hamilton can be counted on always voting for the losing party, and with the trade wars with the US, this is not good for the rusted small town with a big city population. They will have no bloc in the cabinet to lobby for their interests.

Hamilton isn't the only demographic who has poor grasp of strategic voting. St. Catharines and Windsor also went Orange -- both economically-strapped regions with serious poverty and crime problems. They won't be digging out any time soon now, and most likely fall deeper into an abyss. The local television station is trying to spin it because the NDP is now official opposition, but elections are all or none -- no one cares about the silver medal when all the bounty is strictly given to the ones who got gold.

The Liberals walked a tightrope, but the divide between rich and poor and grew too far apart for them to get another term. 

The Green Party has one seat in Guelph, which is a very interesting turn to say the least.

Unions are also in trouble twice over. They betrayed their champion Wynne, making the next Liberal leader warier of indulging unreasonable requests from that now unreliable bloc, while Ford, will now be indulging the private sector.

The election proves that the idea of the Left-of-Centre voter being in the majority is an actual myth. They may loudly babble on Twitter and Facebook, but when it comes to actually voting -- the only action that counts -- they stay away from the voting booths in droves...

But that being said, Wynne won her seat and the Grits are but did not retain their party status. This is the Government Party, after all, and they are teachable and have no trouble reinventing themselves. Wynne's gambit didn't work (though it seemed like it would at one point when the Grits were leading in 9 ridings, but fell to the PCs). Even in defeat, she tried to pull a rabbit out of her hat...

Kathleen Wynne got rattled by Doug Ford, and the campaign shows it.

Doug Ford knows strategy and he clearly delivered a single, elegant shot that has literally made her lose that mojo that has given her those improbable and impossible victories in the past.

He asked her a single question:

When did you lose your way?

It rattled her so much that media outlets actually noticed the shift. She went on News Talk 1010's Moore in the Morning to address it the day after in a classic case of l'esprit d'escalier. 

Too little, too late. The damage was already done.

Wynne is seen as more capable than her two rivals, and until that fateful question, she was.

But Ford's stealth attack did enormous damage to her focus, and we can see her fortunes plummet. He hit a nerve as he dug deep into her psyche, saw her fear, and pulled it out to show it to her and the public. 

Had the question not been asked, we would not be seeing the same campaign. I am not one to go by polling numbers, but now we are seeing something very interesting: a hidden truth about the real health of Ontario.

NDP is the poor man's party. They have no clout or connections with the elite or the financial districts. If they are elected, the banks will all downgrade the province's credit rating. Businesses will leave for greener pastures. There will be no funds to juice all those deceptive freebies, and it will lead to serious trouble here. The fact that the NDP is seeing a surge is revealing how much of a pauper's playground Ontario has become. Those who are defeated always retreat to the nanny party, without realizing there is no tax base to support their fantasy vision.

The PC's are appealing with those who have not thrown in the towel, and see hope in their future to make a life one their own -- that means we have two Ontarios, and not one.

One group who are independent and the other who are passive.

And it happened under the Liberals' 15 year watch. Wynne had played a dangerous game and had tried to please both sides, but the chasm was by then too great. She increased minimum wage, invested in businesses through government subsidies, and gave the voting bloc of teachers more than they ever deserved -- and all groups are thanking her by abandoning her.

This betrayal of alliances is what shook her. Doug Ford let her and the rest of the world know that it happened.

And now watching her photo-ops has been cringeworthy. She goes from place to place, engaging in little stunts, making her come off as someone with a mid-life crisis trying to knock off as many things off her bucket list as possible. I am surprised she didn't dye her hair blue and go get a tattoo as cameras are rolling.

That is a sign of defeat, and someone who doesn't think she has a tomorrow.

She could have easily sewn up this election the way she did last time: talk about pensions and appeal to Baby Boomers. They are still the biggest voting bloc and the ones who still see voting as their civic duty. They may seem set in their political affiliations, but target that group with a tangible and significant benefit and a you-focussed message, and they will come through for you.

But now, Wynne is all over the place, and that's not the way to win an election. You cannot be all things to all people -- nor does victory come from that desperate strategy.

Ford cannot be discounted, and he is very strategic in both strategy and timing. With Wynne running around like a chicken without a head, he can focus on other things. Ford found her kryptonite and used it against her. He didn't hammer away at her. He didn't engage in overkill. He merely pointed at the monster that scared her most, and told her she veered off course to avoid it.

And that is a devastating accusation to make at someone whose job is being a leader.

As someone who has had people try psychological warfare on me over the years from the 36 Stratagems to negging, I see through it and find it funny, even when the stakes are high. You are not going to make me insecure with your manipulative words or doubt myself. Bottom line people shut out the white noise of arguments and insults because they are deadweight.

Meaning that gambit works only if the leader believes it and looks to others for validation and applause. Had she seen the ruse, she could have given an epic rebuttal to turn her fortunes around.

Anything can happen in this election, but seeing Wynne flounder over something minor when she has triumphed over bigger obstacles is fascinating to watch nonetheless.

Memo to the Toronto Star: A ten year old can make a newscast now. Doug Ford is mocking the press, not respecting them.

Doug Ford is making his own advertorial newscasts these days, bypassing the press and just running stuff on the Internet.

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That's how little skill it takes to do it.

After all, the Ford brothers had a radio show on Toronto's News Talk 1010, and even flirted with a television show on the now defunct Sun TV that the legacy media once dismissed.

But as usual, the Toronto Star is tying to spin his own unreasonable facsimile as having respect for the media as they jab him.

Sorry, children, it is a jab to you to let you know that it takes no effort to emulate a newscast. He doesn't need actual journalists covering him, just a Ford Nation brand.

And it is a brand that's proven stronger than the Star brand. This is the same newspaper that speculated that Rob Ford's death would weaken Ford Nation.

It was strong enough to secure Doug Ford a victory as Ontario PC leader. The Star, on the other hand, is spending days begging the federal government for free money to subsist.

The Liberals are throwing temper tantrums, demanding an investigation over them...even though former CBC and City TV journalist Ben Chin did the same thing for the Liberals in 2007 (who won that round, by the way), and went on over to the party in both British Columbia, and then for the federal Liberals.

And that tells you something else about journalism: it is the breeding ground for partisanship, and picking sides all in the hopes of a patronage appointment for your loyalty.

Doug Ford knows it, and just cut out the middleman because they aren't needed anymore.

Anyone can make a newscast. With a smart phone and a Twitter account, you can make any kind of citizen news outlet you want.

And it makes journalism obsolete.

So don't think you are making any jabs at Ford's expense.

He is merely pointing out it is 2018. 

He doesn't need a media bus when he can get his own message out by himself.

And in spite of all that, he can win.

It is not a done deal, of course. Kathleen Wynne is tattling away nerd style, and it could work.

Or it can blow up in her face when voters remember all those irksome kids who tattled on them in their youth, and then give her the heave ho in a symbolic gesture.

It doesn't matter, but once upon a time, it would have been unthinkable to bypass the media in a campaign.

But these days, it is best way to increase your chances of winning -- and the Star would be best not to be so arrogant in their responses in a changing landscape...

Patriarchal Theatre and the Rob Ford movie: How ego blinds the obvious.

All the President's Men -- the movie -- did a bad thing to journalism: it dumbed down and ego-ed up the profession. dbba64bd5f36e20848ffe5d6261d95e7

It was the single worst thing to ever happen to that industry. It was a slow poison, but one that did the job.

There were other fictionalized movies about journalism before, but this was The One that planted the worst seed in the collective mind.

Because it added theatre and entrenched the idea of narrative.

Not facts, but narrative, and a specific one where journalists thought they were part of the story.

No, you're not. You find facts, There is no story.

You cannot impose a narrative where you are embedded in there because the second you do, then you must be scrutinized with the same intensity as the newsmakers you are covering.

But theatre is a toxic element that has become standard in news reports: the hook to lure readers in.

That means the story must have characters, not people.

But when you artificially impose a narrative on to reality, reality shrugs, and the narrative breaks.

It is the reason journalism has lost its potency over time: when you realize that the narrative doesn't align, then you lose faith in the storyteller.

Journalism has relied on Patriarchal narrative for decades, and now they have mistaken that narrative for truth, which is traumatic enough, but when you interject yourself into a story where you have no business being in and that narrative is rejected, you completely lose every sense of reality.

The late Toronto mayor Rob Ford is a case in point. He was a wildly popularly mayor whose core was in the suburbs, but he had demons, including that whole smoking crack with gang members in front of a working camera problem.

He stayed mayor, and if he didn't die of cancer, he would have easily won a second term.

Because very few people actually cared. They saw how he behaved when they voted him into that office the first time.

But the Toronto Star was determined to bring him down in lockstep with the rest of city council.

They failed.

They failed, and a few years later, his older brother Doug managed to become leader of the provincial Conservative party even though he was the long shot.

The paper wouldn't have even discovered Ford's crack and gangs secret, but a gang banger took pity upon those blockheads and took the initiative to call a female journalist to pretty much draw a diagram.

There was no cultivating sources or turning over rocks. They got the scoop through passive means.

And then nothing happened. No charges against the mayor. No laws were changed.

In other words, nothing actually happened except Rob Ford became a bad boy rock star on American television. He benefitted from the coverage that humanized him: if he could do all of that for his constituents while stoned, then, hey, he had have been a great guy.

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Even when the late night talk shows were making fun of him with a nudge and a wink. He failed upwards.

This was one of the most inept episodes in Canadian journalism. The paper still lost readers. They still had to fire people. They embarked on a campaign for the government to give them free money to survive.

Try as they might, the Star could not make their narrative stick. What should have brought down their local Richard Nixon didn't, and the only big break came from the pity of the criminal element who probably were impatiently waiting for a reporter to figure things out and show up at their doorstep, but didn't actually have the intelligence to put two and two together.

And they are still as oblivious as ever.

They do not get that they were not part of the "story." They had no idea that it is all about Rob Ford, even now.

So when Hollywood decided to make a movie about that rule-breaker Rob Ford, it was pretty much Rob Ford and others. As in, no one else matters but the Bad Boy Great Man.

They even hired a far handsomer actor to play Ford. He is now officially a Legend.

And one of the female reporters who covered Ford's antics, is all upset and throwing a public temper tantrum because a male actor is playing a reporter who is after the naughty mayor.

Oh, Robyn Doolittle, get over yourself.

It isn't about you. It never was. You didn't catch him, but you tried to hitch your ride on his star. For all you know, he told them to call you and wanted a confession by proxy.

You'll never know because you didn't catch him even with that huge net a gangbanger gave you -- and you yourself admitted you weren't even standing when he spoon-fed you. I wonder how hard they were laughing reading your drivel before that point in time.

The Rob Ford story isn't about journalists because they were bumbling narcissists hoping they'd be immortalized like Bernstein and Woodward. It wasn't going to happen.

Because it is a generic role. The Bad Boy got away. They're making a movie about him, but not you.

Because who really cares about the journalists? It could be a man, woman, or a paper cut-out of an alien, no one actually cares because the anti-hero of this dread tale isn't the no-name journalists who couldn't stop Ford Nation from rising.

But the flawed Great Man who got away.

Because journalists are all about theatre, but have no real sense of what it is truly all about.

Hollywood knows theatre. They sized up the story, and saw the only person who actually counted.

And it wasn't the journalist.

Ford Nation is rising, while the Star -- like the rest of journalism -- crashed and burned.

Because the journalist doesn't matter in a movie.

And no longer does journalism in the real world...

Doug Ford gets off the media bus. Banking on bypassing the media.

Campaigns are usually canned events. They are photo ops that have very little to do with actual politics. Kissing babies, listening tours, and the like doesn't reflect on the job. What these do is make the leader relatable to potential voters. Doug Ford is taking the same risk Donald Trump did -- bypassing the media entirely by "ditching" the media bus. He is banking he doesn't need a press to legitimize him, and as Ford Nation is a carefully cultivated voting block, the thinking has merit to it.

It doesn't mean that reporters can't follow him around -- but it is a snub and a sign of the times that keeping on the good side of the press is absolutely necessary to win a campaign. After all, he won the PC leadership race with the least amount of media attention...

The Unteachable: Polls don't reveal the truth about reality, but it doesn't stop the press from using them.

This National Post column is funny. The headline is quite telling:

With Doug Ford, Ontario's Tories take a big risk

Polls showed Christine Elliott would attract a lot of potential PC supporters, and that Ford would drive them away. Nevertheless, here we are

Polls also suggested Elliott would take the leadership mantle. She didn't.

The news media makes the same two perpetual assumptions: (1) That the majority of citizens are Left-leaning, and (2) polls mean something.

And neither is the case.

In Canada, you do not need a majority of the vote to get a governmental majority, You can get it by capturing a little over a third of the vote. That PC voter turn out broke records, should be some indicator that something is happening. That the unknown fourth leadership candidate did far better in the race than anyone anticipated should also say something.

Elections are not popularity contests. They are a form of bloodless war. It is strategy and cunning, not merely getting votes that bring a contender a victory.

What separated Ford from Elliott, Mulroney, and even Patrick Brown is simple: he is not a Red Tory. Elliott and Mulroney, in a way, cancelled each other out -- and in an election where you have three left-of-centre candidates, you are fighting for the same votes.

Bring in Ford, and you bring in people who wouldn't vote for someone left-of-centre.

And it can be enough to bring a crushing Blue Wave to Queen's Park.

He doesn't need 51% of the popular vote. He needs a little more than what the other two parties can muster.

And because he is different enough from the Liberals and NDP, he can capture new voters and organize enough voters to get into power.

But the press in Ontario are making the same mistake as they did in thinking Rob Ford was never going to be mayor of Toronto, Brexit was going to be rejected, and the Donald Trump was never going to become president.

Polls mean nothing for many reasons. You think you will vote one way until you actually see the names of the ballot. Sometimes people lie because they don't think their vote is anyone's business -- including their family members, let alone a pollster. And sometimes pollsters aren't asking the right people, getting a skewed result because of their own inherent biases or flawed techniques.

Elections aren't about reaching everyone and being inclusive -- it is about getting just enough. That's all. You do not overwork it. You hit strategically. Hillary Clinton never learned that lesson: that she overdid it and wasted too many resources as she lost focus to the actual goal of getting just enough, and not too much. 

In politics, it is about just enough. You win when you do not have the majority vote for you, particularly in Canada where you have three parties. Both Trump and George W. Bush won without getting the popular vote -- just winning enough electoral votes to snag the brass ring. There is a very good reason for this rig: it shows a candidate is smart enough and shrewd enough to eke out a victory, even when everything seems against them.

But for whatever reason, journalists are absolutely blind to this fact: they think you must be all things to all people, and that's a recipe for failure.

Polls tell you nothing because they do not measure strategy. They cannot, for instance, detect which of those people they polled will be strategic votes. On the surface, everyone's vote is equal, but it never is -- it all depends on how those votes are covertly bundled by a certain campaign.

Polls are there to tell middle class people what to say at the water cooler or at dinner parties without looking too stupid and weird. They are not actually useful to determining the stealth cunning of a particular politician.

Journalists are not teachable. After decades of having polls fool them, they still rely on them as if the mean something.

And yet they continue to use them as filler for articles at the expense of their own credibility.

Doug Ford and Donald Trump: Storybombing Canadian media narratives. With ease.

Doug Ford becomes PC party leader despite all of the news media's assurances that it was Christine Elliott's time. And now Donald Trump is again at it, calling Canada "brutal", and making sure his audience knows those wily northern foxes have outwitted presidents before him.

Dale doesn't get it. His decree that Trump is wrong and rambling is beside the point. The fact is that he now has his own narrative, that completely alters the narrative Canadians have spent decades cultivating.

Ford story-bombed the narrative completely: Patrick Brown -- who was kicked to the curb in the throes of #MeToo, paved the way for a woman to take charge of the big mess of the PC Party...

And then Doug Ford won, completely messing up the well-crafted story.

Trump is also story-bombing a longer and more established Canadian narrative where we are the nice guys, good guys, appeasers, and underdogs, and he has experience story-bombing the US media's narratives, starting from the one where he was a joke candidate to the one where Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide to the one where he wouldn't last a year, and if he did, he would ruin the economy. He is America's spoiler, and now he has his sights clearly on altering the perceptions the US has of its Northern neighbours.

His track record for story-bombing shows that he has yet to miss a target. He knows exactly how to interject his spin and when. Nitpicking is not going to alter a thing for the simple reason he has already primed his audience to disbelieve anything those fast talkers have got to say in their defence.

Both men get chaos. They understand that order is a mirage, and they break those paper-thin façades to twist that story to their own advantage. The guy who wins gets a hero's crown, and the press, particularly in Canada, are clueless to what is actually happening. Those so-called diverse and inclusive narratives crumble in the face of reality because you have people who will cross lines and not care about labels other people give them to try and stop them from grabbing the spoils of war.

This is a Post-Progressive world right now. As I said before #MeToo does not have the same meaning in Canada as it does in the US, and Ford's victory is proof of it. He is the internal story-bomber, and he, like his younger brother who handily won the mayoralty race in Toronto despite the media narrative that he'd lose, can override the program to win.

But Trump is the external story-bomber. He is attacking those narratives from the outside. Both men are dismantling the old narratives, and doing it with rapid ease.

Because they are not sticking to scripts and the press always does -- and when you stick to scripts, you can have no idea about the state of reality.

There are times where I am spectacularly wrong. Doug Ford bags his victory.

Doug Ford won the Ontario PC leadership contest. vt_leadership_candidates_debate002.jpg.size-custom-crop.1086x0

When it comes to the Ontario Tories, you can have many qualified women vying for the position, but it is the white guy from money who is going to take it. This may very well be an awakening for women in this province as well, realizing that keeping that positive, "it's all good" sunny attitude is going to not give them any returns, and perhaps a reality check would be a very good thing.

Christine Elliott was not someone I thought would win, despite all the "inevitable" narrative the press heaped on her, and that is the kiss of death for her. She is too much like Hillary Clinton with some notion that it was "her time" to win after two previous failed attempts. Like Clinton, her spouse was the bigger political name, and while her strategy was to try to court Patrick Brown's supporters by not condemning him, they all went to the white guy anyway. She took liberally from Clinton's playbook and ended up getting the same result.

This is Trump-Clinton all over again. Canadians are very naive in thinking that what happened in the US would never happen here. We align with Americans in our elections, and after Trump's tariff threats, it's going to be a factor.

I did think Caroline Mulroney would win -- she would have most likely been a cake walk for her under normal circumstances -- and she behaved as if it were -- but she opened her mouth and made blunder after blunder. She didn't check her privilege at the door, and then daddy went campaigning for her near the end, making that her kiss of death.

Usually, legacy candidates win, but the situation for her was quite misaligned with another legacy property; in this case, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making a colossal fool out of himself in India, and then getting dissed by Trump and then Modi in front of the world. That alone would scare anyone into not voting for another offspring of a former prime minister.

That Mulroney placed on the bottom of the heap along with the no-name-one-issue candidate is telling. At one point, it was reported the placement was reversed.

But neither Mulroney nor Elliott actually fought. They both seemed to behave entitled throughout this chaos, that makes the Tories seem completely dysfunctional. It was not the right strategy to take: you do not behave as if you are "above" warrior's tactic in the middle of a war, and a campaign is war.

If you don't want to fight, then don't enlist. The little people want to know their getting off their duffs to give you power over them isn't wasted by you just standing around. The are electing you to fight. All Ford had to say -- and he did -- was that he was in it for "the people." At least he knows the answer to the question why he is running, unlike Mulroney who could not give that answer when one radio host asked her that softball obvious question. Between that stumble and her running away when reporters asked about her children being in private school (another softball question), she has no one to blame for her loss.

It was truly Mulroney's to lose, and she went ahead and lost it completely on her own. Elliott seemed to behave as if they just give you that paper crown if you run enough times. Ford fought and grabbed that brass ring. For all of his white boy privilege, he proved to be the lone street fighter, and he wrest it away from two women who seem to have no inkling what it means to go into the trenches and fight tooth and nail for something you want.

Can he beat the Liberals? Wynne is many things, but she is a survivor who does get that it is a war to fight. Toronto's core is having meltdowns right now at the thought of a premier Ford who will lord over them as Mayor John Tory is forced to beg his rival for spending money for Hogtown. This is going to pit Toronto with not just rural Ontario -- but many enclaves who will want Ford in power, including GTA suburbs. He is not a shoo-in by any stretch, but if he wins, women in this province might awaken from their slumber.

Journalists will be going into meltdown mode now, particularly the Toronto Star. Like Trump, Ford has a very bad history with Canadian media, and it is now officially war.

I am amused, at any rate. Sometimes, there are surprises that ought to upset you, but to me, this isn't one of them. I am relieved that legacy candidates are getting smacked for their shallow entitlement. I have been writing a lot about how women do not actually have their own war manuals, and this proves me right.

So, it will be a very uncharacteristically interesting street brawl. The Grits will now have to pull all of the stops because there has been a change in the cast. Ford Nation seems to let the country know just where that family is planning to move -- to the top.

But right now, after bagging Toronto, they are now eying the province. Stay tuned...