Surprising nobody and disappointing many, Michael Ford did not attend last night’s debate. I think this is inexcusable.
Perhaps Ford was afraid he’d embarrass himself in front of his constituents. If that’s the case, he shouldn’t go any further. If he can’t take the heat of two hours in a church basement, he’ll be incinerated over four years at Queen’s Park.
Maybe Ford was worried his ideas or experience won’t stand up to the scrutiny of the other candidates. If so, he should quit. There is no shame in that—a good person knows when they’ve been bested.
But I think these possibilities are very unlikely. Michael Ford has been city councillor— he’s not afraid of the spotlight, nor a little rough-and-tumble.
He is almost certainly following the instructions of his masters in the party. If so, he’s got his responsibilities backward: he works for us, not the PCs. He needs to take courage and make his pitch. If he catches hell for it, so be it. York South–Weston needs someone with guts to represent us, not a PC puppet taking orders from above.
Meeting with—and representing—his constituents is the job. If he won’t show up for the interview, we would be fools to hire him.
I take debates seriously because politicians are too sure, too often. Debates test their ideas in front of constituents and competitors. If politicians won’t bring their ideas into the light, they are afraid of what we’ll see—or that we’ll see nothing at all.
I won’t be voting for Michael Ford.