Thursday, November 27, 2014

Did Doug Ford just announce that he's running for Premier in 2022?

Ok, so I'll admit that Doug's announcement that he isn't running for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party was unexpected. However, on reflection I think what he's actually done is announce his intention to run in 2022. Here's why:

  • We can safely assume that staying out for the good of his family of university-aged children is total BS
  • Ford does have considerable support in the 416/905 and would have been a contender for the leadership
  • Ford's desire to be premier is well-documented
  • Ford clearly has no interest in the daily grind of politics. A lengthy spell in the opposition benches would not be his cup of tea
  • Ford owes Flaherty a few chits, but he's clearly not doing this just to be nice to Christine Elliott
  • The PCPO may have insisted he place Deco in a blind trust as leader, but it's not in good enough shape to do that just yet
  • Someone may have some really dirty dirt on him, and/or the PCPO won't let him get involved until the Conflict of Interest case is settled
Based on what we know to date, this is probably what Doug is thinking:

  1. Elliott has this one locked up so long as he stays out of the race
  2. Elliott would be receptive to a "deal" that keeps him out of the race
  3. Deco needs some love and attention for a few years, and his siblings are useless at business
  4. Elliott stands a good chance of winning government in 2018
  5. If he agrees to stay out of the PCPO race and back Elliott, he can probably secure the nomination in Etobicoke North and have Elliott commit to putting him in cabinet
  6. Elliott will be 67 in 2022, so she's probably going to be a one-termer
  7. Assuming Elliott becomes premier and he's a cabinet minister, that leaves him in a perfect position to take over the leadership and the premiership without ever having spent an elected minute outside of government
There's also the chance that Ford will run this time around - but Elliott would need to drop out (or get pushed out). It's not like the Ford's have ever been involved in ploys to keep people from running...

Doug's big "Surprise"

And as the Toronto media dutifully trucks up to Deco for Doug Ford's "surprise" announcement, keep in mind that running for PC Leader was Doug's plan from Day One.