Then I found that Matt Elliott at Ford for Mayor pretty much did it for me. The subtitle sums it up: 'Nothing changed, except maybe everything'.
All participants knew it was totally futile in terms of changing the tiny minds of the Fordophiles.
Matt notes two positive lessons from it. The exercise energized us Left Wing Pinkos. Of the 168 deputations, only one espoused anything close to Ford Nation's
We were WINNING! And looking pretty good doing it. Smart, sane, thoughtful, well-informed people had come out and stayed out to advocate passionately for everything from libraries and bike lanes to dental and mental health.
And not only was Ford Nation notably physically absent. We were drowning them out on the Toobz as well.
As Matt puts it:
This marks twice now where Rob Ford has made a direct appeal to supporters to attend a consultation session, and both times very few in attendance ended up showing themselves as members of the Rob Ford crowd. The defence in social media circles is that Ford Nation represents a “silent majority” of important business types that don’t have time nor the inclination to attend consultations or fill out surveys.
And I guess that’s fair enough — for any government, it’s easier to draw out protestors than it is supporters — but you’d think that with an open process like last night’s it would be reasonable to expect a 5% or so minority of Ford supporters to make an appearance and support his policies. Instead, almost no one showed. Considering that Ford’s electoral win was primarily due to grassroots populism, it seems conspicuous that the mayor can’t even rustle up a half-dozen members of Ford Nation to wave the flag and talk about their continued desire to stop the gravy train.
I'd add one other note: The lefty/progressive city councillors were getting a load of the kind of support they could expect. And the 'centrists' were also learning how upcoming decisions might play out in their wards.
It's those centrists we need to target. I've posted a link to this longish, but very useful post on long-term strategy at the city level before. (It's worth a (re)read in light of last night's events.)
So, who are those centrists? Again, Matt is the go-to guy. He's analysed the votes (not many so far) and collated the results into a PDF rating how Fordish each councillor is.
Someone at Toronto Life turned that data into a handy map.
Anything changed? Dunno.
Still, it's gonna be a long four fucking years.
BONUS: For a sense of what the City Hall Pyjama Party was like last night and early this morning, here are two accounts by people who were there.