In the last few weeks, an understandable, yet strange, crossing of political divides has more and more frequently appeared in Canadian politics. This has taken the form of partisans on both sides of the political aisle handing out praise to otherwise mortal political enemies.
One of the more notable articles to have appeared came from TVOntario flagbearer Steve Paikin. Paikin is known in political circles as one of the fairest interviewers in Canadian media, typically wading into debates on his show only to shore up the losing or most unrepresented side – whether that be left or right. But it’s also known that he leans a little left and is more sympathetic to the province’s Liberal and NDP parties.
Paikin penned an article last week for TVO entitled, “The biggest political surprise of the COVID-19 crisis? Doug Ford”. His article asked, “Quick now: Which politician has impressed or surprised you the most with their competence and leadership during the COVID-19 crisis?” “I think this one’s a slam dunk, actually. The answer is Doug Ford.”
Paikin continued, “…Ford has never tried to downplay the significance of the crisis…Instead, Ford has taken to the podium every day during the crisis and conveyed deep empathy for the public he serves….He also declined to take any partisan potshots at this time. In his speech in the legislature earlier today, he noted that this was no time to talk about ‘the blue party, the red party, the orange party, or the green party. It’s about coming together. We’re all Team Ontario and Team Canada’.”
A few days later, long-time Toronto Star columnist Bob Hepburn wrote an article entitled, “Surprise. Doug Ford is Performing Well.”