Why Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau are Now Best of Friends
Two of Canada’s most powerful politicians, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were recently seen sharing what appeared to be a genuine laugh before the start of a meeting in Ottawa, says a report on CBC.
Each one of these men had spent the last two years regarding the other as a political rival. Now they seem to have reconciled their differences and moved on. Many believe that Ford moved for this reconciliation when he realized he needed the Prime Minister's help if he is to fulfil his key promises before facing re-elections.
"I think the premier genuinely believes a lot of his remaining priorities in this mandate rely on his ability to work with the prime minister," says Ginny Roth, a senior executive with government relations firm Crestview Strategy and a long-time Progressive Conservative insider, quoted on CBC.
Mike Crawley who writes for CBC, suggests some motivations for this newly formed friendship.
Firstly, Ford is trying to rehabilitate his image. The Premier had spent his first year in power in a confrontational mode. He appeared to have spent more time campaigning than he spent governing, and now he is worried that people have begun to see him as more of a combatant than a Premier. Now Ford is trying to reinvent himself by making friends with Trudeau to restore his image. "What Ontario voters want to see right now is somebody willing to work positively, rather than just to have wars of words over and over again," says Kate Harrison, a vice-president of Summa Strategies, a government relations firm.
Secondly, Crawley suggests that Ford needs Trudeau’s voters. After the last Federal Elections, it has become evident that Trudeau has an overwhelming number of supporters. Ford needs these numbers to help him win the next election, particularly in the critical 905 battlefield, if he's to win the majority.
Thirdly, Ford is seizing this chance to become Trudeau’s premier bestie right now as the Prime Minister, does not have many friends among the premiers.
"He clearly is trying to position himself as a peace broker between some of the really angry western premiers and the prime minister and I think he has a real opportunity to do that," says Roth.
This means that Ford has decided to overlook every attack that was slung at him from the Trudeau camp during the last election campaign."The prime minister was pretty aggressive in his remarks about the premier right up until Election Day and the premier never took the bait," says Roth. This cease-fire must have been a difficult step for Ford, seeing as he is usually very politically combative Ford, but he has done it nonetheless.
Finally, Crawler suggested that Ford may have reconciled with Trudeau to get back atConservative leader AndrewScheer.Scheer’s camp had tried very hard to dissociate themselves from Ford during the last Federal Elections because they believed that the premier's unpopularity would weigh down the votes for Scheer.