While Republicans are still struggling to accommodate the Tea Party, the conservative message is spreading like wildfire, even across international lines:
The story last night is so familiar to U.S. political reporters: the business community and other elites line up behind one candidate, but the opponent rallies the conservative base with talk of rolling back government spending and no more taxes. The press mocks the latter candidate for off-hand comments and what they consider simplistic rhetoric. But the political grass-roots is more emboldened than ever and people are fed up with and nervous about government in general and take a chance on the “risky” candidate.It could have been Nevada, Alaska, or any of the states and races where the “tea party” movement emerged triumphant last year. But, instead it was Toronto, Canada, where voters last night resoundingly rejected the “establishment” choice for mayor and instead went with “outsider” candidate Rob Ford. With nearly half the eligible voters turning out, 41-year-old City Councilor Ford rolled up a landslide win over “establishment” favorite George Smittherman, who had the backing of the business community and organized labor.In reporting the stunning win of the outspoken Ford, the Financial Times this morning likened the mayor-elect to a “tea party” candidate. Indeed, Ford campaigned on an agenda to cut city spending and roll back taxes, his cogent slogan being: “Stop the Gravy Train!”
Don't miss the rest of John Gizzi's article.
Reuters Canada reports:
Ford drew 47 percent of the vote, compared to Smitherman's 35 percent, with no other candidate getting more than 12 percent, according to official vote tallies...Toronto, with a population of 2.6 million, is Canada's financial capital. In federal elections, the city tends to vote Liberal or for the left-leaning New Democrats, while many of its suburbs vote Conservative.Ford capitalized on voter resentment over high taxes and an ugly municipal workers' strike, while generating support for his own penny-pinching and accessibility. He vowed to abolish Toronto's vehicle-registration tax and land-transfer tax.
If the fiscally conservative tea party message can win in a landslide in liberal Toronto, it win anywhere in the U.S.
Related: Israel's right wing starts its own Tea Party.