Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toronto City Council, by 'Ford Nation' Membership

What a week it's been for Rob Ford, the democratically elected mayor of Toronto and his brother Doug Ford, the... wait, who is he again? Oh, yes... a councillor. One of 44 of those, who range from reliably pro-Ford to reliably anti-Ford. An awesome Google Docs spreadsheet that I saw linked on lays out who's voted in how since they were elected - showing the extent to which each councillor has a clear 'Ford Nation' membership.

So I put it all on a map. Here's a map of the wards, taken from, with a bubble over each one. The vividness of the red colour indicates the degree to which this particular councillor is allied with the mayor - thus, for example Doug's ward, number two (upper left corner, second one down) shines as brightly red as can be - as, incidentally, does most of Etobicoke. Doug is one of 13 councillors who have so far voted 100% in agreement with Rob Ford (and who says there are no political parties in municipal politics?).

Just as unexpected at the Etobicoke councillors' support is the lack of support shown in the downtown core, circles that are all but entirely black (no councillor goes down to 0%, but the lowest has agreed with Ford only 5% of the time - and that's not Mike Layton). Reminding one of the 2011 federal election returns, the whole of Scarborough and the northern part of North York are amazingly patchwork-quilt, loyal allies and staunch opponents side-by-side. What's interesting, though, is the band of Ford faithfuls in midtown, showing that the city's dynamics are not quite so simple as 'downtown vs. suburbs'.

Or rather showing that people didn't necessarily know the allegiances of the councillors they were voting for. This map bears only superficial similarities to the map of mayoral election returns, where not only the whole of Etobicoke but also the whole of Scarborough and almost the whole of North York as well voted pro-Ford, in some cases by huge majorities.

... or actually, lining up the two maps, there is in reality a lot more similarity between the two than I'd originally thought.


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