For lack of a better metaphor, Toronto's political immune system seems to be rejecting Rob Ford's governance. For all the talk of his problems of style (failing utterly to seek compromise on Council, muster fact-based arguments for his preferences, reach out in even the most basic way to constituencies with whom he disagrees etc), Ford's failure really is one of substance. Subways aside, most of his political preferences are simply outside the mainstream of Toronto politics, and councillors with their ears to the ground in their wards know they don't fly with voters. This got me thinking about the true scope of ideological disagreement in megacity municipal politics. Despite what we're told is a huge gulf between the core and the outer 416, councillors on both sides of that divide seem to agree on a great deal. We saw this during the budget process when, apart from Ford's true hard core, there was just no appetite at all for serious service cuts. When you zoom out a bit, I think it's possible to argue that there really is a Toronto Consensus in politics: broadly fiscally conservative, socially liberal, yet supportive of a wide range of social programs funded through the tax base, pro-development. Sort of a modernized, urban Red Toryism. You could subsequently argue that Mel Lastman tested the rightward bounds of this consensus, followed by Miller who tacked to its leftward edge. Ford, meanwhile, has tried to wrench the consensus to the right (after campaigning on something very different, it must be noted), and been comprehensively blocked by Council. I strongly suspect that once all's said and done, if some political scientist were to crunch the numbers he or she would find the decisions of the 2010-2014 Council smack in the middle of ideological patterns that have prevailed since the creation of the Megacity. Just putting this out there--something I've been thinking about. Curious for the opinions of others on the board. Are we really all just one big, happy family?