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Politics and Finance Chat - Doug Ford

Politics and Finance Chat

Earlier this month, Doug Ford won the re-election in Ontario, Canada. This is a win both politicians and financial services professionals can learn something from.

For those not familiar with Canadian politics (where elections are hardly noticed outside)

Here are some backgrounders:

  • Doug Ford is the leader of Progressive Conservative (central right) in Ontario, which competes with Liberal (central-left) and New Democratic Party (left).

  • At the Federal level, Liberal has won the last 3 elections since 2015, with recent 2 times as the minority governing party.

Doug Ford is not the same Progressive Conservative as those at the federal level. He and his late brother, Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor, had been involved in Toronto politics for many years.

At the city level, politicians focus on more concrete issues, instead of ideology. Voters also pay more attention to their actions instead of political party affiliation.

That is exactly how Rob Ford carries himself as the Ontario Premier during the 1st term. He focused on issues at hand, ignored the ideology debates, and put money in people’s pockets.

Actions like this won him and the Ontario PC party the 2nd term in a landslide, in a key province that sent Federal Liberal to the minority leader last year.

👉 What can financial services firms learn from this?

There is similar labeling in financial services as in politics, supported by passionate industry professionals - from big banks to fintech, from open banking to embedded finance.

Yet, many terms fail to build connections with consumers.

For example, there have been a couple of open banking editorials in the Globe and Mail. The responses from the readers were not even lukewarm - they do not understand what concrete benefits they will get.

I believe in the potential of open banking, but I am also a consumer. You need to demonstrate values, by providing convenient and reliable products/services, with competitive pricing, tested by time.

As Doug Ford has proven, concrete values will win you the people, not those labels.


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