So, I would be remiss if I didn’t start with Doug Ford. Ontario, give your heads a collective shake! What the fuck have you done? You have always been the stable centre of our country. While Quebec tries to separate, Alberta having a terrible twos hissy fit over their pipeline and a federal government far more concerned with image than substance. We used to be able to count on you, Ontario.1 Mike Harris was all austerity all the time but at least that kind of made sense even if he did copy his ideas from other governments. At least Harris was smart enough to know that he wasn’t that smart.
Enter Doug Ford. Everyone knows that Doug was not the brains of the Ford family dynasties: labels or political. Ford became premier through an absolute comedy of errors. Kathleen Wynne’s incompetence and Andrea Horvath’s complete unlikeability. When will the NDP replace her as leader? She’s lost 2 elections she should have won. Why is she still there.
Let’s talk about Ford’s treatment of his sister-in-law, Renata Ford.2 The family doesn’t have enough money to survive. All he has to do is give them a disbursement from the will. It seems like the Ford family wants to see her lose everything so she has to start over. She is certainly entitled to Rob’s share of that business, especially after the hell he put her through in their marriage. I hope once this is over and done with she writes a tell-all book and makes some serious cash.
Now, let’s talk about the sex ed curriculum roll back. Is Ford that stupid to think you can pull information back? Has he met the internet? Does he not think kids already know the score? They sure has hell know more than ’tab a goes into slot b’.
The thing about Doug Ford is that he is a vengeful man. Why else would he slash the size of the Toronto City Council. I am sure he’s hoping that some of his nemesis will be taken down in the process. Both Doug and Rob Ford looked at Toronto City Council as their personal fiefdoms, I am not surprised that Doug Ford can not let it go.
Ontario is certainly in for a rocky 4-year ride. Don’t worry, we will welcome you into the fold of sanity once he’s done. I predict that Doug Ford’s time in office will end with an increase in the deficit/debt.
We will forgive you the Bob Rae NDP government after all he has repented and become a Liberal elder statesman. ↩︎
Like everyone, I too have been following the sordid saga that is Rob Ford’s mayoralty term in Toronto. As the allegations continued to be released, along with video evidence of his horrid behavior, I laughed along with everyone else at how he seems to step in shit everywhere he goes. Populist politicians, like Ford, are a different breed. Things that would bring down most elected officials seem to not only roll off populists but also seem to also galvanize their base. Most populists are conservative by nature and subscribe to anti-intellectual ideas. They believe that the left-wing elites are what is causing problems and if they could just get rid of them then everything would run so much better. The more the media tries to discredit someone like Ford, the more his base supports him. It is almost as though the fevered pitch in the media is evidence of the power of the leftist, university-educated elites have no understanding of what life is really like for the ‘little guy’, the blue-collar worker, the taxpayer. Support of the base for guys like Rob Ford is almost guaranteed as long as he doesn’t forget which master he serves; he can, pretty much get away with just about anything.
The allegations that surfaced earlier in 2013 about the potential of a video existing of Ford smoking crack cocaine did not harm his reputation or his level of support in Toronto. Sure he lost lots of staff and people around him were begging him to get help but Ford still had control of the message. He could rail on about how the media were persecuting him and trying to de-rail the very important work he was elected to do. Stopping the ‘gravy-train’ has been Ford’s raison d’être as mayor of Toronto and he could deflect media speculation and criticism of him by stating that he needed to get back to work doing what the people of Toronto elected him to do. Casting the media and the pundits as the enemy that prevents him from running the city appeals to his base.
The revelation that in fact there is a video of Ford smoking crack and his subsequent admission that he had smoked crack ‘while in a drunken stupor’ would not have been enough to move a substantial amount of his base support. The reasons why are myriad. Most of us are familiar with at least one person in our lives who suffers from alcoholism. Many of them would likely have felt sorry for Ford that in an inebriated condition he had smoked crack cocaine. Ford could still credibly state that he was being persecuted by the media and left-leaning liberal elites.
The video released this week, however, may prove Ford’s undoing. People relate to politicians because they see something of themselves reflected back. This week’s video that shows an extremely inebriated Ford railing on about how he is going to murder someone crosses a line. This Rob Ford is not someone the base can support. His behavior is reprehensible and disgusting. He demonstrates that he is truly in need of a great deal of help to cope with his substance abuse issues. His base could forgive him for doing stupid things like smoking crack cocaine once or twice but once he was revealed to be a vile monster, no one wants to get on that train with him.
As a woman watching that video, I was horrified. I wonder what his family has had to endure living with this man for all these years. He got drunk and threatened to murder in someone else’s house. If he can do that, what is he capable of at home? I can only imagine the metric fuckton of abuse he has heaped on his family. I suspect that at the very least they must listen to him rant and rave on a daily basis but I fear it is much more. I don’t care a wit about Rob Ford but my heart bleeds for his family. I only hope there is someone in the extended Ford family who can reign Rob Ford in and make him get help. At the very least he needs rehab for his drug and alcohol issues and he must get a handle on his rage. If Ford is able to do these things there may be a redemption story here that will save his political career. Without the transformation he doesn’t stand a chance.
 Nuances like the fact that everyone pays taxes regardless of their education is lost on people like Ford.
In our world bullies generally skate by as most people are afraid to take them on. This coupled with the reality that effective mechanisms do not exist to hold bullies accountable for their behavior. Without any real consequences, bullies begin to think they are invincible and that the rules are not made for them. Today all that has changed in the City of Toronto. A court has ruled that Rob Ford must vacate his position of Mayor as he has violated conflict of interest rules. I am sure for most thinking Torontonians this must come as a huge relief.
Toronto has had some interesting mayors over the years. But none of them have created so much controversy and derision than Rob Ford. Even Mel Lastman, who tried to call out the army when Toronto had a bad snowstorm, was not as universally hated. In fact, Rob Ford makes Mel Lastman look like a scholar and a statesman in comparison.
What is even more disturbing about Rob Ford is the fact that he works with children as a coach of a football team. I can only imagine the things these young people have learned from him. Part of Ford’s defense was that he never read the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Whether he read it or not is immaterial, as we all know ignorance of the law is no excuse. Ford believes the rules do not apply to him regardless of what they are and who makes them. To him all of this comes down to a battle against right and left and the left is persecuting him.
Judge Hackland saw it differently. In his ruling he stated: “it is difficult to accept an error in judgment defence based essentially on a stubborn sense of entitlement (concerning his football foundation) and a dismissive and confrontational attitude to the integrity commissioner and the [council] code of conduct.” In short, Ford bullied his way to this decision. Instead of heeding professional advice that he needed to do things correctly he believed he was above it all.
Of course, being the bully he is, he will not go away. He has vowed to fight this ruling and run again if he is actually made to step down. People like Ford never learn from their mistakes because they believe themselves to be above it all. And if they don’t get their own way they stamp their feet, yell and scream and bully those who are disagreeing with them. I think Rob Ford needs a big time out.