How much longer can the streetcar named Rob Ford go on?

Nov 4th, 2013 | By | Category: In Brief

We decided a while ago that paying too much attention to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford just encourages him. And we retired our ”Streetcar Named Rob Ford” page this past spring.

Yet it does seem to be one of Mayor Ford’s talents that just when you sensibly decide to forget his antics until the next election (on October 27, 2014), something happens to make this impossible. See, eg, our own Dominic Berry on “Another Rob Ford surprise .. will he beat this one too?

So it is (or was) that after a week of new Fordist fun and games in god’s own city, on the afternoon of Sunday, November 3, 2013, we found ourselves at least watching the cp24 TV version of the 1010 AM weekly radio show starring Rob Ford and his big brother Doug.

As for the details here, we can do no better than quote the CBC website : “Ford apologized for unspecified ‘mistakes’ … ‘I’m the first one to admit, friends … I am not perfect. I have made mistakes … and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes’ … About an hour into his radio show … Ford made specific reference to his behaviour at public events — including at the Taste of the Danforth street festival during the summer … While he said he intended to make changes in his life, Ford said he couldn’t ‘mislead people’ by telling them he will be perfect in future … The mayor made no mention of any plans to step down, or take a leave of absence… ‘I am going to ride the storm out and just keep doing what I was elected to do,’ Ford said.”

This may or may not prove to be good politics. One problem, as the best mayor Toronto never had , John Tory, told we cp24 viewers, is that fresh evidence of Mayor Ford’s imperfections may be in the gurgling works that the courts and Police Chief Blair let loose this past week.

It also may or may not be intriguing that “Rob Ford approval goes up despite video scandal … Toronto mayor at 44% approval after police revelations, Forum Research poll says.” But before we jump to too many conclusions on this front, we have to stop remembering that many events in the recent Canadian past have shown how opinion polling is less than an exact science.

At the same time, we agree with Dominic Berry that  “there is a real Ford nation. The mayor of Canada’s current biggest city speaks in a voice that more than a few of we-the-people who usually feel left out of public life identify with.” We are happy enough as well to leave Mayor Ford’s fate to the next election, a year from now. That is the democratic thing to do.

At the same time again, the events of the past week do appear to have decisively shown that Mayor Ford does not believe in honesty as the best public policy. It does now seem impossible to know when, if ever, he is telling the truth about anything. This is one of his imperfections. And even such a friendly face as Christina Blizzard at the Toronto Sun has  written that : “Guilty or innocent, fair or unfair, right or wrong — the Ford political brand is radioactive now.” Whatever else, the way ahead will not be easy — for Mayor Ford and for all the rest of us who spend most of our days and nights in the 21st century city of Toronto, Canada  — which Bill Maher in Southern California has just christened as even more dysfunctional than the USA today!

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