O.K. Let’s try this again. Yesterday there was some kind of cyber meltdown when I tried to upload a post about Rob Ford. Eventually I had to remove it. I blame the leftwing Toronto cabal.
In any case, the story has advanced since that point in time because Justice Hackland has allowed Rob Ford to run in a by-election to replace himself after all (in the event he loses the appeal and council doesn’t appoint an unelected temporary replacement that is).
Yesterday I was trying to explore the notion of two solitudes in Toronto. The downtown elitists really, really dislike Ford – to put it mildly. Others see him as a populist champion who is doing exactly what he said he would do – clean up the entitlement at City Hall and run things more efficiently.
Corcoran refers to the Haters as “fantasy rock throwers, the usual collection of leftists and waffly centrists, cringing sophisticates, downtown Liberals, Toronto Star columnists, CBC reporters, Ryerson academics and would-be mayoral candidates who would like to maintain the old quasi-corrupt ways that have long dominated Toronto city government.”
Rob Ford is the nearest Toronto has come in recent years to having a straight-shooting shit-disturber at city hall, someone who tends not to play along with the ingrown culture of municipal governance that has dominated Toronto politics for decades.
This is a city government where councillors have used their city budgets on parties, video cameras, dinners, lunches and — of all things — to make charitable donations. The office of former Mayor David Miller, a card-carrying downtown-lefty, once filed $15,000 in expenses for donations to various charities, including the Senior Pride Network…
Rex Murphy refers to the whole legal debacle as a “lurid reality show starring dysfunctional, petty and self-absorbed politicians — of whom Rob Ford is merely the most visible and annoying.”
He calls the city itself a “factory for tribal grudges: the hip versus the hicks, downtown versus the suburbs.”
Ford seems to bring out the worst in these elites:
Ford was unacceptable to one faction from the second he was elected. He was Dogpatch. They were Park Avenue. He was grit. They were pearls. They schemed and he bulldozed. If ever there was a politico who gave his enemies a staff to beat him, it was Rob Ford…
Murphy isn’t optimistic that these two solitudes will ever be able to work harmoniously together:
…Will the national embarrassment following this unofficial coup be something of a cure for its excesses? No. Just wait for the now inevitable by-election to choose the next mayor. The whole episode will not really change the character of Toronto’s municipal leadership. It will merely have extended and revivified the feuds and factionalism that brought us to this sad point.
The thing is though that occasionally we need Rob Fords in our political system to shake things up a bit. It is regrettable that he isn’t able to tone down some of his rougher sides but that is Rob. What you see is what you get.
However I don’t see the culture of entitlement changing longterm at City Hall as long as downtown residents and academic elites keep electing leftist hacks and mediocrities.
You get the government you deserve, Toronto.
* * * *
A few more good links here at Newsbeat 1.
And Christie Blatchford has been doing a stellar job on the Rob Ford file. Her latest column delves into the bio of the mastermind behind the Ford take-down - Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler. ‘Citizen’ Paul Magder was merely the aggrieved face in front of the cameras.
In Dark day for democracy in Toronto Charles Adler makes a comparison to the 2008 federal coalition crisis and attempted coup d’etat.
Here’s the thing Lefties: Try taking down your opponents the old-fashioned way – in an election. That’s the way we do things here in Canada.
Walkom: Why Toronto council should appoint Rob Ford to replace Rob Ford – Star!