I was just reading the latest blog of the esteemed cityslikr . I really love reading his take on city hall because it’s so plain-spoken, intelligent, and honest. I began thinking about the gifts Mr Ford has bestowed upon us. While it is true that I have a sister in city politics, she has been there quite some time. It did nothing to stir me into being the slightest bit really interested in city politics. That was something that went on somewhere in that building downtown and kept her out til all hours doing something that seemed to have a lot to do with garbage and meetings. I felt quite apathetically confident that all was in hand. Much like most of the city, judging by the last elections voting statistics. Occasionally if I was home I’d watch just enough of city hall to have a pretty low opinion of a lot of it’s members.
No, Rob Ford has given us a really good kick in the ribs. Like so many I refused to believe it was even possible for him to win the election. Now, I did vote. I always vote. Have never missed voting since I was oldest enough to do so. It is astonishing to me how many people I know who did not. Couldn’t be bothered, felt certain city politics weren’t all that important anyway. Then the proverbial shit hit the fan and we all began to find out otherwise. Oh crap! Transit, hydro, garbage, the Portlands, casinos, conflicts of interest, flagrant dereliction of duty, city council without a leader. It just goes on and on. We all look at each other and wonder, how the hell did this happen?
Like so many, I assume that all politicians lie. Maybe not all the time and maybe not always dangerously, but it seems to be part of the job. I know some don’t. I know my sister doesn’t. She’s one of the all too rare few who will tell you the truth even when it’s not what you want to hear. We need a lot more of that. Way to many politicians won’t do that because they are way to interested in keeping their jobs and not nearly interested enough in what we elected them to do. That’s a problem with our system.
Our mayor lies. Apparently he doesn’t actually know how not to. In every single instance where he has been confronted in the past two years, his first instinct has been to lie.Tthoughtlessly and carelessly. He doesn’t seem to understand what all good liars know. You need to remember details if you’re going to tell a whopper. He just lies and lies and lies and gets caught and caught and caught.
He seems never to have grown emotionally past that 12-year-old boy phase where if you just stand pat maybe you can finally get away with it. Like all 12-year-old liars, he never learns the error of his way. He’s just so sure that if he holds on and keeps desperately weaving and re-weaving the tale, at some point we’ll believe him. And like all bullies everywhere, when all is finally lost the pat reaction is; “It’s not fair, you guys are just picking on me”.
I don’t always agree with my father’s viewpoints. He’s from a different generation and a different viewpoint. He taught us that everyone has the right to be heard and that makes for some pretty interesting dinner conversations. He believes one thing that I’m starting to believe he’s very right about. No one should be allowed to make politics a career in and of itself. Without apparent purpose. You should not be allowed to forget what your job is. We need a way to fire you, if you aren’t doing your job. They have recall in B.C. We’re the biggest city in the country and the focal point of the country’s economy and we are currently saddled with a buffoon as our mayor with no way to rid ourselves of him. OMG!
We are seeing this in the federal government right now. We have a sitting Senator who has full on Alzheimer’s disease. Who is at the institutionalized stage and we’re still paying her salary. What the hell? We have a mayor who has not idea one about what his job actually is. He wanted to win the position. He told us a whole lot of nonsense that was nothing more than fancy spin messaging. Gravy train, waste in City Hall. I’m not saying there wasn’t or aren’t efficiencies to be found. There always are. I’m saying he didn’t, doesn’t, have clue one what they are. He just saw a thing and wanted it. So he went after it. Then he won it. Isn’t that enough? What? You want me to work now? I’m busy volunteering your time, can’t you see that?
Back to his gifts. Thank you Rob Ford. You made the members of a terribly fractured council come together. They had not figured out how they were going to deal with amalgamation. They were still voting in blocks, Scarborough, East York and so on. They did not have a full grasp on the importance of Toronto being Toronto, the GTA. You gave us that. You made the apathetic of the city begin to wake up and realize that city politics are far more important to our daily lives than any of the nevertheless crazy moves being made in Ottawa or Queens Park. You made us start asking, in lots and lots of cases we are demanding, that our councillors start representing us! We the people. You continue to behave like a spoiled child and slowly, oh so slowly, most of your supporters have begun to see you for what you are.
Oh, I’m not a fool. There will always be a small core of foolish and deluded folks who choose to believe you know what you are doing. You will still be dangerous if you are actually allowed to run in 2014. If egos get in the way again and no one rises out of the fray to give you the run for your money that you so richly deserve. You actually could come down the middle again and that would be as big a tragedy as Toronto has ever beheld.
Like it or not we are the GTA. We need to be one city from Scarborough to Etobicoke. We have both federal and provincial governments who refuse to acknowledge just how important an efficiently functioning Toronto is to the health of the entire country. Not to put too fine a point on it but the new government of Quebec gets that point. They have appointed a Minister of Montreal. We need a mayor with the strength, the balls if you will, to both rally our council to the common cause we all believe in, and to go at these foolish self-serving politicians and force them to acknowledge what will make a stronger Canada.
Toronto needs a real mayor so badly right now. One who will lead us onto the world stage where we belong. Rob Ford is simply not that man.