Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Political Implosion In Slow Motion

Royson James writes in today's Toronto Star that mayor Rob Ford is beyond redemption:

At some point, Mayor Rob Ford’s mayoralty will collapse under the weight of his own political folly.

Not today — despite reports the mayor uses his city-paid staff, cars and cellphones to administer elements of the youth football teams he coaches.

Not tomorrow — even as more and more allies back away from what has become a radioactive mayoralty. 

A week after being in court and arguing that using City Hall letterhead to raise money for his football foundation was an oversight, not a conflict of interest, came the news that Ford left an executive committee meeting five hours early, and that he uses city staff to help run that foundation. Hardly an oversight.

But, more importantly, the rules for municipal government in Ontario give each mayor one vote. To get anything done, a mayor has to build coalitions. Ford is supremely unsuited for that task. James writes:

Anyone who has dispassionately examined the mayor knows this: He doesn’t care what anybody thinks. He has a nose for trouble. He thumbs his nose at the world. And he is still that rich kid from north Etobicoke who gets away with bullying those around him, because he can.

Drunk at a hockey game, he abused fans, lied about it, and then sheepishly apologized when found out.
He was busted for possession and caught drinking while driving in Florida. He lied about it when the Toronto Sun confronted him. But the voters forgave him and made him mayor.

As mayor, he is caught driving and using his phone, but is not sorry at all, ignoring the danger.
He is caught reading city documents while driving — and rebuffs every effort from staff and the police to get him a chauffeur.

Like his political ally, the Prime Minister, Ford has no intention of working with anyone. In politics, that spells doom.

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