Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rob Ford And The Peter Principle

Christie Blatchford is furious. Yesterday a judge removed the man she voted for because, as she wrote last Friday, he was "authentic." In her mind, authenticity trumps an unjust law:

So, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been given the boot from office because an opportunistic citizen hired a smart and politically savvy lawyer who found a club of an arcane statute with which to tie the hands of a judge who was willing to play ball.

That’s the short and dirty version of the bombshell that has dropped.

The truth is that, if Ford had declined to vote on the resolution which declared he did not have to return less than $3200 to his donors, he would not have been involved in a conflict of interest. If he had repaid what amounted to a pittance, the problem would have gone away. Ironically, in her defence of Ford, Blatchford hints at the real problem. Ford told the council:

And if it wasn’t for this foundation, these kids would not have had a chance. And then to ask that I pay it out of my own pocket personally, there is just, there is no sense to this. The money is gone; the money has been spent on football equipment.

Blatchford writes, "I’d argue that it’s just as reasonable to interpret that as the sputtering and clumsy protest of a man who was bewildered how doing something good had turned so bad."

Precisely. Ford is a blundering man who has yet more legal battles to fight because he is ignorant of the machinery of municipal government. He is the latest example of the Peter Principle. He's simply out of his depth. Tonight his football team is playing for the city championship. If he had stuck to coaching football, he would have been quite successful. As a mayor, he's a disaster.


Lorne said...

What amazes me, Owen, is the complete absence of insight the right-wing has into their mayor's demise. To blame, as Rob and Doug did yesterday, his fate on 'left-wing politics,' 'social elites' and 'unions' is to totally disregard the fact that he broke laws. To have the view that those laws don't matter if you don't believe in them is chilling indeed.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I get the point you are trying to make with referencing The Peter Principle but Ford was incompetent as a a member of city council. Perhaps, the voters reached their lowest level of incompetence in electing him. Becoming mayor was not advancing him to his lowest level of incompetence. In fact, he became two levels up in incompetency, if not not more. In reality, he missed his calling. He seems happiest coaching teenagers in football. I wish him well at that.

Owen Gray said...

I read a piece the other day by Frank Rich in New York Magazine, Lorne. He mentioned a survey of some 43 popular conservative bloggers done by Right Wing News. The question was: "Who were the worst figures in American history?"

According to the survey, "Jimmy Carter, Obama, and FDR led the tally, all well ahead of Benedict Arnold, Timothy McVeigh, and John Wilkes Booth."

The Ford brothers are as equally dim witted as the bloggers.

Owen Gray said...

If Ford were a neophyte at municipal government, Philip, his ignorance might be understandable. However, he was on council for ten years before he was elected Mayor.

And, as the old saw goes, ignorance before the law is no excuse.

You're right. He's been incompetent for a long time.

The Mound of Sound said...

Like many Canadians watching Toronto from a safe distance, Rob Ford always seemed utterly bizarre. We've known pre-amalgamated Toronto for having a string of fairly sophisticated, even nationally prominent mayors and then along comes this stumblebum. The man defines "lout" and his capacity for effrontery was seemingly insatiable. Is he now safely gone? Are his polling numbers sufficiently low to ensure he can't return?

Owen Gray said...

He'll be around for some time to come, Mound. He says he's going to appeal the decision.

If he's granted a stay while he appeals, he could stay put. There is some talk of a byelection -- and various legal opinions about whether or not he could run.

He does not intend to go quietly. That's something Homer Simpson would never do.