Haroon Siddiqui writes that, in the end, buffoonery won't bring Rob Ford and Stephen Harper down. Eventually, the truth that they are not who they say they are will catch up with them:
Both play the outsider.
Harper of Etobicoke, pretending to be a Calgarian, says he “didn’t go to Ottawa to join private clubs or become part of some elite.” He’s there only to take on the civil servants, “the courts,” the “union bosses,” the media, etc.
Ford, a fellow-Etobian, is “watching every dime” at City Hall, taking on lazy unionized workers and the media “maggots.” But his claim of having saved $1 billion is a fraud — as explained by the Star’s Daniel Dale, “Deconstructing Ford’s fiscal record,” Nov. 9. It’s a must-read for citizens. Ford promised not to cut services or raise taxes but did both — cut $73 million of services, raised user fees and property taxes — 2.2 per cent in 2012 and another 2 per cent this year, and yet another $1,000 per household for the subway extension to Scarborough. He promised not to dip into reserve funds or the annual surpluses but did.
Both men say they believe in law and order -- for other people:
Ford and Harper are law-and-order men. But Ford breaks the law, and how! Harper breaks his law on fixed Election Day. Both show no respect for the institutions that keep the rule of law, the police and the courts.
And both men have made a career of stoking public resentment:
Both whip up outsider rage, what Nietzsche called risentimento, the suspicion of the not very successful against the successful, “the elite.” Ford is “fightin’ for the little guy,” Harper for “the unsung heroes — the cab drivers, the small business owners, the farmers, the office workers.”
The problem is that, time and again, what they say is at odds with what they do.The facts have caught up with Ford. My bet is that they will eventually catch up with Harper.