The War on Toronto

I’ve been following the current hearing about Mayor Ford and his alleged run-in with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). Over lunch, I explained to Daniel Levy, one of Steve’s new students, the gist of what is happening. Daniel, hailing most recently from Winnipeg ((Daniel had his bike stolen the week after he arrived and now he gets to hear about our mayor. Welcome to Toronto!)), rightly wondered if the Mayor’s oafishness is due to cherry-picked quotes from the media.

RUBY: Do you have any memory of the [councillor’s] handbook?
FORD: I just answered that question.
RUBY: You said, ‘I have a memory in my mind.’ What is it you have in your mind?
FORD: I can remember what I ate for breakfast this morning.
—Cross-examination of Mayor Rob Ford by lawyer Clayton Ruby

However, I assured him that it was not. I had been poring over the transcript of the cross-examination of Mayor Ford and realized that, if anything, I had been overestimating this man; the transcript is interesting and may make you laugh and cry at the same time. Indeed, this may be one of the few times when one draws a parallel between former POTUS Bill Clinton and Mayor Rob Ford. Or maybe even Donald Rumsfeld and the Mayor.

FORD: How do you define “formal”?

FORD: It all depends on how you define “serious”. We just sat and signed a document.

FORD: Sometimes you’re in conflict, sometimes you’re not. You may think you are, and sometimes you’re not.
—Cross-examination of Mayor Rob Ford by lawyer Clayton Ruby

It seems dubious that the Mayor was playing the fool. I don’t see how even a plan designed by an evil genius can include testimony that sabotages one’s legal defence; in particular, the Mayor claims that the sum of money involved is significant thus contradicting one of his legal team’s planned defences.

Even though there’s a lot of additional damage (if you consider what has already happened to be damage) that could be done to Toronto with Mayor Ford at the helm, I am terribly curious as to how much the electorate taxpayers of Toronto have been thoughtfully considering the actions of the man at the helm of the city council; could he garner enough support to be reelected? If Mayor Ford were to be removed from office but no sanctions on reelection enacted, my curiosity here would be satisfied. I’ve been reading readers’ comments in various newspapers and the mayor still has support, but I don’t understand how anyone of any political stripe could still support this man.

Some people would prefer being driven in a Volvo by a stickler for rules of the road. Others might prefer the adrenaline rush of a Porsche driven by Mario Andretti. But riding with Mayor Ford is like riding in a Yugo ((Or maybe insert Edsel joke here?)) driven by a stoned crash test dummy that gives other commuters the finger and can’t be bothered to look at the road.

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