Firstly, I am not Rob Ford biggest fan, his policies are sometimes too shaky, incoherent and unpredictable. He also sometimes seems strange, but he won’t be the first nor the last mayor of a major city to look eccentric. He also have many skeletons in his closet, but many electors don’t care about this considering that it was part of the whole package before he was being elected.
But then, when I see the tactics that Ford’s detractors are using, I say, perhaps Ford is not so bad after all. Many (but not all) of Rob Ford’s detractors are using tactics which are close to full blown bullying. It’s goes way beyond his policy or his ideas, it’s about his persona, his weight, his tastes which are going against the bien-pensants. For some people in Toronto, Ford had become the bogeyman in person, a sort of person which had become politically correct to bash. Funny to see that so-called progressives find it cool to let loose their political correctness when it’s Rob Ford. Of course, bashing overweight people is usually wrong for do gooders, unless it’s Rob (or Doug) Ford.
Many in the media who are bashing Ford actually don’t understand why Ford got elected at the first place. He was the underdog and this was seen as massive blowback to how people in the former separate cities of Toronto seen David Miller administration or anything associated to it. Sadly, many Ford-haters have a short memory without understanding that Ford’s populist message struck a cord among a good number of voters in Toronto for a perfectly legitimate reason. Many people who are not traditional Conservatives have voted for Ford. And yes, Toronto have a weak mayor system and Ford only have one vote like other in the city council. Note that many so called »progressives » in Toronto City Council are sort of mini-Michael Bloombergs, to give you an example, they don’t mind banning plastic bags.
Funny that as I am myself a classical liberal, I find it hilarious that many progressives are like people who wanted to prohibit liquor in the early 20th century. They both have the same motto, if they don’t like something, why not just ban it?
The other inconvenient truth that many Ford haters don’t seem to understand is that Ford won massively because of New Canadians who are living outside the Old City of Toronto. For some in the city of Old Toronto, Ford represents everything they hate. He is living in a house which have a driveway, he loves football (perhaps a bit too much) he don’t take the streetcar to get home and he loves to eat at low-class non-trendy restaurants where they serve a lot of food in their plates.
And yes, for Mr. Singh living in Rexdale or Mr. Wu living inn Agincourt, Ford seems like the average neighbour unlike the people who live in condos, apartments or houses in the old City of Toronto. People there hated Ford so much that they voted for George Smitherman. Yes, the same George Smitherman who was minister of everything and nothing in the McGuinty government.
In conclusion, if Ford’s detractors are continuing this Rob Ford as bogeyman play, in 2014, Rob Ford could well be re-elected by a greater margin than in 2010. Of course he could screw up of something which will probably be stupid and be forced to resign (like substance abuse), but his »scandals » are making people in other cities laugh. In London, I am sure that many people are angry at Joe Fontana, yet, he will probably not resign until the next election. In Laval (which is sort of Quebec’s version of Mississauga in an island called the Jesus Island), they even had Al Capone as mayor for close to 25 years.