We in Toronto have a major disaster looming, and I mean LOOOOOMING.
Rob Ford is running for mayor and at the moment -- early days yet, thank Gord -- is leading.
The inevitable Facebook group has been created: Anybody but Rob Ford for Mayor. From the info page:
This group is for those of us in the GTA who wish to spare ourselves the shame of having a man like Rob Ford representing our city. Polls show he has a slight edge over the other candidates. The goal is to watch for whichever non-Ford candidate is highest in the polls and offer them our support.
Here's a few choice quotes. Please feel free to contribute others.
Rob Ford on AIDS prevention...
"(AIDS) is very preventable, if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably, that's bottom line." With respect to the increasing rates of women contracting the disease, Ford said; "How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men."
Rob Ford on bike lanes...
"I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day."
Rob Ford on why oriental people are taking over...
"Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That's why these people are so hard workers (sic). I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over."
Rob Ford on G20 summit police brutality...
"I think the police were too nice. I would have had a zero tolerance approach."
Don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to see what Rob Ford considers an adequate amount of police brutality.
Some more choice 'colourful' comments from an excellent round-up at the Globe:
April 17, 2002: During a council debate on whether there should be homeless shelters across the city, rather than only downtown, Mr. Ford says: “This is an insult to my constituents to even think about having a homeless shelter in their ward. And you want me to have a public meeting to discuss this? Why don’t we have a public lynching?”(There's video at the link.)
Yesterday, he called himself a 'family man' in a apparent swipe at married-with-child-but-gay George Smitherman.
Yeah, he's a family man all right (from Globe link).
March 26, 2008: After Mr. Ford’s wife, Renata, calls police to their home, Mr. Ford is arrested and charged with assaulting her and uttering a death threat. A month later, prosecutors drop the charges because inconsistencies in Ms. Ford’s accounts make a conviction unlikely. “It’s the happiest time in my life when my family’s all together. … That's all I wanted from the very beginning and that’s what I have now,” Mr. Ford tells reporters.He also has truthiness and anger issues (Globe again):
April 15, 2006: Security guards remove a drunken and belligerent Mr. Ford from a Maple Leafs game after he shouts insults at an out-of-town couple. The attacks began after the man asks Mr. Ford to be quiet. Mr. Ford responds: “Who the fuck do you think you are? Are you a fucking teacher?” Failing to get a response, he turns his attention to the man’s wife: “Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?” The couple realizes the angry man’s identity after Mr. Ford leaves behind a business card. When reporters confront Mr. Ford with the couple’s complaint, he denies being at the hockey game. A day later, he comes clean, saying he lied because he felt “embarrassed and humiliated.” He also says: “I had one too many beers and I sincerely apologize.” Mr. Ford later e-mails the couple an apology, writing: “My complete lack of manners were unprofessional, immature, and do not in any way reflect my usual behaviour in public.”
And yesterday, there was the spectacle of his 'remembering' his marijuana bust in Florida. (Note that even the Toronto Sun is 'worried' about his truthiness.)
I don't give a shit about the marijuana. I do have a problem with the lying, anger, and general bottom-feeding mentality.
Wakey-wakey, Toronto. Remember how we laughed when Mel Lastman ran? Remember how gob-smacked we were when he won? Remember when he won AGAIN?
This can happen here.
The problem is the rest of the field. Smitherman is loathed by a great swath of the public. Rocco Rossi is a neo-con and wants to privatize a bunch of assets, including Toronto Hydro. Joe Pantelone is tarred with the Miller-crony brush and is running a dull campaign. There's also a woman named Sarah -- weeee! we get our own Sarah! -- with zip, zero, nada experience in politics but who is a self-made business woman. But this dolt wants to privatize -- wait for it -- the public library system. Really.
There may be others in this *yawn* race.
I can't think of any alternative to the Facebook strategy. Wait to see who's running strongest against him, then vote for him. (I will not vote for any ijit who wants to privatize my beloved library system.)
Any other ideas out there?