Friday, 20 August 2010

Wakey-Wakey, Toronto

I'm finding federal politics too depressing to blog about. So, let's turn to municipal politics, specifically Toronto, shall we?

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?


deBeauxOs said...

Sheesh. Rob Ford makes Mel Lastman look good, right now.

Niles said...

If Rossi is a neo-con, what the heck is Ford? He sounds like a classic Washington DC C-Street boy with all the 'it's different when it's me' Altemeyer neocon profile Bingo points.

So, the question is, where *are* the progressives in TO for the mayoralty race? I thought TO was socialist progressive central the way the Federal Cons shriek and moan.

How come it's nothing but a real life version of Monty Python's upper class twits Olympics?

Is the problem campaign money? What?

Anonymous said...

Privatize the public library system?! Oh my gawd, didn't see that one coming.

Yeah, somehow we have to stop Ford, I can't stand that man. As it is right now, nothing sticks to him and it's a piss off. It's still a little early yet, but we have to be ready when the time comes. In the meantime, maybe he'll murder somebody or do something like that. If we're lucky.

ThinkingManNeil said...

Rob Ford is an ignorant, lying, bigoted, bullying, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, violent, psychotic, fascistic sack of crap in a cheap suit - the very essence of Canadian "conservatism" in its current guise. He's a cruel, heartless, unthinking sycophant of Mike Harris, Jim Flaherty, and Stephen Harper and their fascist neocon policies who also hates the poor, the LGTB communities, minorities, and anyone else who isn't White & Right, and he'll leave Toronto wide open to corporatist and CPoC plundering if he becomes mayor of Toronto. He must be kept from real power at all costs.

fern hill said...

No, really, ThinkingManNeil, tell us what you really think. ;)

I'm hoping he'll flame out soon and pull some spectacularly idiotic and/or violent stunt that not even his dough-head supporters can deal with.

ck said...

Gawd damned Wingnut! Remind you of anyone! Ah yes! ol' Teflon Steve!

Ford makes me thankful I live in Montreal with my mayor Gerald Tremblay and his scandals involving corruption with construction companies and organized crime as well as an opposition leader, Richard Bergeron, who told La Presse once upon a time:

he smokes to stay healthy because, he said, it reduces his lung capacity and keeps him from injuring himself when he runs marathons too fast.

read more on last Montreal municipal election here:

I will say this though. My entire family lives in downtown Toronto. My father as some of you know, is quite sick. I really do worry what would happen to my parents if that wingnut ever got into power. To the point where I'm already starting a campaign to convince my folks to sell their condo and move back here, to Montreal.

Gordo said...

I see that Ford and crew aren't talking to The Star any more. They didn't like the stories about him abusing football players.

Contrary to what he wrote to the couple from the Leafs game, unprofessional and immature conduct does seem to be a recurring theme for him.

I'm glad I'm in Kingston, but I still have my fingers crossed for you.

Lene Andersen said...

And then there's his use of the R-word. Dave Hingburger started an online campaign here (and updated on the issue through Aug.19). May of his readers emailed and blogged about it, too (mine's here if you'll pardon the shameless linking). Some change happened, but alas, not with Mr. Ford.

Who's a wingnut. If he becomes mayor, I'll have to move.

fern hill said...

Lene, we like shamelessness here. :)

The R-word. A new one for me. Grand to see so many exercised people. No surprise Ford and his kind don't geddit.

Anonymous said...

Of all the prominent candidates, only Pantalone has long-term city hall experience. He's also the quietest of the lot at debates and when speaking to the press. He likes do to things in a quiet way. Many of us appreciate that and he is in sharp contrast to the other prominent candidates who are loud, wordy and grandstanding. Needless to say, I like him very much.

Most of the rest have no real city hall experience--and I include Ford in that. He's around but often absent for votes and spends more time meddling in other councillors' ward problems.

During the next few weeks, there will be explosive news events and scenes with Ford and maybe others--except Pantalone. "Pants" will be busy doing what he does best--listening and helping to answer thorny constituents' questions.

The thought of four years of Ford's hectoring city council gives me the shudders. Joe Pantalone it is for me.

double nickel said...

Blatchford seems to think he's the cat's pyjamas.

Orwell's Bastard said...

Ford and Blatchford appeal to the same kind of lizard-brained people: anti-intellectual, non-reflective mean-spirited knuckle-draggers who mistake their gut reactions for solid public policy and put the "mob" in mob rule.

There once was a time when being ignorant and stupid was considered something to be ashamed of, something to be worked on and overcome. Nowadays it's something you get belligerent and defensive about, because it's considered a mark of authenticity, and because being called on it is just another sign that the snooty urban elitists are picking on you. Real Canadians don't need no education.

Beijing York said...

Holy crap Orwell Bastard, you nailed it. It really is like some grand politically correct backlash.

Peter MacQuarie said...

If RF is elected it will be because TO deserves it. Miller entered City Hall with a broom above his head but leaves with shame between his legs. To the vast majority of TO residents, who are simple fed up with the dysfunction, all the other candidates look like Miller.

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