Life After the Fords

John Tory

YES, IT’S TRUE that Rob Ford was elected to the Toronto municipal council in his Etobicoke ward—and, yes, it was a landslide: but the Ford era of this city is now in remission. When the counting of votes was complete, Doug had received 34% of the popular vote to John Tory’s 40%. When Olivia Chow’s take of 23% is added, it appears that two-thirds of the voters were finished with the circus, or the gutter, or whatever the personal metaphor happened to be.

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It’s Not About Ford: It’s About How A Hateful Ford Nation Poisons Toronto

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THERE’S A DISTINCT ethical calculus that applies to addiction. Here’s an example: mayor Ford’s indiscretions over the years – the bad choices of personal friends and associates, the bursts of erratic behaviour, the denials that there’s a problem – are “the drugs talking.” He’s not completely in control of himself. The drugs and alcohol are, and his actions should therefore be seen as at least in part the symptoms of an illness, or a compulsion, that keeps him in its grip. He’s an addict, and he needs help, and it’s a good thing he’s now seeking it.

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Rob Ford and the Criminals, continued

Rob Ford

HERE’S A USEFUL piece of reporting for your consideration. It was written by Renata D’Aliesio and published in the March 13, 2014 edition of the Globe and Mail, under the headline “Ford knew of football coach’s criminal past, court documents show”:

Rob Ford penned a character reference for his assistant football coach’s sentencing for dangerous driving and assaulting a police officer, court documents reveal, marking at least the third time he has written a letter of support for a convict while in public office. The letter, composed on behalf of Payman Aboodowleh in 2009, confirms Mr. Ford knew of the volunteer coach’s violent history when he invited him to work with high-school athletes. As with his other letters, Mr. Ford’s acclamation of Mr. Aboodowleh was written on official City of Toronto stationery, sparking concern from a veteran Ontario Court judge who questioned whether the then-councillor may have misused his position of authority.

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If the Ford Brothers Win

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THE FORD BROTHERS seem confident of an autumn electoral victory, and they’ve good reasons. Rob Ford has admitted to lying to the public, and his lack of self control and dignity have become matters of non-controversy: yet he remains in office and enjoys a healthy approval rating, as well as a credible prospect of a second term. His powers and office budget have been reduced, yet the Fords are as bombastic and arrogant as ever. Both Doug and Rob are uninterested in – indeed, hostile towards – public policy and the workings of government. Their contempt of politicians and the political process constitutes a good portion of the duo’s appeal. After all that has transpired, it is difficult to imagine the scandal that might end their political careers. Could it be that there is no such scandal? The Ford brothers behave exactly as people who believe that it could.

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FORD NATION: the game (a Roundtable Exclusive)

FORD-NATION: the game

Game requirements: Two to four players, one die, play or real money (you only need 100s and 500s), player pieces, rule sheet, beverages. To play: Cast die and advance clockwise, or west to east, beginning at the lime green Etobicoke circle. Follow instructions on circles as you land. Only collect/pay on the four city circles (Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and Downtown) when you land on them, not if you pass over. Be the first to collect $3,000 and you get to go to the crack house at 15 Windsor Road (WIN!) Enjoy.

So Rob Ford Wants a War? Let’s Make Sure He Gets It

ROB FORD, henceforth the pro forma Mayor of Toronto, delivered a short statement just before Toronto city council moved to deplete his staff, privileges, budget and authority. After a brief introductory flourish, congratulating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for their recent victory, came a patchwork of personal anecdote, Bible verse and self-justification lumped together in an effort to discredit Ford’s fellow municipal councillors. His closing was of special note, striking as is so often the case with a Ford self-defence that irritating mixture of self-pity and belligerent menace:

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The Rob Ford Apology: A Bit Churchill, A Bit Lincoln

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WITH SO MANY items from which to choose, it was inspiring to see the great Rob Ford, Canada’s bestest mayor ever, taking the courageous and principled course by candidly admitting guilt in what is doubtless his most outrageous crime. On his radio program this weekend Rob Ford admitted that he drank a touch too much on St Patrick’s Day (something looked upon with horror and disgust in this city and elsewhere) and that he’ll try to slow it down a bit, that is if he plans afterward to leave his basement. No promises, people, because who on earth can promise not to get hammered and make a public ass of oneself. Be realistic. Even the best mayor Toronto has ever had (Rob Ford, obviously) can’t promise you unicorns and sunshine and your own private Idaho.

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Rob Ford and the Mammoliti Way

I HAD TO LAUGH – a morbid laugh, please note – when I read Robyn Doolittle’s article revealing that a Toronto city manager had tried to keep the hazardous condition of the Gardiner Expressway a secret. You see, long before then I’d walked under it and thought “the Gardiner Expressway is coming down.” You can’t miss it.

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Rob Ford is an Effect, Not a Cause, and We’ll Survive Him

Rob Ford

AS I WRITE this it is impossible to say whether the drama surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged new high constitutes an actual new low, but drama does seem to be the word of the moment. Exactly one year ago I moved to this city, and in the time since I have witnessed the restless strut and fret of local municipal politics, the principal player of the stage forever availing himself to fresh tales full of sound and fury.

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