Mayor Rob Ford’s seemingly limitless penchant for buffoonery has masked the most important feature of his administration: it hasn’t really done anything.
Ford is a man who stands by his word, which, presumably, means that he stands by his record too. An analysis of the Ford administration’s record over the past two years, however, reveals that the round mound of dumbfound has accomplished very little of substance.
When Ford swept into office in 2010, there were high hopes amongst his supporters that the rotund straight-talker from Etobicoke would shepherd the city in from the socialist wilderness, and lead them to some kind of small government Shangri La.
Even the good Mayor’s most ardent supporters must admit that his Fordship’s reign has been a bit of a disappointing one (right?).
The Mayor’s official webpage lists scrapping the Personal Vehicle Tax and reducing his office budget as two of his primary accomplishments. Seriously.
Toronto is one of the largest and most vibrant cities in North America. It’s a beacon for people, ideas, and capital from all over the world.
It might not be fair to say that saving a few thousand dollars on staples and laptops is a less than impressive example of bold urban leadership for the 21st century…but it probably is.
And that’s what his political opponents should focus on.
Of course, Mayor Ford’s misuse of transit vehicles, various traffic infractions, and drunken incompetence should be taken seriously and reported vigorously, and many media outlets have done just that.
But many people, for better or for worse, don’t see those news organizations as vigilant watchdogs keeping power in check.
Instead, they view them as liberal elites bullying the everyman: that regular, salt of the earth boozehound who just wants to be left alone to gobble down KFC as regularly as possible, and make reckless comments about mental health on the radio.
As exasperating as many might find that narrative, it’s a reality that must be confronted.
Therefore, those who wish to see the remnants of Ford Nation slither away into the tall grass should focus on the Mayor’s embarrassing professional foibles as much as his many embarrassing personal foibles.