Look. I’ll cut Mikey Ford, candidate for city council for Ward 2 Etobicoke North, some slack.
Age alone should not be a determinant for holding public office. Mikey Ford is not the only young candidate running in this year’s municipal election. Hell, there’s a high schooler in the mayor’s race and she’s being taken seriously by some folks.
Mikey Ford’s uncle, Rob Ford, wasn’t a whole lot older than his nephew is now when he first ran for city council back in 1997. Like Mikey, Rob hadn’t completed his post-secondary schooling. Like Mikey, Rob had a job title in the family’s business, Deco Labels and Tags. Like Mikey, Rob had some family connections in the business of politics.
If Rob, why not Mikey?
Give the kid shot. See what he’s got. Maybe there’s more of Uncle Rob’s common touch than the ham-fisted destroyer of all that he lays a finger on of his immediate predecessor, Uncle Doug.
Besides, a Ward 2 Etobicoke North without a Ford would be like, I don’t know. Councillor Vincent Crisanti’s Ward 1 Etobicoke North?
I just wish somewhere in Mikey Ford’s C.V. there was even the slightest whiff of previous political engagement. Something more than simply picking up the SUV from City Hall after one of his uncle’s drunken stupors. A whiff of civic interest.
As it stands right now, I’m seeing… camp counsellor. Oh, and a whole lot of willful, privileged entitlement. Clearly, another inherited trait from his family.
Even if I admired a politician, thought highly of the contribution they made to the public good, I’d look askance at them trying to unload one of their family members as little more than a placeholder as they moved on (or were moved along) to other pursuits. Hey, folks. Vote for Mikey because he has the same last name as we do.
In fact, I might take offense to such a move.
Why, just last election here in Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina, I faced a similar situation. Another Mikey, Mike Layton was running to fill a council vacancy created when Joe Pantalone decided to run for mayor. Mike Layton, son of NDP leader and former city councillor, Jack Layton, the husband to the local MP and also former city councillor, Olivia Chow, who even came knocking at my door, canvassing for Mike.
I was underwhelmed, to tell you the truth. Even though Mike had spent some time prior to entering politics working for an actual public cause, I rankled at the appearance of nepotism. For me, there was a more qualified, interesting candidate in the race and that’s the way I voted.
Turns out, Mike Layton is a hell of a city councillor. He’s worked his ass off becoming a solid constituency representative while facing huge development pressures in a ward that is transforming almost daily. There’s no question he has my vote in October.
So maybe the lesson should be, give Mikey Ford a break. Grant him the opportunity to prove himself up to the task of being a city councillor. Or at least, hear him out when he decides to tell us why it is he’s running and why he’s the best choice to represent Ward 2 at City Hall. Which, according to the CBC news this morning, will be in a couple weeks when he starts knocking on doors after… his summer camp session is finished, I guess?
Until such time, however, you’ll have to indulge me my scepticism about this whole Ford driven enterprise. I’m not sure what electoral presumption smells like but I hope residents of Ward 2 are able to detect it if a stink cloud of it appears during this campaign.
– warily submitted by Cityslikr