The Defiant One

There’s going to be no logical, reasoned way of keeping Rob Ford from becoming mayor, is there. He’s hopped aboard the Resentment Rail, hoping to ride it right into office, cheered on by the Persecution Choir and its conductor, Sue-Ann Levy, chief Pamphleteer and Disseminating Dissembler of Disinformation.

“They’re just trying to muzzle me,” Ford said after receiving an official reprimand for campaigning outside City Hall. “If the other candidates can be on the Square, I can be on the Square … you can’t have two sets of rules.”

Uhhh, Mr. Ford? You may want to check that letter you got from the city’s Chief Corporate Officer, Bruce Bowes, advising you that you’d contravened both the councillor expense policy and Council’s Code of Conduct when you made your Taxpayer Protection Plan announcement in Nathan Phillips Square. Bowes cited “…the section of the councillor expense policy which prohibits corporate resources and funding from being used for election-related purposes and the Code of Conduct which states councillors aren’t permitted to undertake campaign-related activities on city property during regular working hours.” [underling and bolding all ours.]

So there aren’t two sets of rules at work here as Ford claims. Sitting councillors can’t campaign on city property but private citizens can, it seems. Thus, George Smitherman and Rocco Rossi show up at City Hall, unmolested by the socialist apparatchiks getting their “marching orders from on high” while Ford is technically prohibited because – and this may be news to Mr. Ford, rushing in and out as he does council meetings to maintain his 98% voting rate without always spending much time there to figure out who’s who and what’s what before actually casting a vote [most likely] against whatever it is everyone’s voting on – neither Smitherman nor Rossi sits on council. (Although at the last debate, Ford did continually point out that neither man understood City Hall as well as he did. So he must have some inkling that they’re not councillors.)

Now, if Councillor Joe Pantalone decided to deliver a campaign announcement on city property and didn’t receive a similar reprimand then Rob Ford could—

Oh, fuck it. What’s it matter? It’s not like explaining it fully is going to change any Rob Ford supporter’s opinion. That is simply the nature of conservative thought these days. Right is right and the rest is wrong, and very likely plotting to overthrow everything that is good and wholesome. Facts have no bearing on the issues. You’re either with us or agin us; a paranoid pumping, divisive style of politicking that goes back to… well, let’s avoid any Hitler or Nazi references although they were masters of this particular tact… how be we just start at Nixon and move forward from there?

Margaret Thatcher. Ronald Reagan. The Bushes. Mike Harris and his Common Sense Revolution. You can draw a direct line between our current Prime Minister and his ongoing war with the long-form census and the statistical conclusions he doesn’t want to hear and this mindset. Their thinking was best encapsulated by Stephen Colbert when he said that “reality has a liberal bias”. If that’s the case, then they have to create and live within a separate reality, trying to draw in as many people as they can just long enough to claim positions of power in order to try and tilt real reality ever so slightly their way.

Thus, Rob Ford and his inherited wealth is just ‘looking out for the little guy’. How exactly does he do that? By cutting their taxes and out of control spending at City Hall. Just generally getting government off their backs. It couldn’t be simpler. So simple in fact that there must be plenty of examples of it working like charm out there in the bigger, wider world. You know, lower taxes = higher government revenue, deregulation = equitable running of the free market, higher tides raising all boats.

Well no, not exactly. After about 30 years of neo-liberal economics, we can look around and conclude that wealth never trickles downhill. It simply gushes upward like a busted deep sea oil rig, polluting everything around it. Deregulation (or getting the government off peoples’ backs) leads to near economic collapse and the socialization of private risk and debt. And higher tides float only those who’ve stashed enough money away to buy themselves a fancy yacht and drowns everything else that hasn’t learned how to swim.

That is what experience tells us. That is, if you subscribe to an evidence-based reality, of course. Those who aren’t so particular can go on believing that their cars aren’t contributing to climate change, greed is good and that Rob Ford is a viable mayoral candidate who has as much right as the next (non-councillor) guy to conduct campaign events outside City Hall in Nathan Phillips Square.

According to his choirmaster, Sue-Ann Levy in the Toronto Sun, Ford has “…every intention of continuing to use the Square for campaign announcements.”

No doubt. How better to hype his martyr status among all those who truly believe there are two sets of rules? One for them and one for all the privileged, egghead, sushi-eating, transit taking, downtowners who think that Rob Ford is a lying, manipulative, ignorant, backwards buffoon who makes Mel Lastman seem reasonable and who will set this city back a decade or two if he’s allowed to exert any power or influence.Don’t believe me or just outright disagree? OK then. Let’s sit down and examine the evidence, shall we? Oh right. We’ve already tried that. I guess that’s why we call it ‘wilful ignorance’. It is both wilful and ignorant.

fed-uppedly submitted by Cityslikr

20 thoughts on “The Defiant One

  1. Someone in my neighbourhood (ward 18) is apparently organizing a mayoral debate for the fall. Who have they picked to moderate? Sue-Anne Levy. The fact that someone thinks she is an objective commentator is almost sadder than thinking Rob Ford is a good councillor.

  2. GR8 piece!!

    Isn’t it funny, how Sue-Ann Levy has been such a CLOSE friend to the Ford Family and how seemingly, she will WRITE ANYTHING & EVERYTHING, even or ESPECIALLY IF, it’s the biggest slanderous lies, we have ever read or heard, to keep her candidate in the race!

    No conflict of interest there! NO, NO!

    I guess we can expect Sue-Ann Levy to be Head Receptionist should a Mayor Ford, unfortunately happen to our great city!?

    Keep up the great works guys!

  3. If you do a search of the Toronto blogosphere, all were dismissive of Rob Ford announcing a run for the mayor’s office. That he wouldn’t influence or make inroads with the electorate.

    Fast forward a several months and urbanites and the media are now in a tizzy over the prospect of Rob Ford winning.

    Rob Ford is a better councillor than the one in my ward. Rob actually had a city crew at my door the next day after I made a call to his office. I had been calling my councillor for over a month and got nothing. Rob Ford has built up a considerable amount of political capital by helping Torontonians in and outside of his ward.

    Miller focused on the downtown of Toronto at the expense of the suburbs.

    • Just because he got a city crew to your door doesn’t mean he knows anything about running a city of millions.

      • Obviously, he knew who to call, get them to my door STAT and got something done quicker and sooner than my councillor. If he can get something done for one person, he can get something done for thousands. Clean up a park? Get a pool fixed?

        Does anyone really know anything about running a city? Do the other candidates know how to run a city?

      • Dear Andrew,

        If Rob Ford is the only one who knows how to get things done at City Hall, we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke have a novel idea. Instead of eliminating just half of the councillors as Mr. Ford proposes, why not get rid of them all and just elect Rob Ford as mayor. We would save twice the amount of money and get 45 times the things done!

      • Actually my novel idea is to eliminate property taxes and have the City of Toronto implement a sales tax. So instead of paying an HST of 13% it would be 15% with 2% for the city.

        Consumption taxes are “green”, will help individuals on fixed incomes keep their homes, as you don’t have to worry about paying your property tax bill as it goes up year after year, and would generate a considerable amount of tax revenue for all the 905er’s who come to work in Toronto. And the city would have all the money it needs for bike lanes and transit.

        It would also make Toronto 100% business friendly.

        Getting rid of all councillors…hmmm….tasty!

      • Andrew, if you think that all there is to being mayor is calling city crews to clean shit up, then I guess I could see why you like Rob Ford. Nevermind the fact that he would not be able to do that sort of thing for every person in Toronto, or the fact that with all the taxes Rob Ford is going to cut, there will be no city crews left to clean shit up, or the fact that a city councillor’s job is not to be everyone’s personal go-to guy but to represent his community and their issues at city hall. Let’s forget all that. Being mayor requires being able to manage a seriously compilcated budget, be able to work well with other officials, and be able to see beyond personal issues to do whats best for the city as a whole. Obviously there is a lot more than that as well, but those are just a few key areas where I think Rob Ford would fumble most.

      • Everyone is so angry and bitter toward Rob Ford~! Everyone spews venom or that the city will go to a hell in a hand basket with Rob Ford. I have only gotten straight answers and help from his office. My experience has been a positive one.

        If you can get someone to, as you say, “clean shit up”, then it will make for a more positive city. A cleaner beach front, a cleaner park, a cleaner playset, a cleaner city.

        And what I asked for, was for the city to fix a playset that was actually a danger to play on. A city park play set, that neighborhood families and kids use. It was fixed after one phone call. So it wasn’t something for me personally, it was something that was for a neighborhood. And fixing one problem at a time in a neighborhood, makes people feel good about their neighborhood and their city.

  4. Okay, I think there is one key fact about this issue that you fail to grasp. You see, city crews don’t just magically appear out of thin air when Rob Ford tells them to. There is a limited number of them to deal with all the maintenance issues in the city, and they all cost the city a lot of money. This fact leads us to two conclusions.

    1. If all councillors did what Rob Ford did, well, they couldn’t. There aren’t enough crews to deal with problems so quickly. Most councillors have realized this, leaving Rob Ford as the only one directing crews to do what he personally views to be the most important. This makes it seem to those who call that he cares more than their councillor, when in fact he is just more ignorant of all the other work crews need to get done. Yes, thats right, other work. There are, in fact, other things that city crews need to get done, and that they don’t get done when Rob Ford tells them to do something else. So while your neighbourhood may have gotten the response they wanted, it was at the expense of another neighbourhood who then had to wait longer for their issues to be dealt with.

    2. The money. City crews require money. Both for their equipment and their labour. As you probably witnessed with the long wait for that swing set repair, city crews are really overwhelmed with work. There is a lot of work and not enough of them to do it. This is because there is already not enough money at city hall to hire enough city crews to take care of the city. And thats right now. If Rob Ford is elected and makes all the cuts he promised to on that mayoral debate a few nights ago, there will be even less money to clean up the city, and you can say goodbye to any well maintained swing sets.

    How you could seem so passionate about living in a clean, well maintained city and support Rob Ford just baffles me. I beg you to look beyond the anecdotal experiences you have had with Rob Ford, and take a good look at his agenda and politics before coming to the conclusions that you have.

    • So how is it one guy can make a parks and rec crew jump, while others can’t?

      The reason city crews take so long to do the work is not lack of resources, it is the bureaucracy of paperwork and approvals.

      Who do you think is worth supporting, Adam?

      • So someone who called Public Works, got on the waiting list and was expecting the city crew to arrive that day had to wait an extra day so you could get served immediately? Interesting sense of “fair play” you have, Andrew.

        I mean, you do believe in fair play, right? That’s what Rob Ford is all about – fairness for the little guy, right? Not about city workers kow-towing to the councillor that shouts loudest, right? That’s not what Rob Ford teaches the students he coaches, right? That it’s okay to simply scream and yell and throw tantrums until you get the result you want – oh, wait….

  5. Like I said, the reason he can do it is because no one else does.

    And while I do agree with you that all the paperwork and other bureaucratic nonsense is incredibly inefficient, it really only adds to the strains of an underfunded system.

    As for who I think is worth supporting, I don’t think anyone is. This is a truly sad and abysmal mayoral race, and whichever vote I make will unfortunately not be for the candidate candidate, but against another one (that is if I choose to vote for one of the top 5 candidates). That being said, I can tell you that it will not be for Ford. In a field of terrible candidates, I feel that Rob Ford has proven himself to be the worst of the bunch. And it probably wont be Smitherman. His spotty political record and the fact that he has no post secondary education makes me think that he is unfit for the job. If one of the other top candidates can step their game up and give me a compelling reason to vote for them, I may consider it. Otherwise, I will probably choose to support a lesser known candidate.

  6. Andrew, its interesting how you refuse to acknowledge the legitimate point brought up by lifeonqueen. Refusing to acknowledge when they’ve been proven wrong with logic is something that seems to be quite common with Rob Ford supporters.

    • The post sounded like someone was yelling and pounding a desk…

      Do we really know what happens inside city hall? Are you sure that there is cue jumping at city hall Public Works? If that was the case, every councillor would do it to get in the good books of their ward.

      There is no such thing as fair play once you leave kindergarten…it’s about who you know rather than what you know.

    • Rob Ford won. And guess what? Nothing has changed. The park near my house was getting something repaired. My garbage is still getting picked up and the TTC still runs. Where is the hell in a hand basket that I was promised?

      • Dear Andrew,

        We wonder if you weren’t sleeping so much during discussions here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke maybe you comments might have some sort of relevance. No one ever said that the city would be worse for wear in just a couple months under Mayor Ford. Systematic dismantling of the government and public sector tends to take a little more time than that.

        So, go back to sleep and we can talk again in about a year or so.

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