I Decreed. What’s To Discuss?

Is it just me or is everyone beyond curious about how the Brothers Ford imagined Rob’s time as mayor of Toronto was going to play out? Did they really expect no challenge to their authority, no serious opposition? Like, ever? Was there no plan B in place when plan A (which consisted of little more than chest-beating and bullying) stopped working its magic?

Certainly doesn’t look like it at this juncture. Digging in their heels, closing ranks and perpetuating disarray seems to be their limited range of preferred options now that they are facing concerted resistance at city council. They’ve taken on an almost high browed tone of offended imperiousness at the sheer nerve of a majority of councillors finally assuming their rightful place as ultimate decision makers at City Hall. Well, I never… Of all the nerve. How dare they. Guards!! Off with their heads.

Perhaps that’s not a surprise, coming from Councillor Doug. He is new to the place after all. His experience is more top down business management, do as I say because I sign your pay check. Besides, having spent much of his time out Chicago way with its strong mayoral system, he may’ve got the impression that at a municipal level, we vote for a king every four years. Keep your eyes averted, plebes.

But the mayor’s been around the block a time or two. He was a councillor for ten years before becoming mayor. You’d think he’d know which way the wind blows at City Hall if you want to get things done.

But then comes this:

“It’s like winning an election. So if they voted me in, that means I don’t win an election? It doesn’t make sense.”

You’re right, Mr, Mayor. That makes absolutely no sense. You were elected mayor along with 44 others who were elected as councillors. Your job now is to convince, by whatever democratic means are at your disposal, at least 22 of those councillors to vote along with you. Every time. Or risk losing those parts of your agenda that you can’t sway a majority of councillors on.

But it seems as if Mayor Ford and his brother can’t get past their winner-take-all mindset. Politics as a football game as James Harbeck tweeted yesterday. “In football, if you win, you win. Ford seems to think politics is just like that too.” After a big setback on the waterfront debacle and a lesser but optically symbolic one with the budget, he’s refusing to accept the reality at City Hall. “Someone needs to tell him that the election isn’t the game, it’s just getting onto the team.

Tell him again and again, over and over, as it just doesn’t appear to be sinking in as Matt Elliott over at Ford For Toronto points out today. On the Eglinton LRT, the wagons have circled and the indignant language from the mayor and his supporters has risen to a hysterical level. One time Team Ford strategist, Nick Kouvalis, has returned from the Death Star to point fingers, unearth enemies and beat the monosyllabic drum of group chant that worked so beautifully during the election.

We. Have. A. Mandate. Subways. Yes. Streetcars. No. Unions. Bad. All. Dalton’s. Fault. We. Have. A. Mandate. We. Have. A. Mandate. We. Have. A. Mandate.

As always when conservatives feel under siege, there’s a bleating tone of triumphal persecution in their counterattack. We won. We won. Stop picking on us. We don’t have to compromise. It’s our turn to rule the roost.

Through that lens, any criticism is nothing more than the salty bitterness of sore losers. It doesn’t even merit serious discussion. That’s how it is to be sidelined because you don’t agree with the mayor. Just like they were under Miller. Just like they were.

Councillor Peter Milczyn can’t seem to speak out without listing some sort of injustice inflicted upon him at the hand of the Miller administration. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is the official aggrieved archivist of those hard done by in the years 2003-2010. And the budget chief, woe was me, the budget chief.

“I mean, look, when the NDP came into power,” Councillor Del Grande allegedly claimed during an interview, “I was a white male, I paid a very severe price because it had nothing to do with ability any more, it had to do with male versus female.” Conservatives like him “were beat up brutally” at the hands of Milleristas. But fortunately, it left none of them bitter and/or vindictive.

While Councillor Del Grande, the mayor et al the poor, wittle put-upon conservatives may believe that they were sidelined and ostracized because of their political ideology might I suggest that, based on their performance in power, it had more to do with them being bereft of any good or constructive ideas? The budget chief eviscerates revenue streams and then complains that the city’s broke. As chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Minnan-Wong costs the city hundreds of thousands of dollars leading the charge to tear up the bike lanes on Jarvis Street. And just yesterday, he joined fellow TTC commission member Councillor Milczyn in helping to vote down a request for a further report on the best course of action for the Eglinton LRT, precipitating the culmination of a clusterfuck of a TTC meeting that you need to read Steve Munro’s account to believe.

No, gentleman. The reason your views and opinions weren’t sought out before Mayor Ford assumed office was that your views are a serious detriment to the city. It’s got nothing to do with your gender, ethnicity or political persuasion. You’re just terrible elected representatives.

Any pushback that you are receiving isn’t payback. It’s simply called governance. Maybe you’re mixing that up with the word petulance.

regally submitted by Cityslikr

3 thoughts on “I Decreed. What’s To Discuss?

  1. Mandate? What mandate? When more than 2/3ds of the citizens of this wonderful city did not vote for Ford, there is no mandate to do anything except what the full council agrees to.

  2. I find all this ‘mandate’ nonsense especially annoying given how transit was barely more than an afterthought during the election. I don’t think anybody voted for Ford on the basis of his half-assed ‘transportation city’ youtube video.

    Speaking of which, is it just me, or does the Chong report have a whiff of ‘last-minute all-nighter undergrad project’ about it?

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