Ideology Trumps Governing

September 29, 2012

As news broke yesterday of what amounts to a full scale war against the civil service at Toronto’s City Hall by the Ford Administration, the mayor was reported to be off in Peterborough coaching an afternoon high school football game (an exhibition high school football game no less). Which meant he’d cut out early and was absent for another half day of work. That is, if he showed up at all in the morning.

To remain a full-fledged supporter of Mayor Ford at this juncture means a combination of any or all of the three following possibilities:

1) You’re a paid political operative.

2) So steadfastly entrenched in your political opinions that nothing, no matter how egregious or outrageous, the mayor says or does will shake you from the view that he is the right man for the job. His success or failure is your success or failure. Essentially the bastard child of My Country Right or Wrong, Love It or Leave It.

3) Prone to such adherence to conspiracy theories that inevitably it will incorporate the involvement of aliens from outer space.

In this last scenario, Mayor Ford (and by extension his supporters) have been beset by bitter left wing kooks of the downtown elite kind still unwilling to accept their his victory in 2010, the Toronto Star, Kelly Grant, trough-feeding union types, fat cat bureaucrats, a mysterious cigarette smoking man, lazy, welfare teat-suckers, communist refugees from the former Eastern Bloc, David Miller acolytes and sycophants, the Liberal government at Queen’s Park, teh Gays, sidewalk hogging cyclists, George Soros, Al Gore, environmentalists and LRT lovers, ex-Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page, Newstalk 1010 (outside of the Sunday 1-3 pm slot), the Chicago media, the moms and dads of Don Bosco football players who never attend any of their games, Mary Walsh and the 22 Minutes thugs, Rick Mercer (and, very likely Sarah Polley), all orchestrated by the devious and deft hands of the putsch-seeking socialist Carroll-Perks-Vaughan triumvirate.

All out to vilify Mayor Ford and the hard working taxpayers of Ford Nation, intent only on ripping the electoral mandate to shreds.

Matt Elliott’s firm and unflagging 42%? One would hope not but I won’t hold my breath in hope. If so, so be it. This is no longer about them.

This is about the mayor’s colleagues on city council.

Robyn Doolittle’s article shows a willful disregard toward good governance on the part of the Ford Administration. Its ideological hubris seems more determined to dismantle and destroy the proper functioning of this city than it does finding efficiencies and respecting taxpayers. (Those are simply conservative code words for inflicting damage anyway.) Continued compliance with the mayor’s self-proclaimed mandate by councillors at this point is nothing short of an abdication of their responsibilities they were elected to uphold.

Standing with Mayor Ford now is standing against the city.

Going forward, that seems like an awfully ugly garment to be wearing out in public.

advisedly submitted by Cityslikr

A Damning Report

September 27, 2012

“We now have a governance process that is no longer based on any recognizable principles.”

— Office of the Ombudsman Report, September 2012

*  *  *

Allow me to take exception to this assertion made by Toronto’s Ombudsman in a report delivered about some ‘irregularities’, let’s call them, in the civic appointments process made during our current term of city council. It might seem like a semantics quibble but I think it goes to the heart of how the Ford Administration has sought to govern since it was elected in 2010. In fact, there are ‘recognizable principles’ at work. Just not ones that we normally associate with a properly functioning democracy.

Those new principles can be summed up in a couple succinct sentences.

We won. We get to operate by our own rules.

Oh yeah. And there’s a PS

Suck it up, losers.

Reading through the report, you get this sense that the mayor’s office, operating at the height of its power in 2011, was both ad hoc in their approach to coordinating efforts with Committee chairs and relentlessly single-minded in their drive to bulldoze established processes in order to re-jig the governance structure to work in their favour. Politically ham-fisted interference with the civic appointments to boards hadn’t been done before, not because it was considered improper but because, well, maybe nobody thought to do it before. Don’t blame us for being innovative and creative.

It’s also hard to avoid concluding that there was an orchestrated attempt to put undue pressure on city staff in order to short circuit the established process for properly vetting, screening and nominating qualified candidates. First, delay things. Pass a budget that further trims resources that staff have to do their work thoroughly. Then, unnecessarily shrink the timeline, thereby guaranteeing a rushed, less vigorous and, quite possibly, compromised outcome.

And your response?

Hey. Don’t look at me. It’s not my fault staff can’t do their job.

The report’s conclusion are damning, showing a willful disregard for protocol. Outcome trumped everything. Ends justifying the means.

Some 50 findings from the Ombudsman, and quite a few doozies.

“This investigation revealed that the process for recruitment and selection of citizen members to boards did not follow the requirements set out in the Public Appointments Policy.”

“City staff’s ability to carry out their responsibilities under the Policy was compromised.”

“There were insufficient resources particularly when the timelines changed.”

“While staff articulated concerns to the Committee and to the Mayor’s Office, they were put in an untenable position. On the one hand, public servants have a duty to serve the best interests of the corporation and through it, the public. On the other, staff felt they could not refuse the directions given to them by the Mayor’s Office.”

“The compressed schedule imposed a considerable burden on staff resources, which were already limited and overloaded.”

“Staff did the job as directed in one week with the inevitable flaws that resulted.”

“The changes to the schedule did not emanate from the Committee but from the Mayor’s Office. Committee members were not aware of the direction from the Mayor’s Office.”

And on and on it goes.

In an article written today before this report went public, Matt Elliott wrote of scandal fatigue with Mayor Ford. He points out that the level of polled support for the mayor has remained fairly steady at 42% regardless of any good news or bad news that surfaces for him. Sure he’s done some questionable stuff but he’s also done some good stuff. I still support our mayor.

While I hope Matt’s wrong I fear he’s right. In a sensible world, the Ombudsman’s report should crater Mayor Ford’s support to irreparable levels. His ongoing disregard for the tenets of responsible, open and transparent government seem to know no limits.

I hope that those who were elected to city council along with Mayor Ford can now set aside any political calculations and do what needs to be done. Along with pushing forward the Ombudsman’s recommendations on the civic appointment process, they should collectively assume control of the Committee appointments from the mayor who seems more interested in pushing his agenda forward at the expense of the city’s best interests. It’s a to the victors go the spoils mentality that is now benefitting no one.

disconcertedly submitted by Cityslikr

The Deputy Mayor’s Got Those Far Away Eyes

September 26, 2012

I’ve often wondered what goes on behind those blue eyes of our Deputy Mayor, Doug Holyday, as he sits and stares off at the horizon during city council meetings. Lunch? Ava Gardner? Lunch? Lunch? Dirty filthy unions? Lunch? René Descartes dualism? Lunch? Ooo! Tuna salad!

These days, I would imagine, it wouldn’t be surprising if the good councillor from Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre sits silently ruminating about the possible folly of getting those Ford boys involved in municipal politics. It seemed like a good idea at the time. A couple like-minded tax-hating kids from the neighbourhood. Sure, they seemed a little boisterous but chalk it up to youthful exuberance. Besides, their daddy’s company sold election campaign signs!

Like almost everyone else, it’s unlikely the last mayor of Etobicoke ever imagined that Rob would scale the heights of amalgamated Toronto politics and become the city’s chief magistrate. An improbable outcome, let’s call it. But what the hay. Somebody had to come along and clean up the profligacy of the left wing downtowners. Why not Rob Ford?

Why not indeed.

How did it become so unseemly? What ugliness had Doug Holyday wrought as political mentor to Rob and Doug Ford, I imagine Doug Holyday thinking as he gazes into the distance.

That the Deputy Mayor essentially suggested that the mayor’s brother shut his trap for a bit gives voice to the dilemma all council conservatives must be facing at the moment. How do you solve a problem like Mayor Ford and his most vocal supporter/nemesis, Brother-Councillor Doug? Or more specifically, how do continue with the mayor’s message of frugality while not getting any of the messy taint of scandal and bad behaviour on you?

They don’t come much more rock solid conservative than the deputy mayor. His ideology is as rabid and unbending as any on Team Ford including the mayor and his brother. Councillor Holyday has been known to step in it himself with the ‘it’ being headline grabbing outbursts like the one we saw earlier this year with the mythical Little Ginny, held against her innocent little will by her morally bankrupt parents in a downtown high rise.

The difference being that was said during the heat of council debate which doesn’t make it any less reactionarily anti-urban but, hell, we all say dumb things if we talk long enough. By all accounts, the deputy mayor is courteous and accommodating to anyone who asks of his time. Even certain publications that represent the polar opposite of his political leanings. You clearly don’t last as long in politics as Holyday has by drawing up an enemies list comprising of those who cover the work you do on a daily basis.

Obviously his patience is waning with the administration’s off-field antics. “We have important work to do,” the deputy mayor said, “the taxpayers expect certain things from us and these distractions don’t make it any easier. To have a public fight on the radio with all media isn’t really helpful.”

That’s not to suggest there’s an imminent breaking of ranks of the far right wingers at council but when your staunchest compatriot in the ideological wars openly chastises you… And this after another devout defender of the faith, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong told the CBC that the mayor needed to “smarten up” with all the appearances of conflict swirling around him. It’s kind of hard to lead, I bet, when you’re constantly looking back over your shoulder.

Only the budget chief, Mike Del Grande, appears prepared to go to the mat for the mayor. “People will find ghosts where there are no ghosts,” he said. Del Grande has even lobbed a budget broadside at the Integrity Commissioner who will inevitably be dragged further into the mayoral mess over the next little while, demanding a line-by-line audit of the city’s accountability offices. All this for the mayor and what’s he have to show for it? Lousy bedbug bites. That’s devotion.

If they’re not openly criticizing the mayor, other conservative and right leaning councillors are either keeping quiet, hoping no one will notice them or they’ve publicly walked away on certain issues. The highest profile, obviously, is TTC Chair Karen Stintz who served up notice that Mayor Ford could be openly defied with no repercussions. Councillor John Parker followed along with her. Councillor Michelle Berardinetti quit her position on the budget committee and word is Councillor Jaye Robinson will do similarly at the end of year with her position on the executive committee. Councillors Michael Thompson and David Shiner have at times had little trouble disagreeing with the mayor, the latter the architect of the proposed plastic bag ban that slipped through council in the spring.

There may be no bigger sign of a realignment of the informal council conservative caucus than the silence of Mayor Ford’s other official mouthpiece, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti. Having effortlessly and spectacularly flip-flopped in joining forces with his long time adversary, no one could be surprised if there’s a full 360 pulled off if the fortunes of the mayor continue to plummet. I’m sorry. Did you call me Gino-boy?! Hey everybody. The mayor called me Gino-boy again!

This commotion should strike a positive chord for all but the hardest of hardcore right wing conservatives. With one of the polarized ends collapsing under the weight of its own obstinacy and incompetence, the atmosphere at City Hall can only moderate. Poisonous partisanship – so pronounced right from the beginning of Mayor Ford’s time in office – will die down to just a dull roar and maybe, just maybe, we’ll actually start to see some constructive governance again.

hopefully submitted by Cityslikr

Mayor In Name Only

September 25, 2012

Yesterday’s budget committee agenda printout was thick, like medium sized town phone book thick.  Lots of financial statement audits, variance reports, funding pressure and financing options…Yeah, a ‘phone book’. A compiling of names, numbers and addresses, usually done alphabetically by surname, in book or catalogue form. Catalogue? Retailers used to…

Oh never mind.

Yesterday’s budget committee agenda printout was thick, like deep-dish pizza thick. But alas, the budget committee meeting was thin, like the thinnest of thin gruel…Gruel?

The point is, here we were, the first budget committee meeting since the summer break, the first budget committee meeting of the fall session where one might expect some sort of direction set going forward, priorities established, an imprimatur from the administration to signal its future intentions, and what we got was bupkus. A whole lot of the committee chair, Budget Chief Del Grande, pushing and passing value for money audits on various city agencies like Invest Toronto and Toronto Hydro.

(And as our friend David Hains said, waggishly – Mr. Hains says many things in that manner – it’s not as if value for money audits weren’t something KPMG couldn’t have done while they were on the clock.)

It almost seems as if the budget chief’s killing time, concocting make-work projects to give the appearance of something happening. In the absence of any leadership coming from the mayor’s office, his council allies are left to dangle, unsure of their next move. At least at the budgetary level there’s a general sense that cutting stuff is good and putting everyone on notice that their bottom line has to justify their existence won’t run too afoul of the mayor’s thinking.

Others aren’t as lucky.

Take TTC Chair Karen Stintz for example.

Her proposal to contract out bus cleaning has garnered Mayor Ford’s approval from afar. He gave the idea a shout out during his radio show on Sunday. As for a suggested fare hike in the new year? Not so fast there, Stintzie. The mayor doesn’t approve.

It must be like waiting for a distracted emperor’s thumbs up or down while he’s otherwise occupied in an orgy of ethical entanglements and conflict of interest concerns. Hey! I got my foot on his chest, sword at his throat. Yeah or nay, oh Mandated One?

To mix metaphors. The captain can’t steer the ship because he’s too busy bailing water pouring in from the countless leaks that have sprung. Unfortunately, no one’s yet prepared to assume the position of first mate. That’s not quite true. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is more than willing to take the helm, claiming to know where the mayor wants to take us. “To the shoals! To the shoals!”

We’ve about arrived at that Apocalypse Now point where Captain Willard’s about to go up river. He goes ashore at an American outpost under North Vietnamese fire and makes his way along a trench until he comes across a soldier indiscriminately firing shots into the darkness at the unseen enemy. Asking if he’s in charge, Willard is met with a malignantly blank stare. “Aren’t you?” the soldier responds.

Ill-governed is Toronto at this point. Mayor Ford seems less interested in running the city than he does running for his own political survival. Each step he takes only lands him deeper into a questionable ethical swamp of his own making.

As we head further into this season of misrule, council’s going to have to make an important decision in order to avoid the entire operation grinding to a halt. They can, like the budget chief, pretend that everything’s hunky dory, there’s nothing to see here, all the madness is purely media generated and it’ll pass like all storm clouds do. Or they can do the responsible thing and move into informal post-Ford, non-partisan formations and get on with the business of governing.

The mayor’s still the mayor but he’s done acting like one. He’s decided to take a spot on the sidelines where he’s always been most comfortable, making catcalls and blowing raspberries. His colleagues need to acknowledge that reality and move on, ignoring the crazy man yelling incoherently at them.

cut baitedly submitted by Cityslikr

Civic Disengagement

September 24, 2012

Sitting in an okonomi restaurant, talking about what most folks talk about at an okonomi restaurant, that is, what exactly is an okonomi anyway? It’s not a crepe. It’s not an omelette. It’s not a frittata. It’s..? It’s..?

It’s umai, as they might say in Japan. Or someone might say after doing a rough English-Japanese, Google driven translation search.

The couple next to our table had apparently just come from a movie. I’m not sure which one but it sounded like it might’ve been The Master. Interested in seeing it, I leaned in for a closer listen to hear an unvarnished opinion. (I wasn’t rude about it. Tables were in close proximity to each other. Tight quarters, you might even say. Technically not eavesdropping.)

Not that it mattered. I garnered little in the way of any valuable insight. All I learned was that the couple disagreed with whatever opinion Liam Lacey expressed about the film and it’s not like I’m going to read the Globe and Mail for a film review. What is this? 1987?

It was their next topic of conversation, however, that really caught my attention.

No wait. Not the next one. First, they talked about train travel in Europe. Like, 12 hours from Paris to Barcelona? How could that be? Don’t they have fast trains over there? Does that include any time change? Is there a time change between Paris and Barcelona…

Seriously. I wasn’t eavesdropping. The tables were just that close.

Anyway, the couple eventually got around to talking about the Metrolinx announcement earlier this week about outsourcing the design, building and operation of the Transit City LRTs. The woman (who, interestingly had chosen a chicken teriyaki dish over an okonomi) was unhappy with Metrolinx. Outrageous. What was the province thinking? The man (clearly an okonomi fan) was confident Metrolinx wouldn’t go through with their threat to contract out the process. As far as he was concerned it was just a political manoeuvre. A poke in the eye of the TTC to prod it into playing nicely with the province’s plans for a regional transit strategy. He also thought it might have been a little jab at TTC Chair Karen Stintz for stepping out of line with that whole One City business. The woman thought that Stintz was doing a very good job with the TTC. The man didn’t disagree but assured his dinner companion that Metrolinx knew what it was doing, not to panic, etc., etc.

At which point, I almost jumped in to express my opposing opinion of the high regard for Metrolinx the man held but restrained myself. I think once you impose, uninvited, into strangers’ conversation, it’s pretty much an admission that you’d been eavesdropping. Like I said. I wasn’t eavesdropping.

Besides, the important thing wasn’t my disagreement about Metorlinx with the man beside me at a table in the okonomi restaurant. It’s that here were two people discussing what to me is one of the more important changes in policy direction that Toronto has faced in a while – the contracting out to the private sector the building and operating of public transit. They’d been listening. They discussed it. They were engaged.

Mayor Ford, on the other hand, well, nary a peep. Not since the announcement on Wednesday. Barely a word yesterday during his 2 hour radio slot, a passing shrug. With 3 and a half minutes left in the show – after much talk of his business trip to Chicago (It was great!), the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series (It was great!) and how nobody in the media writes about all the great stuff he’s done as mayor which is more than any other administration ever, dontcha know – he apparently mentioned the Metrolinx news with a weird claim of ownership to the idea. That’s it.

See you next week, folks.

Now, it’s probably safe to assume that the okonomi eating, P.T. Anderson viewing, transit talking couple aren’t certified members of the Ford Nation. An okonomi? The Master? Naunced transit discussion? Like a downtown elitist check list. If so, it’s hardly a surprise they’re on a different page than Mayor Ford, concerned about different issues affecting the city.

But how is it that they’re spending a weekend afternoon discussing the future of transit in this city while the mayor can only summon a fleeting mention of it? “The TTC is in the business of making sure their riders get from point A to point B in a rapid fashion,” Councillor Ford said during the show yesterday in reference to contracting out bus cleaning services. As simple as that. End of story.

It’s a curious turn we’re experiencing in Toronto right now. Where citizens engage with the process of governance while the mayor sits on the sidelines, commentating. Almost as if we’re doing his job for him.

helpfully submitted by Cityslikr

Those Friday Afternoon Transit Blues

September 21, 2012

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate This Week In Transit News at about a 4. The grade’s only that high because I’m trying to put my best foot forward. Smile on the outside when I’m really crying on the inside as I sift through and evaluate all the pertinent information.

It started with our federal government voting down a national transit strategy put forward in the House of Commons by the NDP. National Transit Strategy? Strategy? National? Sounds a little interventionist. The outcome was hardly a surprise.

That element was saved for a day or so later when Queen’s Park announced through their agency, Metrolinx, that the design, construction, building and operation of the Eglinton LRT was going to be outsourced as part of a public-private partnership. Take that, TTC! Who’s yer momma? Huh? Who’s yer momma, TTC? Say it. Say it! Metrolinx, baby! Metrolinx.

Now, I’ve been battling hard for the past couple days to suppress my gut reaction to the news. I don’t want to disappoint my friend Matt Elliott and be one of those on the left giving over to immediate, unthinking nayism. Maybe a viable case can be made for the move. Perhaps it is the first step toward a fully integrated regional transit system and, hopefully, that would be a good thing. Metrolinx’s track record to date in dealing with local concerns gives me pause however.

But for now, I’ll attempt to see the upside. The general consensus seems to be success or failure of the Eglinton LRT P3 will come down to the details of the agreement, how the ‘i’s are dotted and ‘t’s crossed. If the private sector can actually deliver the necessary transit at a lower cost, and if that’s the only element we’re looking for, I’ll hop aboard and go along for the ride.

I’d probably have more confidence in the whole thing if the McGuinty Liberals had any robust credibility on transit. I have long since concluded that Mayor Rob Ford has been nothing but manna from heaven for them, providing cover for a rather lacklustre, wishy-washy approach since they came to power in 2003. Announce big, deliver significantly less. What is now $8.4 billion for 4 LRT lines was once supposed to be 7 lines with an additional $4 billion in funding. Delay has followed delay and we’re now talking decades hence not years.

And remember that initial election promise of restoring provincial funding for half the TTC’s annual operating budget? Nine years on. Tick tock, tick tock.

As if to add insult to injury, Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli seems to be suggesting that once the Eglinton LRT is up and going and the TTC no longer runs buses along the street, the money it saves should be handed over to the private company running the LRT. Yeah, really. Of course, our mayor is otherwise occupied and hasn’t weighed in on the matter to defend the city’s interests, leaving that – along with almost all matters dealing with transit — up to the TTC Chair, Karen Stintz.

Defenders of the province will, with much justification certainly, point to our electing of Rob Ford as mayor and the subsequent subway-versus-LRT battle as a prime example of the city not being a serious player in this transit debate. They wouldn’t be wrong. Toronto took a big step backward on many fronts when Rob Ford became mayor.

But I’d argue, at least on the transit file, the city righted itself. The TTC chair took control, sidelined the mayor and his most ardent supporters and got everything back on track. (Yeah. I just wrote that). All of it done without any assistance from the province who, when it mattered most, indulged Mayor Ford’s subways, subways, subways fantasy and further exploited the situation by delaying the start of the Sheppard LRT construction yet again, making it vulnerable to any changes in power at either City Hall or Queen’s Park.

It’s all part of a familiar pattern for the McGuinty Liberals of appearing to be just slightly less worse than the other guy. Think they’re bad on public transit? Look at Toronto and Mayor Ford. We may be outsourcing control of the Eglinton LRT but remember Mike Harris buried the subway there.

I am trying to keep an open mind but the province inspires little confidence. Rather than see the move to a P3 as a cost containment measure, it just smacks of outsourcing responsibility and governance. I’m willing, though, to be convinced otherwise.

forced smiledly submitted by Cityslikr

Disbelief Fatigue

September 20, 2012

What’s the best way to torpedo an out of town, largely benign, taxpayer funded business ‘trade mission’ taken by some elected representatives? Spend your decade+ time in politics railing about out of town taxpayer funded jaunts taken by elected representatives. It makes for some awkward questions before you even get to the airport.

No reasonable person living in a rational time would begrudge our politicians the opportunity to occasionally head out, meet and greet, talk and listen, move and shake with the wider world as part of their job description. Maybe it brings 100s of new jobs with it. Maybe different approaches to governance are hashed out. Or maybe it just lends itself to help develop a wider, broader perspective. Surely that can’t be bad.

As long as there are proper checks in place, guidelines to follow, transparency on offer so that we can be as sure as we ever can be about these things that propriety is being maintained and, for the most part, we are funding a work-related trip, have at it. Enjoy. Learn. Schmooze.

Nobody I take very seriously on these matters decried Mayor Ford’s Chicago trip this week. That is, until he tried to pretend it was somehow different from other trips members of city council take as part of doing the city’s business. That somehow this was different and new ground was being broken.

Or that it wasn’t costing taxpayers one dime or one red cent.

See, this is where the mayor does himself no favours, creates a mountain out of molehill and proceeds to overshadow any positives he may have been contributing. It also reveals, once again, his inability to see past his own nose, out beyond the bubble of his own life. What seems to be mounting evidence of a stunning lack of empathy.

He’s paying for the trip out of his own pocket therefore it’s costing the taxpayers nothing. What about city staff? Is he covering their trip as well? Are they? What about the eight councillors attending the trip with him?

Well, Councillor Michael Thompson made it pretty darn clear he wasn’t paying for the trip out of his own pocket. “It is important city business,” Councillor Peter Milczyn said, “so it is an allowable expense under the office expense policy that is how it is being paid for.” Councillor Michelle Berardinetti also expressed some doubt she’d be footing her bill on her own dime.

And they’re right!

If they’re traveling on legitimate business, if it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs, the economy, the economy, the economy, if they’re working hard “…to promote trade between the City of Chicago and the City of Toronto,” as Councillor Thompson said, why the fuck should they have to pay for it? The idea is that we’d all benefit from that. So yeah. Submit your receipts and expense report and it’s all good.

Our rich mayor should not be the standard bearer for public service. Among the countless other reasons why, we don’t want to start demanding from those who seek elected office they pay for any and all on the job incidentals. It would restrict the field of candidates to a very small and, quite possibly, democratically undesirable segment of our population. Mitt Romney anyone?

And has anyone ever asked Mayor Ford, come tax time in late April, if he writes off all the work related costs he incurs as business expenses? It would make sense if he did. Perfectly legitimate. But, we have been told, there’s only one taxpayer, haven’t we?

It’s this constant twisting and turning of the truth that grows tiresome. The cognitive dissonance the mayor must operate under – official trips are gravy unless he goes on one of them – is now not just his to deal with. It’s ours. It’s afflicting not only our discourse but the running of the city.

In The Grid yesterday, Edward Keenan wrote about how Mayor Ford built his career on sweating the small stuff, “…pointing out penny-ante spending frivolities”. Councillor Rob Ford convinced us it was important enough to the city as a whole that we elected him mayor. His inability as mayor to cope with, let alone even understand or comprehend the bigger stuff, the defining issues like transit, public housing, the basic fundamentals of adhering to conflict of interest rules somehow gets framed as partisan gamesmanship. You just disagree with/are piling on the mayor because you’re [fill in the blank].

We’re living through some sort of political event horizon currently. Reality’s gravity is sucking all matter that’s been flimsily attached to misguided belief. I’m pretty sure I know which is which but the fact I’m not absolutely convinced makes me very nervous about how this is all going to turn out.

weighed downedly submitted by Cityslikr