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Delivering The Goods

So, today is day one of the June 2013 city council meeting. strikeaposeI’m wondering if Mayor Ford has been working on his camera poses. Money shots the press will take of him debating, orating, gesticulating majestically. Rob Ford, being mayoral, caught digitally for re-election purposes.

He’ll want some evidence of that, going forward, because I can’t imagine how he’ll pull it off in reality. According to the Toronto Star’s David Rider, as of yesterday, the mayor still hadn’t decided what his key item on the council agenda was going to be. Maybe he’s been too busy breaking in new staff to get his head around matters of governance. Maybe all those PR stunts over the last little while to show it’s business as usual in the mayor’s office have cut into his five hour workday, making it difficult for him to find the time to read through what’s on the meeting’s agenda. Maybe, eenie-meenie-minie-mo.

Or just maybe Mayor Ford has long since not given a fuck about the actual running of the city he was elected to lead. All eyes on 2014, folks. Everything between now and then is just campaign fodder.

At least for the next few days, while council meeting is still in session, let’s set aside our attention from the scandals, from the made up budget numbers, from the unbelievably petty and spiteful manner in which colleagues are treated, and change our focus on to how Mayor Ford goes about being mayor. Council is where a mayor delivers the goods, turns a platform into action, gets to don the mayoral apparel, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, la-la-la.

City council is go-to time for any mayor. And if a mayor can’t go-to there, a mayor can’t go-to anywhere.

But we all know that’s not how this mayor rolls.

Mayor Ford has not had control of city council for a long time now, arguably for more than half his term in office. It’s just easier for him that way. Easier to sideline himself and heckle the proceedings from the cheap seats than to try and forge some sort of consensus based on leadership and compromise. You got to play to your strengths, right? And leadership, consensus building and compromise aren’t really any of this mayor’s strong suits.

Somehow, the mayor’s going to plow ahead and try to convince a plurality of Torontonians that’s OK, that his lack of bona fide qualifications is not a hindrance to the proper running of this city. He’s not the problem. Council is. And if enough voters send enough councillors who are willing to bend to his autocratic tendencies, everything will be fine. Business as usual.

Since the chances of that happening are almost nil – most winning scenarios have the mayor being re-elected only by a strategic splitting of votes and not with long coattails dragging compliant councillors to victory — watch this council meeting very closely. This is Mayor Ford’s council. He doesn’t possess the tools to run things any other way. Believing it will be different next time, with a different council make-up is as delusional as believing the mayor’s saved this city a billion dollars. It didn’t happen. It won’t happen.

Time to move on from this very nervy experiment in civic politics.

matter of factly submitted by Cityslikr

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