(Written at 39000 feet and more than a little jet laggy with only a fragmentary grasp of all the most recent information garnered from international news and limited social media exposure, hours before hearing talk of oral sex and the province looking closely over the city’s shoulder. Sentiment probably already dated. Reader beware.)
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When you start out following politics at the municipal level, I don’t think you imagine it becoming some sort of obsessive pursuit, a line of interest that you follow (or follows you) in an interminable fashion. Of course you could take a break for a week or two, skip a council meeting here or there without missing much. It’s municipal politics, for chrissakes. What is there to miss exactly?
You certainly wouldn’t expect to find yourself thousands of miles away from home, deep, deep in some alien red wilderness and still be within radio earshot of news about your mayor. It’s a big wide world out there. You occupy an infinitesimally small slice of it.
But here we are.
Of course Toronto is in the news the world over, it seems, and for all the wrong reasons.
With every new and sordid revelation comes further proof that local politics is justifiably the black sheep of the family, rightfully relegated to the domain of backwoods yokels. I mean, come on. Where else would someone like the current mayor of Toronto be allowed to make any sort of important decision affecting millions of people? With jokers like this in charge, why shouldn’t municipal politics be considered a junior level of government?
If we aren’t going to take ourselves at all seriously, we can hardly expect anyone else to do so.
We have nobody but ourselves to blame for this current sad state of affairs in our city. While perhaps the degree of bad behaviour, the magnitude of reckless disregard might strike us as outlandish, it cannot come as that much of a surprise to anyone. Our mayor displayed more than a hint of a tendency toward such conduct throughout much of his public life.
We bought it broken. We shrugged off previous incidents as unimportant to the proper running of the city. We decided our civic life needed a little shaking by the lapels. Who better to do that than someone with a hint of the badass to him?
Yeah, I’m going to say it. Rob Ford is our little Frankenstein, folks. The anti-tax, anti-government, anti-everything monster we created and encouraged. Our pet we couldn’t manage and who gleefully refused to be house broken.
This is our mess. We have to figure out how to clean it up. Hoping for outside help to bail us out or do the dirty work will only confirm what too many people already suspect. Municipal politics is an outpost for rank amateurs and buffoons, the arena where second-raters put in time on their way up the ladder or on their way out.
Toronto has signalled its lack of seriousness about governing itself once already by electing someone like Rob Ford as its mayor. We can try and redress that misstep next October. In the meantime, let’s accept the responsibility of limiting the damage our bad decision can do. Conscientious adults acknowledge their mistakes and unhesitatingly clean up after themselves.
— belatedly submitted by Cityslikr