Ford More Years In The Wilderness

(While we here at All Fired Up in the Smoke have vowed to spend less time and effort on the 2014 mayoral race, that doesn’t mean we can’t provide space to those who do have that inclination. For example, our fully endorsed 2010 candidate for mayor of Toronto, Himy Syed.)

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Toronto City Hall 8:15 a.m. January 2, 2014

Rob Ford walks past The Colin Vaughan Press Gallery, along a corridor it shares with Toronto’s Election and Lottery office.

Named for late City Hall Reporter, Colin Vaughan, who previously served as Alderman representing The Annex. His son, Adam, today represents Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina.

Three years before Toronto City Councillors began turning their backs each time Mayor Rob Ford rose to speak, Adam Vaughan was first to do so. He turned his back as Rob Ford was being sworn in; he faced The Public during Ford’s inauguration speech.

December 2010: turning your back on the Mayor appears petulant.

December 2013: it looks prescient.

Rob Ford and Adam Vaughan have been and remain each other’s true Council Nemeses.

*  *  *

Mark Cidade stood waiting for City Hall to open at 7:30 a.m.

Once inside, Cidade found Election staff setting up the rope line. Somehow, Bruce Baker beat Cidade to the Pole Position. Baker intended to be first to file for Ward 36 Councillor. No matter. Cidade being second in line would become 2014’s first Mayoral Candidate.

Third in line? Al Gore.

45 minutes later, Bruce Baker permitted Rob Ford to stand in front of him after Cidade and Gore each denied Ford a spot ahead of them.

Rob Ford began his Re-Election Campaign… by budding in line.

Filing Nomination Papers

Two pieces of ID, signatures, several gigabytes of video and still images, and $200.00 later… Rob Ford begins his Re-Election Campaign.

“Ford More Years…?” What does that even mean?

Before abandoning his first media scrum of the 2014 Toronto Election, leaving his City Councillor brother and just announced Campaign Manager Doug to wax damage control to Cameras, Mics, and BlackBerries… Rob Ford lied five times:

Declared Council’s best attendance record: he’s actually 15th worse out of 45; missing 1/6 of Council votes this term; Claimed tax increases under 1.75% for four years: rise was 2.5% in 2012 and 2% per last year; Claimed unemployment dropped from 11% upon assuming office to 7% today: actually it bumped up from 9.4% at end of 2010 to 9.8% in last quarter 2013; Claimed City “started spending like drunken sailors” after November when Council transferred numerous of his powers to the Deputy Mayor: thus far, the upcoming 2014 budget remains responsible; Repeated the fiction he alone saved “A Billion Dollars.”

Why did Rob Ford start his Re-Election Campaign with complete inaccuracies?

By “Complete Inaccuracies,” I mean “Lies”. Full Stop.

There’s a word for that.


This word was said to me by a former Ford Loyalist City Councillor who voted to strip away The Mayor’s power. This Councillor’s last straw was Ford’s admission of Drinking and Driving after repeated denials. Out of sheer curiosity the Councillor looked up “sociopath”. It described Rob Ford to a T.

I asked how voting against the Mayor felt?


Ford More Lies?

A sociopath is typically defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others.  A sociopath is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused – it is done to get one’s way).  Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others.  Sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways.


Sound familiar?

Fundamental error of The Press Gallery is engaging Ford on being “right” or “wrong.”

Sociopaths don’t really believe there is such thing as being right or wrong, there is only more or less powerful.

— Sociopath World


What do John Edwards, Bob Barr, Rod Blagjevich, John Ensign, Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, William Jefferson, William Jefferson Clinton, David Vitter, James McGreevy, Tom DeLay, Charles Rangel, Newt Gingrich, and David Paterson have in common?

Obviously, they’re all politicians who’ve been caught doing something illegal, unethical, mind-bogglingly self-destructive, or all of the above.

But what also binds them is that none of them seem to believe they really did anything wrong, in spite of vast evidence to the contrary. When they finally have no option but to appear contrite, their apologies feel stilted, scripted and anything but heartfelt.

— Tony Schwartz, Huffington Post

Mayor Rob Ford’s goal is to be Re-Elected.



If the Press Gallery continues attempting to keep proving Rob Ford wrong after each and every utterance that he is right; If challenger Mayoral Candidates’ ultimate street cred at the ballot box is that only they are uniquely “The Best NOT Rob Ford”; If the wider electorate doesn’t exercise its own power by voting For Something rather than Against Someone (Rob Ford); Then Election Day October 27 2014 will be reduced to being either a Referendum on Rob Ford or his Re-Election by an enabling “Ford Nation”.

What is Ford Nation? Why is Rob leading it?

Usually sociopaths hide themselves behind a pretense of being able to feel what the rest of us feel. Their very survival depends on being able to blend in, by imitating what they see around them, but cannot themselves feel, ever. Those most successful are those who con us best.

— Gene Messick,

During 2010, the above was condensed into three words: Respect For Taxpayers.

For 2014, three syllables: Ford More Years.

It is said that Every Pharaoh has his Moses.

And Every Moses has his Nation.

If this election remains all but a Referendum on Rob Ford, as the first few hours of media attention and challenger candidates’
behaviour reveal, Ford Nation will Re-Elect their Moses.

But instead of Rob parting the Red Sea and delivering his people from Pharaoh, a re-elected Rob Ford will start from Sinai and
walk back to Egypt, taking Ford Nation, and the rest of us, along with him… For Four More Years.

Respect for Taxpayers. Been there. Done that. And got the Bobblehead to prove it. (Both of them.)

Time the Electorate stand up to the Sociopath Mayor by budding in the front of the line, getting ahead of the Press Gallery, turning their backs to the traditional media echo chambers with their narrative, and begin demanding a Post-Rob Ford Vision for the City Region of Toronto and How We Get There without mentioning nor referring to the incumbent mayor.


thoughtfully submitted by Himy Syed

Don’t Be A Nader, Ralph

So it seems that the Ralph Nader Sweepstakes are on. People are stating their case and placing their bets on who’s going to play official spoiler in this year’s mayoral election here in Toronto. And the stakes are quite high this time around, too. One bad wager, a slight miscalculation and you know who will become our next mayor…

Joe Pantalone supporters? Do you really want to be the blame for a Rob Ford victory?

A quick recap for those of you groggy from all that turkey tryptophan. Conventional wisdom has it that if Ralph Nader had not run his ridiculously impossible presidential campaign back in 2000 and siphoned off some progressive votes from Al Gore, George Bush would not have won the state of Florida (probably wouldn’t have even been the need for a recount and all those hanging chads etc.) and not become President of the United States. Hoo-rah! Probably no Iraq. No backsliding in terms of the environmental policies. No massive debt.

Ralph Nader and those who supported him have all that to answer for.

When asked afterwards if he regretted his role in bringing about the presidency of George W. Bush, Nader was unrepentant, saying that he saw no difference between the corporate owned entities that were the Democrat and Republican parties. After much sounds of indignant blustering and pointing of fingers at examples of just how bad George Bush was for the country, for the world, Nader is then written off as just some bitter old crank. Yesterday’s man, coasting on past glories and with no eye on the future.

Yet, the Democrats regained both the Senate and the House by 2006, and the White House in 2008 on a surge of hope for change and a massive reversal of the Bush era damage. Now in 2010, one might argue that not a whole lot has changed. A draw down of troops in Iraq hardly constitutes actually ending the war. There are more troops in Afghanistan, the battle has intensified and now become Obama’s war. Environmental agreements in Copenhagen were underwhelming as have been many of Obama’s domestic moves. He staved off a complete economic meltdown but has since been very timid in reworking the economy, leaving in place many of the culprits responsible for the crisis. His healthcare bill was but a shadow of what progressives hoped it would be.

So you might have to excuse Ralph Nader a little if he popped his head in to score himself an I Told You So. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. The only thing keeping that from truly being accurate is the Republican insistence on moving further and further into Crazytown.

A parallel between the situation in 2000 with the U.S. presidential election and our mayoral campaign of 2010 is a little iffy although that hasn’t stopped those petrified at the possibility of a Rob Ford win on October 25th from accusing anyone thinking of backing Joe Pantalone of Naderism. Firstly, as much as the Smithermaneers want to marginalize Pantalone the fact is, Pantalone isn’t some 3rd party, fringe candidate here. Of the four remaining leading contenders he is the only true progressive and thereby represents a huge swath of voters. He is hardly Ralph Nader in this equation.

And George? I’ve seen An Inconvenient Truth. I’ve read The Assault On Reason. And you’re no Al Gore, sir.

But if there is a Naderish role in our election, I’d nominate John Sewell for the position. Like Nader, politically speaking, Sewell is not a major force, representing a small if resolute portion of the voting public. His open endorsement of George Smitherman will hurt Pantalone but perhaps not as much as Joe Mihevic’s move into the Smitherman camp. If the election is really close, even the slightest support from more left of centre voters toward Smitherman could be enough to put him over the top.

The real Sewell-Nader comparison, however, comes with the reason that brought about Sewell’s endorsement of Smitherman. If elected, Smitherman has promised to establish a panel to examine “municipal government” reform that Sewell would head. “I think it’s a spectacular opportunity,” Sewell said. “I congratulate George on it. If that means I’m endorsing him because of it, so be it; that’s fine with me.”

Not a ringing thumbs-up certainly but it makes one wonder if John Sewell was so easily bought – the panel is an unpaid gig that Smitherman said shouldn’t cost more than a pot of coffee – where was the Pantalone team on this? Was municipal reform not high on the candidate’s list? If so, it suggests Pantalone is seriously out of step with progressive grassroots and shouldn’t be expecting a swell of support from them.

“If I can say one thing about Joe Pantalone,” [says Sewell], “he’s representing the position that Toronto’s working well right now. I don’t think a lot of people share that. It’s not an opinion I share.”

While I think that comment may be overly harsh and slightly out of context (Pantalone’s been making that claim in the face of unduly and at times outrageous attacks on how dysfunctional Toronto actually is, some even from the candidate Sewell’s now endorsing), it shouldn’t pass without notice and is reminiscent of Nader’s a plague on both their houses sentiment. If Joe Pantalone wants to take credit for the things that are going right in Toronto because he’s been a part of the process for 30 years, then he should accept the blame for that which isn’t working, and be out campaigning on what he would do as mayor to move forward and fix those things. That includes municipal reform. George Smitherman recognized it and seized the opportunity. Joe Pantalone didn’t.

Like Ralph Nader, John Sewell pulled back the curtain a little and our progressive candidate was shown to be somewhat lacking.

naderly submitted by Cityslikr