Squeezed in the jaws of rising income inequality, many suburbanites were receptive to Rob Ford's simple and coherent message: cut waste in government, hold the line on taxes, and end the "war on the car." For them, Ford was the right man at the right time.
Gerald Ford never had a Ford dealership named after him, but there is a Betty Ford Center. Now the question is, is there a Rob Ford Center lurking in...
As Ford continues to bumble forward, few people in Toronto actually want it to stop -- gleefully salivating over the impending destruction of Canada's most famous man. That's the real embarrassment; Ford opponents can't stop watching and gloating even though it might be the only way to avoid "Ford more years."
Throughout the drawn-out Rob Ford crack-smoking saga, one thing has been made abundantly clear: Rob Ford has very poor judgment. As a Mayor, as a person, and as a representative for the City of Toronto, Rob Ford has continually proven that his judgment is lacking. This, above all else, is the reason that he should resign immediately. As I wrote in previous articles about this subject, it's not his now-confirmed crack use that's even the problem. However, exercising terrible judgment in the consumption of crack brings a world of other problems with it, not the least of which is criminal association.
The current crisis in Toronto's city hall might well serve as a reminder that as a society, we have a long way to go in understanding the impact of mental health when lives go awry on the public stage. We also have yet to achieve consensus as to what might constitute a compassionate, pragmatic response in such cases.
Come on already... Rob, Step down already!
Toronto is a rapidly growing city, one facing pressures on infrastructure, concerns about congestion of cars on roads, and the need for better mass transit. Toronto is a city beset by economic inequality. These are all issues that need to be seriously dealt with, not sidelined by the distractions of a mayor clearly unfit for office.
I think all those years of drinking fancy tea at David's Teas, sipping Almond Milk at Whole Foods and eating organic beef from Rowe Farms, where everybody knows your cow's name, may be the cause. I don't think even 30 days of rehab in Scarborough will do the trick. But I will try one more time to explain the populist and enduring appeal of the Ford phenomenon. I have known and met many members of Ford Nation in the last few years. I have met them at coffee shops, restaurants and in their homes. I have met them at Ford Fests. The bulk of Ford's support is in the cities of Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough.
Ford and his drug-dealing pals reflect a deeper problem than just substance abuse. It's another example of the growing crisis of legitimacy of our democratic institutions.
The daily, international circus that Rob Ford is circumventing so disastrously right now demonstrates why it's so important to have a Crisis Communications Plan and stick to it. In every crisis there is an opportunity to learn and to grow and to become stronger. Here's hoping that this week is a little quieter for Ford.
We decided it was time to coin a new political term. We'll repeat the definition we gave it, back in May. Wedgie: When a political party's "wedge" issue turns on them and instead of dividing the other party, begins to divide their own.
Violent temper. Refusal to admit wrongdoing. Penchant for expressing every feeling as anger. Penchant for expressing anger through physical intimidation. Homophobia and transphobia. Impulsive, risky behaviour with no consideration of potential consequences. "Boys will be boys" brand excuses for egregious behaviour. Yup. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sure is winning at Toxic Masculinity Bingo.
Both before and during the previous election, it was clear that Rob Ford was racist, homophobic, and had problems with substance abuse and honesty. Nevertheless he won the election. We, all of us who care about justice and democracy, need to ask ourselves why this happened.
As I stood in the Huffington Post newsroom on Wednesday, watching Rob Ford admit on live television to smoking crack cocaine, I thought about Ford's wife, Renata. Until about 10 years ago, I would have wondered "how on earth does a woman stay with a man like that?" I would have thought of her as weak for not leaving him -- a man who's been in numerous public "drunken stupors," a man who was charged with assault after police were called to their home, a man who confesses to smoking crack. No woman should stand for that, right? But I know better than that now. I was married to an alcoholic for 12 years, and I didn't leave.