This has been a hot week in Toronto when it comes to politics. I think anyone who lives and works in this city will agree that the latest Rob Ford scandal is hardly surprising -- it's just tiresome.
This man is in the news constantly, over and over, for alleged and actual transgressions, and we'd like to have a period of time where our mayor isn't the laughingstock of the entire world. It gets hard to smile tightly and bear it when someone else makes fun of our illustrious mayor, that's for sure.
I have no great love for Ford. I didn't vote for him, and I don't like the way he runs my city. As a person from the suburbs, I think he has very little understanding of what the core city needs, or the issues that its citizens face. We are a large city, the third largest in North America, and we need someone at the helm who is willing to take our needs and diversity into account, not someone who doesn't seem to care about the city at all.
Ford apologized for his alleged actions in the crack video scandal on Saturday, but his apology left a lot of people angry and confused. And I can understand why, but I'm not angry and confused because he gave off a half apology -- I'm angry and confused because he doesn't seem to see how his overall actions have impacted Toronto. And where others want him to apologize for his shenanigans regarding drugs and drinking, I want him to explain and apologize for his consistent, uncaring attitude towards his office, his city, and the people who live here.
Addiction is a struggle that can only be gone through alone. I have not been an addict, but I have had addicts as loved ones, and it doesn't matter how often they feel badly for their actions or apologize for them, in the end, an apology doesn't erase the hurt that's caused. I don't want Rob Ford to apologize for being an addict. I hope that if he is one, he gets help, but that's not anyone's business but his and his family's.
While this "crack video" scandal has been bemusing and sometimes a little bit weird, I don't believe it's as big of a deal as everyone seems to feel it is. In itself, it doesn't affect Toronto any more than making us the butt of international jokes -- and we can recover from that. We do every time the Leafs lose, after all. It's the combination of the many Ford scandals that makes this so huge -- the fact that we can't trust our own mayor to act in a reasonable and rational way, no matter the outcome of this particular incident.
When you apologize, you're not doing it for you, and you're not really doing it to make someone else better. You're doing it because you're admitting wrongdoing. Ford's personal life is his business, but what he does with the city is our business. And the continuing scandals, the many denials, the many gross things he has done and said -- that's what I would like him to apologize for -- and to mean it.
I don't believe that going forward, the people of Toronto are going to put faith in this man again, especially not as mayor. I do believe that his supporters will forgive him anything, but they too want to save face. But the lack of sincerity in Ford's apology is what made me angry and confused. Apologies do not erase what has happened. The actions the penitent person puts forward do. And I don't see Ford wanting to make any changes to become a better leader and representative of this city.
When I moved to Toronto, I didn't believe I was moving to a perfect city where nothing bad ever happened. But I do take pride in living here. I love the history and the culture, the many quiet green spaces, the wind on the water. I adore the iconic skyline, the friendly people, and yes, even our losing Leafs -- I take pride in being a Torontonian. I still love this city, warts and all. I would like to see our mayor do the same. I don't see him taking pride in living here. I don't see him embracing being a Torontonian -- and it shows. He doesn't appear to want to do better for his city. He doesn't appear to care at all.
Mr. Ford, I know you think that women don't understand politics. I also know that you think that you know what's best for this city. But you're riding your "gravy train" to ruin and you're taking us with you. Show that when you apologize, you mean it. Work on getting help and doing what's best for this city. Look at the many people who live here -- people like you, and people who understand what you might be going through. We're not all against you. We're looking for an honest and trustworthy leader.
Your apology doesn't cut it, sir. Apologies should carry integrity. So far, I have not seen integrity from you in this matter. I encourage you to listen to the people of Toronto. Past the anger, there's a question as to why you won't take responsibility for your actions beyond a vague apology.
"I'm only human," you said.
Right. We're looking for that humanity, Mr. Ford. Time to step up and show us you're one of us. And by doing that, take responsibility.