Toronto seems to be at a juncture that I've seen many times in an episode of The Simpsons. Mayor Quimby has outraged the populace, and is keeping counsel with his counsel. The townspeople are at the gates with their torches and pitchforks, the media close behind. There may even be a couple of tanker trucks of corn syrup that have overturned and, for some inexplicable reason, exploded.
There are differences, of course. It's the media that are brandishing the torches and the pitchforks. Kent Brockman owns the news game in Springfield, and he's not on 24/7 so he can be more gentile. The demonstrators have maintained decorum; City Hall is still standing. Most importantly, unlike Springfield Toronto has a city council and councillors. Unlike Mayor Quimby, Mayor Ford is not a power unto himself (as much as he thinks that). Oh, I almost forgot. Unlike Springfield, which is a fictional town in a cartoon, Toronto exists in the real world -- as real as the world gets, anyway.
Beyond his existence as an internet meme (that's why people want the photos, Mr. Mayor) Rob Ford is a common thug, plain and simple. I didn't vote for him, and I'm disappointed with how things have transpired at City Hall since he was elected: the drugs, the booze, the stupid publicity stunts, the policy agenda, the whole shebang folks. Nevermind crack, the Scarborough subway fiasco that will cost Toronto dearly in the long term is just one of his accomplishments (aided by Councillors) that embarass me.
I'm with columnist Edward Keenan at The Grid though. We have to wait until the next election to do something about this crisis of personality. The administration of the city will continue, as it has despite Ford being elected. In the meantime, councillors can best stop the madness of this spectacle by ignoring it. After this stunt of trying to remove him is over, let's get to the business of council.
The councillors who started out as the Mayor's allies have abandoned him. Giorgio Mammoliti has been on time delay in this whole process, but now even he can't bring himself to block for Ford. Unlike Federal and Provincial levels of government where elected representatives are beholden to their party first, councillors are only beholden to the people who voted for them. Freed of loyalties, council should get on with debating the agenda and propose compromises and alternatives where a majority consensus cannot be reached. We'd be functioning as, you know, a democracy.
Mayor Ford, if you want to move on, then get some agenda items out there for debate. You want to start this election campaign? Then bring 'er, let's get it on, or whatever your campaign slogan is ("It's gonna be a bloodbath"?). Don't be a (sexually explicit slang term that can't likely be printed here) hiding behind your lawyers.
Councillors, show you deserve to be there. Remember, the Mayor wants to eliminate as many of you as possible. There is a lot of attention is focused on City Hall now, let's use it for good.
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