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Nov 10 2013

Toronto mayor Rob Ford

I am sure that I don’t have to tell readers about the mayor of Toronto Rob Ford’s shenanigans. Each day seems to bring some revelation of outlandish behavior of drug and alcohol abuse and uncontrolled rages, with increased public incredulity at the fact that he seems determined to not only not resign but also plans to run for re-election. He seems to be increasingly detached from reality.

What if US media covered that story like it does many developing countries? Max Fisher gives it a shot. Here’s a sample:

A powerful Canadian official has become entrenched in scandal after admitting to using crack cocaine, a taboo in this socially conservative society. In a country where dissent is limited by traditional mores, the transgression has sparked rare public outrage and raised concerns about the stability of the Canadian regime.

The official, Rob Ford, reigns over the restive border town of Toronto, a multi-ethnic hotbed known for its bustling markets and history of violent conflict.

Though long known for an ostentatious lifestyle, Ford had entrenched power by championing populist ideals that are seen as a direct challenge to the central government planners in Ottawa. Analysts who study the opaque Canadian political system warned that Ottawa may seize the opportunity to finally move against the weakened Ford. Though fears of a military coup remain low, it is still unknown how his allies within the regime will respond should the scandal spread.

What disturbs me is that Ford seems to be a man who is both desperately in need of help and yet in denial. He looks ghastly, like someone on the verge of a major medical breakdown like a heart attack or stroke. This story has stopped being a joke and become an unfolding tragedy.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    colnago80

    One can feel a certain sympathy for Ford who is obviously quite round the bend. However, the people of Toronto deserve a full time sane mayor so one way or another, this joker has to go into therapy and relinquish his position.

  2. 2
    chigau (違う)

    If the Canadian military can go to Toronto to clean up the snow, why not other types of clean-up?

  3. 3
    kraut

    the family is well known to torontonians. No secrets there. They deserve what they choose democratically

  4. 4
    kraut

    Canada is not China, or Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia or even the US. We play – or try to play – by democratic rules. So leave your stupid ideas to yourself.

  5. 5
    Rob Grigjanis

    It’s called a joke. Don’t be so sauer.

  6. 6
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I see what you did there.

  7. 7
    Mano Singham

    I didn’t get it.

  8. 8
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Sauer-kraut, Prof. :)

  9. 9
    Nathaniel Frein

    I didn’t get it.

    He’s telling “kraut” not to be so “sauer”.

  10. 10
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    It was a play on “sauerkraut”.

  11. 11
    Mano Singham

    Duh! I feel kind of stupid.

  12. 12
    khms

    Huh. You sure you didn’t mean this one?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Sauer

  13. 13
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Ottawa may seize the opportunity to finally move against the weakened Ford. Though fears of a military coup remain low, it is still unknown how his allies within the regime will respond should the scandal spread.

    Wow, there’s so much bafflingly wrong with this. I’m not going to suggest that a mayor has no authority, but this just drastically overestimates Ford’s significance. No one, in any part of Canadian government, has considered raising a weapon to oust him. “Fears of a military coup remain” nonexistent, there is no “regime”. I’ve got family that works in City Hall, there’s enough dedicated competent people there to keep the city running just fine without (or perhaps despite) the mayor.

    Frankly, the attitude up here seems to be mostly, “He’s entertaining to watch and he’s not hurting anyone but himself, let him have his fun.” Besides, the rest of Canada just loves any excuse to look down on Toronto.

  14. 14
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Did you bother reading the article? Because at the very top of the article, it says in BOLD TYPE:

    Here, then, is a satirical take on the story you might be reading if Ford were from China or Afghanistan. To reiterate: Satire.

    It even includes a link to other stories from Canada that they’re presenting in this particular satirical style, to emphasize how Americocentric the reporting on some countries is.

    Holy Roncesvalles, dude. I grew up in TO myself (Scarberia represent!), but you don’t have to be as humourless as the Orange Lodge these days, y’know. :)

  15. 15
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    No I didn’t read the article. I get to browse FTB in very short bursts of very quick reading, and there are too many good blogs I want to get through. So I skip the articles and rely on the blog writer to get the point across. Nothing in Mano’s post makes it obvious that this was satirical, and and ridiculous as the Washington Post frequently is, its not a satirical website. So sue me, I missed that.

    And given varied and frequently offensive ways we are portrayed in American media, I don’t think its unfair to assume the worst.

  16. 16
    Connie

    Mr. Ford apparently played a lot of football in high school, and was on a college team before he dropped out. His behaviour as mayor has been erratic to put it mildly. Another concussion victim?

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