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.