Regardless of Rob Ford’s addictions, immaturity, entitlement and all the other things at which he appears to excel, Coyne nails it – first and foremost, it is the ENABLING provided by the coterie hanging onto Ford’s unkempt shirttails. That Ford became the poster-boy for the right in Toronto is neatly summed up by Coyne – the “debasing of standards”. It’s a tailgate party run amok.
The Ford story is too well known to deserve repetition here but a question emerges from this mess that every provincial and municipal government in Canada should be considering. The question is simple – what happens if a similar situation develops in St. John’s, Halifax, Fredericton, Saskatoon or Dawson? Is there the necessary legislative framework in place that can FORCE an elected official to step aside while an investigation is conducted? Does a municipal council have the authority to effect such action?
The potential for a similar situation to develop exists in each of our communities and likely will continue to develop as the economy squeezes us all. It appears we are prepared to accept that debasing of standards from our politicians as long as they appear to be doing something. That’s how Rob Ford got elected.
It’s like Biff Tannen from Back To The Future becoming Mayor. You don’t have to be bright to get elected – just loud and with a bunch of enabling buddies who think you’re great.
Too bad we don’t have a time machine.