Ford Desecration Pt IV - the march to Detroit continues

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Maysie Maysie's picture
Maysie Maysie's picture

Rob Ford as metaphor: The real culture of entitlement

Quote:

The reality is that much of the white, male working and middle-class voted for Ford because they liked what he said and did. They liked his views of gays and women, and they liked his total unwillingness to try to understand the points-of-view of those outside of his narrow reality. They liked that his narrative was simple, claimed to be on the "outside", and was old-fashioned and angry, as that is how they perceive themselves. They liked that he presented himself as a bulwark against modernity and inclusion because these voters do not like modernity and inclusion.

Modernity and inclusion, regardless of class, does not really work out for the group who has historically benefited, no matter what their class, educational or income background, from knowing that they had a predominance socially due to the simple fact that they were born white or male. And this predominance is not ancient history; it still exists.

.....

On the issues of the rights of women, our policies and histories are different from the US in only incidental ways. And, given our federal government, these become more incidental as you read this article.

Whites generally, and white men more specifically, benefited from this way of doing things, and are largely in denial of the fact that they did. For the entirety of our history, and until very recently, the overwhelming bulk of our business, political, media and even union leaders were male and white, as were those in every industrial or other profession that made a real income. This is a demonstrable and historic fact.

And this was not true due to any effort on their part. It was due to the simple fact that they were white and male. They had to do nothing else to have a greater social status than those who were not. Equality of opportunity, in so far as it existed, existed only within this context. It existed only for white men.

This has, of course, finally begun to change. And nowhere, nominally, more than in Toronto. But these very changes have led whites and men to vote as a block, even when these votes run counter to their own apparent class interests. While it is true that many non-whites and women also voted for Ford, or for Romney or Harper, they did not do so as a block.

White males, of all classes, in both Canada and the United States do increasingly vote as a block. And they vote for reaction. They are the ultimate special interest group. They have a special interest in preserving the centuries of power that they have been granted.

This, if you are wondering, is why the comment pages of the Sun and National Post, as well as the internet at large, are so full of seething white male anger and hate. They see the possibility of eclipse on the horizon, of actually having to fend for themselves on equal footing for the first time in Canadian history, and they are terrified.

That is fundamentally why Rob Ford won, and may yet win again, despite his obvious failure as a mayor.

Michelle

I would be interested in seeing the demographic breakdown of voters who voted for Ford.  I always assumed it was mostly white men who voted for him as well, but I was always surprised when I saw person in the street interviews in his old ward (especially around the time he was trying to cut libraries) of the "I voted for him but I didn't think he'd do this" flavour - so many of them were people of colour.  But anecdotes =/= data, so it would have been interesting to see vote breakdowns at the time.  In Rob Ford's old ward, for instance, where he won landslides and where his brother has now won a landslide (72% of the vote), so-called "visible minorities" are actually the majority, according to census data.

I agree with Laxer that white men and middle-class to upper-middle-class whites benefit most from Ford's brand of politics, but I think it's too easy to say his win was due to white men of all classes voting for him, and I also don't buy the argument that white men voted as a bloc.  When we fall into easy stereotypes (not only of how white men vote - and let's not forget, the Toronto left is filled with white men - but also about how people of colour vote, assuming that they don't vote for Ford, when many likely do), then it becomes hard to strategize and reach out to voters that could be wooed away from voting for Ford.

socialdemocrati...

One of the stereotypes about cities is that whites dominate the suburbs, and visible minorities are "ghettoized" into the core. But as you might know, that doesn't really apply to Toronto. It takes some affluence to be able to live closer to the core. And the burbs are filled with far more working people, not to mention visible minorities: Scarborough, Rexdale, Jane+Finch, to name a few.

So when you hear that Ford did well with the burbs, that would mean that he HAD to do well with visible minorities.

The cynical person would remind you that people don't vote their interest. But what do they vote for? Values. For better or for worse. Voters aren't reading policy platforms (and some candidates don't even have a real policy platform). Voters are looking at a candidate and asking "do they share the same worldview as me?"

Ford had a clear value-based message: "stop the gravy train". When it came time to translate that into policy, Ford pissed a lot of his own voters off: reducing transit service, closing arenas and rec centers, reducing waste management services. But as a statement of values, "stop the gravy train" has appeal beyond race and class. No one hates the idea of wasting money more than people who are struggling to get by. It was a good campaign for a bad policy. (In an alternate reality, it could even be a campaign about corrupt companies, executive bonuses, and taxes on the wealthy.)

And in terms of a clear statement of values, Ford had no competition. Pretty sure Smitherman ran on "well, yeah, Ford is right, and I'll make cuts too, but..."

Ford won't win again. Thank God.

ctrl190

Big day for Ford on Monday.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1291672--rob-fo...

Rob Ford might not be mayor of Toronto by this time next week.

Ford’s fate in a conflict of interest hearing will be revealed at 10 a.m. Monday.

Among the possible scenarios, Justice Charles Hackland could decide Ford has breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and must be removed from office. Hackland also has the option of banning Ford from running in the next election.

mark_alfred

ctrl190 wrote:

Big day for Ford on Monday.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1291672--rob-fo...

Rob Ford might not be mayor of Toronto by this time next week.

Ford’s fate in a conflict of interest hearing will be revealed at 10 a.m. Monday.

Among the possible scenarios, Justice Charles Hackland could decide Ford has breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and must be removed from office. Hackland also has the option of banning Ford from running in the next election.

 

That might be a good thing if he were turfed by Hackland.  But Ford's just a lame-duck figurehead anyway, who really isn't running the show.  It might be better if he were beaten in the next election by Chow or Vaughan or someone, rather than being turfed out by a judge (IE, turfed by the electorate rather than by a judge).

janfromthebruce

Well I have to say that if Ford is not sanctioned in some way, this will go to his head and he will con't to act like he is king. Judges have removed trustees in Ontario who breached conflict of interest guidelines but they were small potatoes in comparison to removing the mayor of the biggest city.

However, judges are not suppose to play politics and use "law" to inform their decision, as well as past legal court decisions to inform their present decisions.

Thus he will rule that Ford breached conflict of interest and be sanctioned in some way that is meaningful but not sure if he will be removed from office.

Mark, this mayor is a complete disaster.

Michelle

I'm going to make a bold prediction right now: nothing is going to happen to Ford.  He'll get a slap on the wrist, scolded, told he's a bad boy, and he will still be mayor on Tuesday.

Sineed

Great article in the Star about false populism:

Quote:

In part, a vote for the populist politician (Ralph Klein as mayor of Calgary, then premier of Alberta; former wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura as governor of Minnesota; Sarah Palin as VP candidate) is a vote against politics itself. Especially in a political arena that is perceived to be dominated by insiders. Those who sit in taverns and complain about city hall finally get a chance to elect one of their own. And suddenly Homer Simpson is mayor.

The central conceit is that Homer will bring to city hall a refreshing honesty and a deep understanding of the average voter, two qualities that are often missing in politics.

Yet the populist rarely delivers either of these qualities. Ford is an insider, and while he may look and sound like the average voter, he shares few of their actual concerns, and none of their economic worries (his family company, DECO Labels and Tags, has estimated annual sales of $100 million).

His honesty is open to debate. When confronted with his drunken actions at a Maple Leaf game in 2006, Ford’s initial response was to emphatically lie (“This is unbelievable, I wasn’t even at the game”), as it was when confronted with his Florida pot bust (“When I say no, I mean never . . . Now I’m getting offended. No means no.”).

Ford pledged to make government more accountable and transparent, though when faced with a complaint from the integrity commissioner about using campaign funds to support a football charity, he responded by trying to eliminate her job.

One of the ironies of populist politician is that he is often a triumph of image over truth, the very thing he was elected to counter.

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/1291812--the-great-lie-of-th...

 

Junkyard Dog

Unfortunately, Michelle is probably right: Boss Hogg will likely recieve a tiny slap on the wrist (and even that might be more than we can reasonably hope for), and will still be Mayor come Tuesday morning. It's pretty clear he's lying through his teeth, as Enzo Di Matteo ably maps out in this article -

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=189858

-but I doubt that's enough to get his fat ass shitcanned, as he so richly deserves. Basic political realities caution otherwise. And while I agree with Mark that there's a certain attraction in prefering to see the rotten bastard repudiated by the voters come next election time, I'm not nearly as confident as many of you seem to be about that being a foregone conclusion. There appears to still be a disturbingly high level of support for Ford out there, no matter how lazy, dishonest, incompetent, or out-and-out crooked or corrupt he's proving to be.

But then, that's the modern day right for you. I used to read the Toronto Sun back when I was a kid, and their politics were pure far right/Tea Party mouth frothing decades before the Tea "Party" even existed. If these people have a Number One rule in life, it can probably be summed up as "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," which really should be enshrined on a plaque above the Sun's editorial offices. It's tribalism, pure and simple; they're not going to turn on Ford, unless he really gets caught red handed in some major league law breaking. And even then, many of them will refuse to abandon him. He may not be re-elected, but he's not liable to be voted out to the crushing, humiliating extent that he deserves. Sadly enough.

Michelle

WOOOO HOOOO!  I've never been so happy to be wrong!

He's guilty, and he's out!  WOOOOOOOOO!

Michelle

Don't expect to see him gone too soon, though.  The judge has given the ruling 14 days to take effect, which is lots of time for Ford's lawyers to file an appeal and request that the ruling is stayed until the appeal is heard.  And the judge has not barred him from running again, so even if he loses the appeal, he can run again for re-election.  And unfortunately, it's possible that Toronto will be stupid enough to elect the dumbass again.  So it's not a complete victory, but it's pretty awesome!

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Caissa

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

As a Vancouverite, I am outraged at this miscarriage of justice. Where will I look for my municipal politics comic relief? Where will I look to feel superior?

Mr.Tea

Wow. This is crazy. Anyone know what happens next? Assuming he is actually removed from office, is a by-election immediately called? Does City Council appoint someone for the remainder of the term (like what happened in Montreal)? Does the deputy mayor take over?

janfromthebruce

Michelle wrote:

WOOOO HOOOO!  I've never been so happy to be wrong!

He's guilty, and he's out!  WOOOOOOOOO!

la la la - yeah, the judge could only look at whether Ford was in "conflict", and also past "case law" to make his ruling. Now the 14 days is provide the municipal council to make decisions concerning voting to fill the vacancy through a by election or by appointment.

Incidently, Ford could appeal but he will still be removed and not be able to act in a mayor capacity until the appeal goes through the courts.

It was pretty cut and dry that he was in conflict  - ball is in Ford's court.

 

lagatta

It is lovely news and warms the cockles of my evil cyclist heart, though I'm sure he will appeal. 

Catchfire, Montréal, Laval, Toronto ... any reason the mayor of Vancouver should be next? (not counting Mascouche, a much smaller place). 

I confess I never read this thread because I thought it was about the decline of the automotive industry in Ontario - a serious issue to be sure, but not one that I had been following closely. (We need an automotive industry to convert it to green public transport production jobs)... 

mark_alfred

janfromthebruce wrote:

Incidently, Ford could appeal but he will still be removed and not be able to act in a mayor capacity until the appeal goes through the courts.

Really?  A CBC article on this story (quoted below) claims otherwise.

CBC article: Rob Ford ordered removed as Toronto mayor in conflict ruling wrote:

Ford can now apply to stay the judgment. If he is successful, he could remain as mayor until an appeal process is exhausted.

A three-judge panel in Ontario divisional court would hear the appeal if Ford chooses to file it.

Michelle

Yeah, that's what I was saying - if he appeals, you can be sure he'll also file for an injunction to stay the decision until the appeal is heard.  He may not win that injunction, but on the other hand, he might.  So I wouldn't be expecting to see him carrying bankers boxes out quite yet.

Mr.Tea

lagatta wrote:

Catchfire, Montréal, Laval, Toronto ... any reason the mayor of Vancouver should be next? (not counting Mascouche, a much smaller place). 

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on London mayor Joe Fontana being the next to go...

lagatta

Thanks Mr Tea, I forgot about the Great Fontana. He even has parody songs being sung to mock him. 

mark_alfred

Potentially council could order a byelection for mayor, and Ford could run, which would be interesting.  Ford does still poll quite highly, so he may do this.  But I'm guessing he'll try to stay the decision and then appeal it.  Still, I think council ordering a byelection and him running is a distinct possibility.  Of course, it would be best if Ford meekly stated "Yes, I am just too stupid to be Toronto's chief magistrate, so I'm going to respectfully go away from politics and continue with my business and with my charity football team, but I do wish this city the best," ....but that's unlikely to happen.

Junkyard Dog

Holy shit! I'm honestly shocked. Good news is such a rarity these days, and justice is currently so scarce in this poor old world of ours', I simply was not expecting this. Not that it isn't the appropriate outcome, obviously. Ford was so blatantly in-your-face about the whole sorry affair, the conclusion should have been expected, and in better times than this, it would have been. That he actually got what he deserved is every bit as amazing as it is utterly delightful.

Mark's right, though: Ford is not going to take this lying down. Ego will demand nothing less. I think we can expect him (and his pig of a brother, and his neandrathal supporters in the media) to play the martyr card heavily in the days to come. Hopefully, that won't translate into any further electoral wins.

Caissa

Ford has announced that he will appeal.

nicky

Ford would be barred from running in the by-election but not in the next full election in two years.

Aristotleded24

Congratulations to all you Torontonians. Now will you please come to Winnipeg and tell us how you accomplished that?

mark_alfred

I don't think Hackland put any restrictions on Ford for running again in the future should he be turfed from office.  So, I think if he resigns or is turfed, council could call a byelection for the office of mayor and Ford could run.

He has said that he will first look into getting a stay and appealing, and if a stay is not granted, then he will run for mayor in the next election (whether it's a byelection or the next general election).

Ford wrote:
And I'm going to fight tooth and nail to hold on to my job. If they do for some reason get me out I’ll be running again whenever the next election is, if there’s a byelection. My name will be the first one on the ballot.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

DAMN YOU ALL-POWERFUL LEFT-WING BEHEMOTH. CAN'T YOU LEAVE A GOOD MAN ALONE? HE GAVE HIS FOOTBALL TEAM TO CHARITY FOR CRISSAKES.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Congratulations to all you Torontonians. Now will you please come to Winnipeg and tell us how you accomplished that?

Thanks! I can't stop smiling!

But really, he brought this all on himself. If he wasn't such a complete corrupted fuckwad and bully. Today he's revealed himself to be a bit of a whiner and a cry-baby too.

Ha ha!

And of course we all must thank the few steadfast folks who bravely filed official complaints about him, and stuck to it.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Catchfire wrote:

DAMN YOU ALL-POWERFUL LEFT-WING BEHEMOTH. CAN'T YOU LEAVE A GOOD MAN ALONE? HE GAVE HIS FOOTBALL TEAM TO CHARITY FOR CRISSAKES.

TROLL!

mark_alfred

Happy memories of Ford:

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

We will never have democracy until the left-wing iron grip on power is broken. Our cities will continue to be blighted by safe and convenient bike lanes and a comprehensive transit system until we awake from this terrible socialist nightmare.

Unionist

nicky wrote:
Ford would be barred from running in the by-election but not in the next full election in two years.

I think nicky is correct, but I'm not 100% sure.

The law states:

Quote:

Power of judge to declare seat vacant, disqualify member and require restitution

10.  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), where the judge determines that a member or a former member while he or she was a member has contravened subsection 5 (1), (2) or (3), the judge,

(a) shall, in the case of a member, declare the seat of the member vacant; and

(b) may disqualify the member or former member from being a member during a period thereafter of not more than seven years; and

(c) may, where the contravention has resulted in personal financial gain, require the member or former member to make restitution to the party suffering the loss, or, where such party is not readily ascertainable, to the municipality or local board of which he or she is a member or former member. R.S.O. 1990, c. M.50, s. 10 (1).

In the judge's [url=http://www.scribd.com/doc/114459024/114456902-Magder-v-Ford-FINAL-Nov-26..., he states:

Quote:
[60] For the reasons set out above, I have concluded that the respondent contravened s. 5 of the MCIA when he spoke and voted on a matter in which he had a pecuniary interest at the meeting of Toronto City Council on February 7, 2012, and that his actions were not done by reason of inadvertence or a good faith error in judgment. I am, therefore, required by s. 10(1)(a) of the MCIA to declare the respondent’s seat vacant. In view of the significant mitigating circumstances surrounding the respondent’s actions, as set out in paragraph 48 of these reasons, I decline to impose any further disqualification from holding office beyond the current term.

If the judge had clearly intended to disqualify Ford from a byelection, why didn't he say: "I declare his seat vacant, as I am required to do by s. 10(1)(a). Furthermore, I use my discretionary power under s. 10(1)(b) to disqualify him until the end of his current term." Instead, he said "I decline" to impose any "further" disqualification "beyond the current term".

So - I'm not sure. Any lawyers around? Did I miss something here?

 

Michelle

The ruling says: "I am, therefore, required by s. 10(1)(a) of the MCIA to declare the respondent’s seat vacant. In view of the significant mitigating circumstances surrounding the respondent’s actions, as set out in paragraph 48 of these reasons, I decline to impose any further disqualification from holding office beyond the current term."

So I don't see how he could run in a by-election, since the by-election is for the current term.

Michelle

Cross-posted with Unionist!

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Cross-posted with Unionist!

Nah nah, Margaret Michelle, I figure you plagiarized from me in the nanosecond after I posted!

 

Michelle

Ooooooh, dem's fightin' words!  And here I was all ready to declare you absolutely brilliant. ;)

Michelle

Anyhow, the lawyers are arguing about it too, what that line means.  Ford's lawyer thinks it means he can run in the by-election.  I think it's pretty clear, and I'm sure the judge did too.  Goes to show that you should always use perfectly clear language when writing stuff like this!

Michelle

Wow, we're getting a twofer.  I just read a live update from the Toronto Star saying that Mammoliti is leaving the Executive Committee. :)  Of course, he might be doing so in order to run for mayor. :(

I know Toronto was stupid enough to vote for Ford, but surely they wouldn't be stupid enough to vote for Mammoliti!

mark_alfred

"beyond the current term" could indicate either Ford's term specifically (to end in fourteen days), or the term in office as intended by the last election.  Hackland should clarify.

Michelle

I know.  That's the problem. :(  Is there any way that he could clarify now that the decision is released?

mark_alfred

Michelle wrote:

I know.  That's the problem. :(  Is there any way that he could clarify now that the decision is released?

There was some lawyer on CBC Radio discussing it, who said that Hackland could issue a clarification; so, maybe one will come shortly.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Doug Ford is on CBC saying Rob Ford is the most honest politician in Canada! Laughing

He's calling for massive rallies in support of his brother tomorrow night. Will there be counter-rallies, I wonder?

mark_alfred

Star article wrote:
John Mascarin, a municipal law expert not directly involved in this case, said he interprets that to mean Ford cannot run in a mayoral byelection if one is held before the end of the current council term, in late 2014.
  link

Actually, in thinking about it, this makes sense.  The Municipal Elections Act states "6.  (1)  The term of all offices to which this Act applies is four years, beginning on December 1 in the year of a regular election."  The Municipal Elections Act was referenced in Hackland's decision, so I think nicky and Michelle are correct in stating that Ford could not run in a mayoral byelection, and would have to wait until the next election if he's not granted a stay.

shartal@rogers.com

About the part of not acting In the capacity as a mayor, he rarely does this even on the days becomes to work

janfromthebruce

I was incorrect in saying that he is removed but he has to get a "stay" before he can appeal. And the judge ruled that he can't run in this by election but can do so after this term is complete.

"I decline to impose any further disqualification from holding office beyond the current term."'

It's the 4 year term of office he is referring to. The municipal law expert is correct.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Detroit can only hope to have Toronto's problems.

felixr

If the left is smart, they will promote someone to the mayor's chair that will run in the next election and split the right-wing vote. The title of "interim mayor" is going to be toxic. Having someone boneheaded enough to take on that role and still run run (to lose) in the next election is the trick. Finding someone sufficiently weak to bend to left-wing objectives on the council is also a plus.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Farewell Ford Parade, a.k.a. the Grey-V(ictory) Comeuppance Parade, Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

Starts at Wellington and Yonge, ends at City Hall.

Warning, this is piggy-backing on the Grey Cup victory parade. There's two demographics you don't often see together.

Michelle

An interesting point brought up in the judge's decision that hasn't been seeing a lot of highlighting in the media is that, actually, Rob Ford DID personally gain from those contributions he solicited to his charity.

He didn't gain money.  He gained prestige.  The more money that is given to a foundation with his name on it, the more money he raises to "help poor kids", the more it enhances his reputation, the more good will he generates among the public for himself.  In fact, he's been desperately trying to cash in on that good will now - poor me, I just want to help poor kids, I'm such a philanthropist, I'm a big hero who is being persecuted for having a heart of gold...

Good will is cash in the bank for a public figure like Rob Ford.  It increases his reputation and helps him get elected.  So he most certainly does personally gain from any contributions to a charity with his name on it - it's a vehicle for self-promotion, and self-promotion and positive press is a politician's bread and butter.

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