Why Mayor Rob Ford belongs on Toronto's shitlist. Again.

Torontoist's Christopher Bird explains perfectly why Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford belongs on Villain of the Year list for 2012, after appearing on so many such lists in years gone by:

Rob Ford is a pathetic joke of a mayor, easily the worst mayor this city has ever had. He is a coward, a liar, a bully, and frankly an entitled, spoiled brat of a politician who throws tantrums whenever he does not get his way, which is now often, thanks to his utter inability to work with people who refuse to be his supplicants. He makes it clear on a daily basis that he is not smart enough to be mayor: he does not understand the job or what it entails, let alone the nuances of politics and law that a mayor must know in order to be minimally competent. He is a national joke approaching international joke status, if he is not there already. As long as Rob Ford continues to be the worst element of Toronto municipal politics, then he deserves to be a Villain. It’s just that simple. If this means he’ll have a record-breaking streak of appearances, then that’s his problem, not ours.

If you disagree with that… well, let’s take a deep breath and see if we can get out everything Rob Ford did this year that was stupid, selfish, dishonest, or simply mean-spirited in one sentence: Rob Ford became irrelevant to the 2013 budget debate, then to the city’s transit strategy; during the transit debate Ford misrepresented expert opinions, went on the subway to whine at regular people, and played politically divisive games by trying to pit Toronto’s downtown against its suburbs; after that meeting he got Gary Webster fired (which cost the City over half a million dollars and did untold damage to staff morale); he had to be extensively pressured to attend even a PFLAG flag raising, and of course refused to participate in Pride at all; he threatened to attack a Toronto Star reporter (and then threatened a media blackout if said reporter was not removed from the City Hall beat); he repeatedly skipped out of city council meetings to go coach his football team and had his staff do so as well; his office may have improperly influenced the appointment of city officials; he repeatedly attacked the City’s ombudsman and integrity commissioner; he got special treatment from the City for his private company; he demonstrated that he didn’t know what a public/private partnership is; promised at Ford Fest that his next mayoral campaign, over two years away, had just begun; he was caught reading while driving on the Gardiner and passing open streetcar doors in his car; he explained, in the wake of gun violence, that “no one helps youth more than I do” when asked why he voted against federal anti-gang funding and community development; he was generally not around at City Hall doing his job; got sued for libel; and oh, throughout the year he acted like an ass with his brother on their radio show, which he used to slag his political opponents, violate the City’s Code of Conduct by attacking the City’s medical officer of health, and suggest that we use immigration laws to cut down on gun crime. Also he fell down while trying to play football.

2012 Villain: Rob Ford

(Image: Worst mayor ever, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from 26263283@N00's photostream)


    1.  Chris Christie at least had the common sense to work with his political enemies when things actually had to get done.  He’s more like a portly Sarah Palin.

      1. Considering Palin’s record and the fact she cut and ran from her last year in office, it sounds like Chris Christie sticks around even if the going gets a bit tough

  1. He’s got nothing on the running succession of full-on criminals Detroit has managed to put in office over the last 50 years.   I remember looking longingly across the river at Windsor, at its nice buildings and green spaces, and wondered what Detroit would be like if Michigan had become part of Canada instead of the USA when it was still up for discussion.

    1.  But, see, even if your mayor is in jail, you at least have the satisfaction of knowing that justice was done, which is not the case with Rob Ford. Yet.

  2. The entire Rob Ford mayoralty has been an elaborate conspiracy.  Hear me out.

    After the passing of Jack Layton, Olivia Chow no longer wished to remain in national politics and wanted to come back to Toronto.  Unfortunately, her image had become so entwined with the NDP brand that only a fiasco of biblical proportions would permit her to leave the party and return to the civic arena.

    Enter the Ford brothers and the above litany of gross incompetence.

    Now, if she leaves the NDP it will look like a great act of self sacrifice.  She’s giving up her national dreams and coming back, like a figurative Ghostbuster, with proton pack charged and ready to toast our Stay Puffed Marshmallow nightmare. 
    Very clever.

    1. Wasn’t that pretty much what Barron Harkonnen planned of his Nephews for the control of Arrakas?  Send in a “Bumblefuck” to oppress and be hated, then a Savior for the people to love?

  3. I dislike Rob Ford intensely, while only having ever been to Canada once (and Toronto never), because I’ve always thought of Toronto as being a possible fallback option if things really go to shit in the States, but I’ll give him this: he makes you feel better about almost every other elected official that you’ve ever had of your own. 

    1. Eep.  You must be from the States if you would consider Toronto to be a “plan B”.   Come to Ottawa.  We’re boring, but we’re safe and our mayors are smart.

      1. Yikes, gawd, no…don’t go to Ottawa. Don’t do that to yourself. It’s not just boring, it’s soul-stultifyingly boring. And it’s significantly colder than Toronto, which is still a part of North America’s Carolinian forest. Which is really saying something when you’re talking about Canada.

    1. I’m not familiar with Ralph Klein, but Ford was done for possession of cocaine on the same day he was charged with DWI in Florida. He was also ejected from a Leafs game for a drunken altercation in which he told a woman that she should go to Iran and be gang-raped as she’s a teacher, and therefore a communist. So at the least, Ford can put up some stiff competition.

  4. A bully does not a mayor make.
    I remember years ago watching a clip of Rob Ford, councillor, talking about the indiscriminate spending by other councillors. That was a good thing…our representatives should be accountable on every expense they incur & charge to the city, ultimately to the taxpayers.
    However, Ford’s attitude & tone set my radar off. He seemed not just confident, but arrogant. I agreed with his remarks at that time, but his demeanour left me very unsettled…not a threat in that situation, but now that he is mayor of Toronto…a whole different scenario.
    He blows-off any criticism…talking on his cell phone while driving…attending football games when he should be conducting city business…caling the police for any little thing he feels intrudes on his life. Seriously…Mary Walsh doing her Marg Delahunty thing??!! Geesh, even Prime Ministers & Premiers were good sports when Marg confronted them unannounced.
    I was infuriated when he said he wouldn’t attend the Gay Pride Parade…not because I have any stake in that….but because he is the Mayor or Toronto…and the mayor should support any & all of the city’s functions. This one, is one of the largest in North America and is one of many events that demonstrates our city’s inclusion of all people. Yet Rob Ford thought that his annual family get-together at the cottage took precedent…never giving it a second thought after much criticism.
    We’ve had a lot of different mayors in our wonderful city…but none so self-centred & arrogant. At least Mel, in his own weird way, cared about the city & its people.

    1. I think it could be argued that Jacques Parizeau cares more about Toronto and its people than Rob Ford does.

  5. So, can anyone explain to this Vancouverite how he ended up Toronto’s mayor in the first place? I know we all like to poke fun at Toronto, but they can’t be *that* bad.

    1. Two words: Greater Toronto, which includes now all the suburbs into the voting pool, apparently diluting the strength of the genetic pool of that city.

      1. I’m not from around there and ‘suburbs’ may not have the same connotation as it does in Toronto. How the chap got into position of power still eludes me.

        1. Did Ford “buy” his election to mayor?  Let’s see what happens with the release of the audit of his election expenses.  If he gets reappointed to the position he has lost once, he could get turfed out a second time for illegal election expenses.  Certainly, the “loan” from his family is a “breaker” of the rules and alone is suficient cause to be tossed.  Who else is he beholden to?  Which developers supported his campaign and have benefitted from his benevolence?

    2. The other significant candidates were:
      – Rocco Rossi (right wing; mafia style campaign posters) 
      – Sarah Thompson (centrist; unknown to anyone before the election started) 
      – George Smitherman (centrist; former provincial politician responsible for wasting billions of dollars on eHealth; also gay, was the target of a low-level homophobic campaign that, arguably, Ford supported)
      – Joe Pantalone (leftwing; deputy mayor, but otherwise a non-entity)

      Thompson and Rossi dropped out, Pantalone sucked leftwing votes away from Smitherman.  Ford kept his mouth relatively shut during the campaign, and focused on nebulous, but politically attractive ideas like the “gravy train”.  The rest is history.  

      1. You forgot about Adam Giambrone, head of TTC and youngest city councillor, and NDP. Who was second in the polls until it was revealed that he was having sex with “prostitutes/students” (its unclear) in his office at city hall.

        1. I never heard anything about prostitutes!  I recall it was simple infidelity to his partner and the general smarmyness of doing it in his office at City Hall. 

          There was nothing *illegal* just distasteful. 

    3. Toronto was forced to amalgamate with the suburbs and inner suburbs strength, that’s what. Urban former municipalities voted Smitherman- and Pantalone-red; the others voted Ford-blue. (That map is striking.) This month, John Sewell wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail that explains the chasm between Torontoise urban and suburban mindsets. It explains everything.


    4.  Yeah, imagine all the yahoos out in Surrey, Delta & Abbottsford being able to impose their candidate on those of us in the city of Vancouver proper and I think you’ll be able to see how it could happen…

      (Especially if they were inclined to seek revenge for  snarky remarks like mine…)

  6. I voted Nenshi.  I’ll do it again.  At least in this city we’re still talking about voting based upon Merit rather than some kind of hateful proxy war on our fellow citizens….. well at least on the civic level…..

    1. This is the type of ‘conservative’ logic that irritates me: Vote me in to save money! Then I’ll unnecessarily fuck up the city/state/etc infrastructure at great expense which will probably be undone as soon as I’m out.

      1. I feel anti-graffiti crusades are the mark of a crap politician who’s running out of options; it’s a -safe- opinion, (seemingly) easy to do, but by announcing and touting it they just provoke the ‘writers’ and make it worse by making it cool to do. 

  7. And yet… somehow… when the Toronto Star (which has waged a savage hatchet job on him daily since he was elected) recently ran a quick poll of its own devising, hoping to show that the people of Toronto had soured on Rob Ford, they found to their horror that he would easily defeat any other currently serving councillor.

    1. Yeah.  No.  The Star poll showed that Ford would win if _all_ of the opposing councillors ran, like in 2010, as they would bleed votes off each other.  In each of the one-on-one polls done in the past two years conducted by several papers including that Ford mouthpiece, the Sun, Ford loses in ANY head-to-head match with any other opponent, including the IKEA monkey if I’m not mistaken, so your use of the phrase “would easily defeat any other” is misleading and wrong.

      It also showed that Olivia Chow (not a current councillor) would wipe the floor with him, if she ran.

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