Emily is decidedly unimpressed that the people of Ward 2 elected soon to be former mayor Rob Ford to Toronto City Council:
People of Toronto City Council Ward 2, we understand what you’re doing. Clearly, the intent is to have Rob Ford continue to entertain people he represents into infinity, as though his habits of getting boozed up in public places and happening into the recording screen of a cellular phone will continue. But this is a little like insisting that Lindsay Lohan is a good actress who can definitely pull off a David Mamet play on London’s West End. Based on prior experience, we want to believe it won’t be a disaster. But deep, deep down in our hearts, we know that Lindsay Lohan lost all her talent around the time she lost all the elasticity in her face. And we know that Rob Ford is a train wreck waiting to happen that you, City Council Ward 2, will be responsible for.
Yet what Emily doesn’t mention that Rob Ford was thrice elected to this seat before being elected mayor in 2010. During that time, Ford developed a reputation as one who would speak out against the excesses of a spendthrift council heavily populated by NDPers and other assorted left-wingers. But more importantly he earned a reputation as someone who worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. If you live in Etobicoke North and had a problem with city government, chances are you would talk to Rob Ford directly and he would fix the problem (and was still doing so from his hospital bed). Things like that tend to endear elected officials to the people they serve and said people will be inclined to re-elect you and support your bid for the mayoralty. Consequently, those people are willing to overlook that person’s character flaws (which are too numerous to mention). This is the segment of Toronto known as Ford Nation. And had he been healthy enough to run, he might have very well beaten John Tory or come really close to doing so.
But Ford isn’t healthy and it remains to be seen if he’ll live out his term. For better or for worse, the people of Etobicoke North stuck by Rob Ford because he stuck by them.