Feature

Canada: Assigning blame for the Ford fiasco

The mayor's many enablers also bear responsibility for this “long train wreck.”

Andrew CoyneNational Post

The disgraced mayor of Toronto isn’t going anywhere, said Andrew Coyne. “Any other public figure would have resigned long ago in the face of even one of the series of increasingly mortifying scandals in which Rob Ford has been the featured player.” But Ford stubbornly clings to office, and “Toronto appears to be stuck with him.” Part of the reason for this sorry state of affairs is a “flawed civic architecture that, in all fairness, never contemplated the existence of a mayor so mountainously incontinent, yet so impervious to shame.” But while Ford’s “endless supply of lies, manipulativeness, and sheer chutzpah” have made this “long train wreck” possible, he didn’t do it alone. His many enablers also bear responsibility: “the staff who failed to report his misdeeds, the commentators who excused them, the partisans who ignored them.” The most guilty of all are his strategists, who used the “condescending populism” that has become the playbook for the Canadian Right in general to get Ford elected. They fashioned his image “as the defender of the little guy, the suburban strivers” against the snooty downtown elites. “They can try to run away from him now, but they made this monster, and they will own him for years to come.”

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