The weigh-in: Rob Ford
I’d be willing to bet that Rob Ford has become better known to the Western world than our very own Prime Minister. Now as depressing as that may be, it means something very important: people are interested.
What concerns me is not how he’s viewed globally, but how the citizens of Toronto view him. I should make my point of view clear. I am a Rob Ford supporter. Now before your eyes roll, please let me explain.
Economically, Ford has been good for the city. Now I haven’t bought into the whole idea that he’s saved a billion dollars; I find that hard to believe, especially when you look at exactly how that number is calculated. But he has saved millions upon millions, and regardless of your feelings towards him, that’s an undeniably impressive achievement.
In addition, Rob Ford’s support is still high. The most recent polling is showing him around 45 per cent, which could mean a victory.
Although the amount of support he has doesn’t actually prove he’s a quality leader, it does pose a serious problem to those who want to see him kicked out. It also shows that stripping him of his power was a move that directly contradicted the democratic nature of Canada.
Another strong reason to keep him in power is his approachability. The man has given out his personal phone number to the entire world. He tries to respond to every Torontonian, and that’s something that needs to be applauded. I mean, what politician does that? That type of direct communication is what city politics is in dire need of.
Finally, the reason that doesn’t just drive me to support Rob Ford, but the reason that keeps me motivated to vote in all elections. Quite honestly, I’m terrified of the opposition.
The biggest threat to Rob Ford in this upcoming election is Olivia Chow. I don’t want to see a Toronto run by this woman. She’s the dream candidate for the left wing, meaning taxes will be raised, spending will be increased and the suburbs that surround the city will lose their voice in council once again.
When I say I’m against the opposition, I’m including much of the media. Since Ford announced he would run back in 2010, the folks at The Toronto Star have had what many have called a vendetta against him. The media hazing has gotten so bad that the public has become numb to the headlines.
Now I’m not going to simply write-off the Star as a propaganda machine, because they’ve had some very strong pieces exposing some mistruths the Fords have spread. But it’s gotten to the point where they even ran a story on their website about Rob Ford walking out of a KFC. Is that even journalism, or just fat-shaming?
In the end, Rob Ford is far from the perfect mayor, but he’s not the “colossal disaster” his detractors have made him out to be. The city has arguably been functioning better under him than under David Miller. We can all poke fun at Ford’s personal flaws (and we all do), but let’s take a step back here and look at the bigger picture.
In terms of actually running Toronto, he’s not that bad. Maybe he’s even a good mayor. So sure, why not, Ford More Years!