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"Bloated and Wasteful!"
September 28, 2010 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Meet Rob Ford, the frontrunner in Toronto's mayoral electoral race. He has complained about city spending on AIDS prevention, claiming that only homosexuals and drug users are at serious risk of getting AIDS. He says he supports the views of a right-wing pastor who thinks that same-sex marriage will "dismantle" civilization.He has called Asian people "Orientals" and suggested that they are taking over, then when rebuked explained that he thought this was a positive thing. He has suggested that Toronto cannot handle any more immigrants and that in a "perfect world" Toronto's population would remain even. He recently suggested banning marathons from public streets. And now, he has released his long-awaited financial plan with a bizarrely bad Youtube video where he stammers his way through a series of savings promises that simply do not add up. So what should we do when Rob Ford becomes mayor? That's easy. Make lots of Photoshop memes.
posted by sayitwithpie (83 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope Scott Pilgrim beats the crap out of him.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on September 28, 2010 [12 favorites]


Wow. You've got idiotic people running for office up north, too, huh?
posted by crunchland at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2010


So the crazies aren't just in the US? That's a bit of a relief to hear.
posted by reductiondesign at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2010


Winner
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2010


Mefi's own mightgodking has been covering the Toronto mayoral race. it would seem that yes, Rob Ford is really like that.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


For the record, his position as the front-runner is waning and likely to dwindle even further as the race continues.
posted by Adam_S at 9:48 AM on September 28, 2010


Welcome to my world. I live in the United States. Rob Ford is a dime a dozen here!

He looks like a used car salesman.

Aside from that, we know what Rob Ford says his Toronto would look like: the mayor would personally return every phone call; streetcars would be decommissioned and subways would be built in the suburbs; council would lose half its members and each councillor lose half his or her office budget; arts and culture spending would be slashed or outright eliminated; more police would be hired and a law-and-order chief would be given carte blanche to be tough on suspects and neighbourhoods; taxes would be cut, the union would be busted or humbled and garbage service would be contracted out.

Oh, wait. My bad. He's a Canadian socialist. He actually wants to increase funding for cops!
posted by blucevalo at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


when Rob Ford becomes mayor

Not if I can effin' help it.

Sarah Thomson withdrew from the race this morning and endorsed the only person capable of beating Ford, (far) lesser evil George Smitherman.

If you are a Torontonian with an opinion, please write to Rocco Rossi and Joe Pantalone and tell them you will be happy to support them in all future political endeavours if they do what Thomson did for the good of their city.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


How the hell is this joker the frontrunner? My Canadian friends have always explained that Harper got in because of the rural provinces/areas, but I don't think that excuse works for Toronto.
posted by kmz at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the now only answer to "What's the difference between the US & Canada?" is only "Not into hockey as much." *shrug*
posted by i_cola at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2010


It's like Chris Christie got in that chamber from "The Fly" except instead of an insect it was a xenophobic canned ham.
posted by wcfields at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2010 [22 favorites]


the way he pronounces council makes him sound like a sad robot powering down.
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jesus. He's got a baby frozen in carbonite behind his right shoulder.
posted by rusty at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't forget his colourful arrest record, which includes a 2008 charge of "assault and uttering a death threat" against his wife.
posted by rocket88 at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


How the hell is this joker the frontrunner?

To understand Rob Ford you have to understand the schism within Toronto politics between the downtown and the surrounding suburbs in Etobicoke and Scarborough. The suburbs are, unsurprisingly, a bit more conservative than downtown, but this is Toronto so traditionally that's not been so big a deal. Ford's survived an otherwise pathetic career by delivering exceptional service to his constituents and even to other councillors' constituents; there's no question about his passion for doing that.

Of course, why Ford is the frontrunner boils down to two issues: the recent garbage strike and transit woes. Toronto's transit system is antiquated and underfunded, and the garbage strike got a lot of otherwise apathetic voters furious at "the downtown elites" who were paying garbagemen all that money gosh darnit. Rob Ford hates anything that gets in the way of cars and he hates unions, so he's the natural anti-downtown candidate, and for people who don't pay any attention to municipal politics (IE, most of them), Ford's promises sound really good.
posted by mightygodking at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2010 [12 favorites]


You forgot to mention that Rob Ford's environmental plan consists of reducing the number of speed bumps and stop signs, thereby reducing the amount of time cars spend idling.

I have a lot of reasons to oppose Mr. Ford's candidacy, but ultimately I make it a policy to avoid voting for anyone who fundamentally dislikes the city/country s/he wants to lead (see also: Stephen Harper).
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


No way Glenn Gould would vote for this guy.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:57 AM on September 28, 2010


Is there anyway to import this guy into the Kill Whitey thread?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:58 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't agree, reductiondesign. It's rather terrifying to me that the angry, ignorant populism in the US is manifesting elsewhere too.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Could be 1919, or 1938, or now.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:01 AM on September 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ford seems to play well with a certain sector of the populace who would never admit in public to sharing his professed beliefs but will very happily vote, anonymously of course, for someone as angry, closed-minded and stupid as they wish they could be themselves.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:02 AM on September 28, 2010


wcfields: It all makes sense now.
posted by JHarris at 10:03 AM on September 28, 2010


What mightygodking said, plus: Toronto puts a lot more into the tax kitty than it gets back in goods and services, because if you're a provincial or federal politician you just can't go wrong running on a "screw Toronto" platform. As a result, all kinds of shit (especially the transit system) is underfunded and falling apart and people are angry. And when people are angry they respond to straightforward messages about cutting taxes they aren't seeing a direct benefit from anyway and cutting the budget for stuff they don't like. Too bad Rob Ford's plan to save the city thousands of dollars on office supplies and symbolic chicken feed like that doesn't even begin to address any of the Toronto's underlying fiscal problems.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


What a hoser, eh.
posted by chillmost at 10:05 AM on September 28, 2010


The guy dresses like a villain from the 1960s Batman television show.
posted by cazoo at 10:09 AM on September 28, 2010


So, he must be secretly gay, right?
posted by oneironaut at 10:16 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't forget his colourful arrest record, which includes a 2008 charge of "assault and uttering a death threat" against his wife.

This bears repeating, for the law and order candidate. Youthful indiscretions for me, the lash for everyone else.

That said, I have a morbid curiosity about a Rob Ford administration, safely observed from my nice perch in Hamilton. Good luck, Toronto!
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:17 AM on September 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Even for the U.S., this guy would be bad; it would be like Dudley Dursley being elected mayor of Chicago.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:24 AM on September 28, 2010


WHERE'S HIS AMERICA FLAG PIN??
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Dude reads too much into Rush lyrics. (/lolcanux)
posted by not_on_display at 10:27 AM on September 28, 2010


Ford has the strange ability to take controversies and failings (arrest record, racism, general boorishness, outright lies during campaigning) and turn them into more votes, not less. I think the papers have given up trying to dig up dirt on him because it just didn't work; they found plenty of dirt, but having his face on the front page just made him more popular.

One this that really frustrates me about Ford (other than everything else) is that his self-defined image, that of a regular guy who became a successful businessman, is actually that of another one of the major candidates and doesn't reflect Ford's background at all. Ford's father was an MPP who founded the family business and Ford still has campaign events at the family compound, not exactly a working class background. Sarah Thompson, on the other hand, was a teen aged runaway turned millionaire. But that's out the window because Ford had already laid claim to that specific story.

I still have no idea who to vote for. Is this going to be a Anyone But Ford ballot for me? Or maybe I'm waiting for one of the major candidates to speak out against the police action during the G20. Nobody on the Toronto Police force lives in Toronto proper anyways, so it's not like they'd be losing votes.

And given the suburbs vs downtown rhetoric, I'd like to see a candidate, right or left, try out a de-amalgamation platform.
posted by thecjm at 10:31 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dude reads too much into Rush lyrics.

And Torontoans were all kept equal
by hatchet job, budget axe and old saw.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:32 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I move away the the whole fucking city goes to hell in a handbasket. Can someone please shove Ford off a subway platform? I think I see the Harlem City Choir tied down just up the tracks.
posted by GuyZero at 10:32 AM on September 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's another important reason that Ford became a front runner in the race: he was so crazy, so incompetent, and so mean-spirited, that he got a lot of press. A few weeks into the campaign, when the polling started up in earnest, most people in the city could only name one candidate, the only one who had received any coverage.

And then, of course, two things happened:

a) certain elements in the press decided that Ford, being front-runner, must be catching some kind of public mood, and started making up reasons to like him (he's the irreverent class-clown who will stand up to the elites. Of which he is definitely not one. Nor me, being a humble newspaper columnist)

b) The other candidates, similarly misreading the polls, decided that they had to move closer to Ford in their positions, which further legitimised him while reducing the chance that people would say 'I hate Ford, who can I vote for to reject him'.

I would like to add that the whole 'suburban-urban' split is not as clean-cut as people think. The suburbs, themselves, are deeply split between working-class single-unit housing (which tends to skew tory) and vast, roiling high rise slums (where the residents tend not to be very politically active (especially if there's a high concentration of refugees, such as in Ford's current ward)).

To defeat Rob Ford, a single, recognisible candidate has to emerge, and start putting up a liberal, positive platform: I like the city, I like multiculturalism, I like transit and don't want to delay transit construction, I like community policing and public health and not having the streets filled with freezing-to-death homeless people like during the Harris era, I don't want to eviscerate city services and, while this may make me an 'elite' in the eyes of Rob Ford, I want sensible, professional people running the city with reality-based policies. Vote for Candidate X - the Choice for Grownups.

Oh, and one last thing: the first time I heard of Rob Ford it was because my mother in law, his constituent, found herself invited to a free pizza event that Ford was running to drum up opposition to a new battered women's shelter. Not because it would screw up parking or garbage collection or something, but because Rob Ford was against the idea of battered women's shelters (apparently, he thought they were just hookers and drug dealers). That's right; this guy is actually against women escaping from domestic violence.

Ha ha! He's such a funny, irreverent class clown! What a breath of fresh air!
posted by Dreadnought at 10:34 AM on September 28, 2010 [24 favorites]


I hope Scott Pilgrim beats the crap out of him.

Rob Ford dated Ramona? Unlikely.
posted by GuyZero at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


No way Glenn Gould would vote for this guy.

Glenn Beck sure would.
posted by New Frontier at 10:38 AM on September 28, 2010


Ease of identification is part of the reason for his lead. His name is the only one out there. When your opponents are only talking about you, and not themselves, you're doing very well.

The other part of his appeal, as I see it, is that he offers very simple solutions to complex issues. That those simplistic solutions would never work are irrelevant -- but they sound great. More subways? Sure, who doesn't want more subways? Don't want politicians wasting your tax dollars? He didn't spend any money on office supplies!

There's a big chunk of Toronto that such simple answers appeals to. This is the town that kept electing Mayor Mel, or buys The Sun.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:47 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


> There's a big chunk of Toronto that such simple answers appeals to. This is the town that kept electing Mayor Mel, or buys The Sun.

People everywhere like simple solutions to complex issues. That's why the good people of Springfield elected Homer Simpson as sanitation commissioner!
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford dated Ramona? Unlikely.

"I thought it didn't count. I was just a little bigot-curious."
posted by zippy at 10:57 AM on September 28, 2010




As Renault said, the Toronto Sun loves this guy, and that goes a long way. This is a paper that is consistently even further right than The Financial National Post. It's nothing but law-and-order environment-hating gun-loving tax-fighting small-C conservative bullshit.
So why does a small-L liberal city read it so much? Two reasons...the Sunshine Girl and the only decent sports section in the country.
posted by rocket88 at 10:58 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The picture shows Rob Ford as an unattractive fat balding white guy who obviously hasn't gotten laid in years.

I typed the preceding before I clicked on any of the links. That should tell you something.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 11:02 AM on September 28, 2010


Please not Rossi, he wants to sell assets that generate revenue, and along with Smitherman he wants to kick cyclists off the streets.

Pantalone FTW!

As for Ford. He's a joke and an embarrassment, he just has to loose. He always focuses on cutting council, which is insignificant img:budget bar graph (from toronto's budget site). All the candidates don't have the balls to go after where the real savings can be found.

But at least Panatlone is the only honest politician who isn't promising impossibly expensive subways which will never get built because the province and feds find it politically useful to snub Toronto. The province earlier agreed to fund "transit city", and is now delaying funding, which clearly shows they'll never put up their political capital and real capital for any of the other candidates' transit plans.
posted by ecco at 11:03 AM on September 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was coming to give the same answer as Dreadnought and Capt. Renault. Like Tea Party candidates in the US, our wingnut attracted the most coverage, so became the most visible, and thereby acquired momentum.

That, and truly dismal campaigns by the other contenders.
posted by Beardman at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2010


As your mayor, Rocco Rossi will sell certain non-essential city assets such as Toronto Hydro...

"Non-essential", like "hydro". Who needs hydro? Fuck, turn off the power and make the whole city part of Black Creek Pioneer Village. Huge moneymaker. Then we sell that off!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm disappointed to learn that Canadians are, secretly, just as lame and open to the power of suggestion as Americans. I thought you were all one hundred percent magical.
posted by padraigin at 11:25 AM on September 28, 2010


From Ford's wikipedia page: "Ford promised to improve services for residents of the city's low-cost housing, as he has done in his own ward,[citation needed]"

Citation needed indeed. I've lived in low-cost housing in Ford's ward, and services there are horrendous. As in, I had no idea that living conditions could be so bad in a first world city until I went there. If he wants to make the rest of the city a mirror of Rexdale, then things have really come to a pretty pass.
posted by Dreadnought at 11:38 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, he believes that if a cyclist gets killed, it's their own fault.

The outgoing mayor got a reputation (undeserved, IMO) for bloated spending and catering to the unions (really, you think with a hard right mayor in place the garbage strike would have been shorter?). Suburban homeowners feel like their taxes have gone up and they haven't gotten anything in return (also mistaken).

Irrespective of his buffoonery, everyone knows Rob Ford is the guy who votes against public spending of any kind (except police). Example: City Councillors get an office budget of about $50,000 a year. Ford typically spends about $12 of that, and pays for everything else out of pocket. To someone who thinks their taxes are too high, the simplicity of his attitude must be very appealing.

The irony is, with all the people you here complaining about David Miller (the outgoing Mayor), polls say that if he ran again he would win in a walk.
posted by dry white toast at 11:42 AM on September 28, 2010


Rob Ford, no Anti-Christ?

"All of this might be explicable if Ford were a true outlier, if all other serious mayoralty candidates were promising something different. But except for leftish councilor Joe Pantalone, all are on the same wavelength, calling for deep spending cuts and privatization."

Rossi, Smitherman, and Ford - all Anti-Christs!

On a more serious note, the mayor gets one vote out of 45 on council, where most committee items and decisions receive final approval. Unless Toronto gets some kind of activist mayor who actually succeeds in mobilizing a large number of council members and the public to pressure federal and province governments and implement policy, I don't see how a Ford mayoralty will be any worse than Smitherman or Rossi.
posted by dustyasymptotes at 11:46 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


More subways? Sure, who doesn't want more subways?

The problem is, he's right about this. I don't even have a driver's license, and I can see that St. Clair is a disaster. Adding just one station to the Sheppard line would have been a much better use of the money than building out St. Clair. It is probably the only thing he is right about, but still...

Meanwhile Smitherman wants to sell EnWave (formerly Toronto District Heating Corporation or TDHC). And, he wants seniors to ride the TTC for free?!!?

It is all a big joke. Toronto's real problem is the ridiculously low residential property tax rate of 0.83% (and to a lesser extent the too-high commercial tax rate of over 3.5%). Those things aren't going to change no matter who wins.
posted by Chuckles at 11:47 AM on September 28, 2010


I don't see how a Ford mayoralty will be any worse than Smitherman or Rossi.

Rossi is a wannabe power broker, but Smitherman is an honest-to-god competent manager of government who can rattle off (accurate) numbers about the city's needs pretty much by memory, and he's a lot more liberal than he's been campaigning. He's campaigning more centrist than he probably has had to, but he knows what he's doing; just because Ford is a buffoon doesn't change the fact that Toronto really does have a fiscal problem that will only be alleviated through brilliant fiscal stewardship or the province/feds finally deciding to kick back an appropriate amount of tax dollars to the city. Since the second will never happen, we need a mayor and council who can handle the first; Smitherman is probably the best choice.
posted by mightygodking at 11:54 AM on September 28, 2010


Smitherman is an honest-to-god competent manager of government...

On that, you and I disagree. He still has much to answer for for the eHealth debacle. Sure, they pinned it all on Caplan (eventually), but Smitherman is the one who set the whole system up, and after the previous system proved susceptible to the same sorts of problems.

So Smitherman 'fixed' the earlier version, by putting out the 'corrected' protocols for eHealth, which proved even more disastrous.

So who's to blame for eHealth, then? The guy who put the system in place, or the guy he handed it off to? Both, obviously -- but certainly not Caplan alone. And Smitherman didn't exactly clean up the C.difficile mess that happened under his watch, either.

But a "competent manager of government" is not how I would describe Smitherman.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:05 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has Ford hired Adam Yoshida yet? They sound like two peas in a pod and it would do Adam good to get out of his parents' basement. I mean, yes, maybe he hates Asians, but so does Adam.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:23 PM on September 28, 2010


And right across the pond we have Paladino as the GOP candidate. WTF is happening around here?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:29 PM on September 28, 2010


This man is terrifying on all counts.
posted by Ouisch at 12:32 PM on September 28, 2010


seanmpuckett : Ford seems to play well with a certain sector of the populace who would never admit in public to sharing his professed beliefs but will very happily vote, anonymously of course, for someone as angry, closed-minded and stupid as they wish they could be themselves.

Damn, this just gave me a great idea. Someone should run on a really extremist right wing position, just crazy bat-shit stuff like the [insert blameless nationality here] are coming for our corn and women, and that the Big Evil Government is out to sell our children to [insert different blameless nationality here].

Really sleazy shit like banging on the jingoism drum and demanding that all impure things are driven out and scorned. Anything to get the crazy vote.

And once elected? Be the most polite and moderate legislator imaginable. Gays? Sure. Immigrants? Ok! Big Government helping out the little guy? Fine by me! Basically to a complete 180 on every position held in the run up.

Just because watching the haters who voted froth and rage would be awesome beyond words.
posted by quin at 12:36 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]




I'm disappointed to learn that Canadians are, secretly, just as lame and open to the power of suggestion as Americans. I thought you were all one hundred percent magical.
posted by padraigin at 2:25 PM


No, we're just ten years behind what's happening in the States, as usual. (I'm a proud Canadian, and it kills me to admit this. But since Harper started trying to become Canada's first president, the move to the right's been hard to ignore.)

BTW, if you have a moment, you should check out Ford's transit plan for Toronto. Bascially he wants to take all of the funding earmarked for Transit City and divert it all to extending the Sheppard line into Scarborough. So the guy who wants to build subways across Toronto is going to scrap all of the planned LRT lines including the much-needed Eglinton line (for which they have already spent millions of dollars for research, surveys and public consultation, not to mention the rock-cutting machines already purchased) for one -- ONE -- subway line. My only hope is that Metrolinx and the Provincial government do not let Ford veto the plans already in progress, or it'll be Mike Harris all over again*.


* back in 1998 when the Sheppard line was being built, there was a second line started going from Eglinton West station to the Pearson Airport. When Mike Harris became Ontario Premier he killed the Eglinton line even though ninety million had already been spent and the digging started. Meanwhile Mel Lastman, who was then-mayor of pre-amalgamation North York, was able to convince Harris to let the Sheppard construction continue. And so it goes.

posted by spoobnooble at 1:32 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


all kinds of shit (especially the transit system) is underfunded and falling apart and people are angry

The fact that the TTC is underfunded, inadequate, and unreliable is compounded by the attitude of Adam Giambrone and most other people involved with the TTC that it's the best transit system in the world when it is anything but. (It's clean; I'll give it that.)

A great example of this is that the TTC is persisting with its plan to ignore the soon-to-be-GTA-wide Presto card altogether and go its own way with an open payment system, risking significant provincial funding in the process. In July, Giambrone claimed that transit systems in New York and Chicago used this method. This was, at best, half true; at the time, the MTA had just rolled out a trial tap-and-go system on a single subway line, and both PATH and the CTA preferred (and still do prefer) the SmartLink and Chicago Cards, respectively, both of which function like the Presto card.

It's statements like this that make me wonder whether the people in charge of the TTC have ever actually seen another transit system in the past 30 years. If they have no idea how other cities' transit systems work, why should anyone have confidence that they'll make the TTC work?

The huge danger here, though, is that massive ineptitude on the part of the TTC makes it sound like a good idea when people like Rob Ford talk about privatizing it and other essential city services. Some changes need to be made, but that isn't the right way to go about it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:39 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't figure out why they say Canadians are weird.
posted by Shike at 4:41 PM on September 28, 2010


When I see those photos of Ford doing his football coach thing, all I can hear is the questionably sane coach of my own youthful environs railing during drills about how it's training for sports, yes, but it's also training for when the commies are coming. However, that was a humorous monologue for dramatic effect; he was also the drama coach. I do not get the vibe that Ford's views are in jest.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 4:50 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with ecco--Joey Pants all the way!! A guy who keeps his word, gets stuff done, has a realistic grasp of transit issues, and wants to build a cricket stadium (about time).
posted by Go Banana at 5:01 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favourite Rob Ford story this the one about him being caught on tape discussing procuring street drugs for a constituent. I cannot believe that doesn't get more play. I mean this happened in June of this year!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:32 PM on September 28, 2010


but Smitherman is an honest-to-god competent manager of government
  • Sell off bus routes
  • Cut TTC service
  • Put a halt to new cycling infrastructure
  • Take money out of the shelter system
  • Promise to build prisons
With a platform like his, I wouldn't want competence. I would want utter failure.

That's why if it really did just come down to him or Ford on election day (still hoping for some magical upsurge from Pants), I'd seriously consider voting Ford. Cuz ain't no one gonna work with Ford. Hasn't happened in the last ten years, won't start in a month, and he'd get no more votes on Council as Mayor than he's had as Councillor.

Given a choice between service cuts combined with spending on wacky shit like prisons, or four years of deadlocked buffoonery, I think I might, sadly, actually consider taking the latter. Out of the two of them, Ford could (weirdly) be the lesser evil. Embarrassing, but easily contained. Whereas I'm honestly getting worried that Smitherman could do some actual damage.
posted by Slam I Am at 7:02 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want Pantalone to win, but he just won't get the votes. Smitherman wants to build more prisons? As mayor of Toronto? How would that work? *sigh* We are so doomed.....
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:08 AM on September 29, 2010


Wow. Just wow.
posted by Theta States at 7:17 AM on September 29, 2010


Ford wants to cut free Metropasses... that go to TTC employees, retirees, the Canadian Institute for the Blind and TTC construction contractors. What a moron. It's an insult to retards to call him a retard.
posted by GuyZero at 11:55 AM on September 29, 2010


Rob Ford embodies ignorance and petty envy.
posted by maudlin at 8:54 PM on September 29, 2010


Reading this thread is fascinating. As bad as Canadians may have it, relative to their own past, it's not remotely as bad as Americans do. You're discussing how to best build out a mass transit system. We would be discussing whether mass transit is a socialist plot to import Muslims, ergo terrorists, from Mexico.
posted by noway at 8:55 PM on September 29, 2010


I am surprised that no one here had linked to Ford's previous, even-more-halting, badly-edited video. The cheesy synth intro, the negligible production values, the nuance-free Reagan/Mulroney era approach to cost cutting -- these all suggest he is running for mayor of 1983.

He does not seem to "get" big numbers. The video linked in the FPP speaks of the fifteen million dollars the city can save every year by cutting council! "It's just not fair to force you to cut back on essentials while politicians enjoy their perks." Thanks, Rob! With that six dollars per Torontonian every year, I am sure they can all breathe a sigh of relief when they relax the household budget by a toonie every month for a family of four.

What a visionary we have in Flounder.



Incidentally, Rob Ford's most notable role for the last decade was that of Relentless Skinflint City Councillor. Councillors have a budget of about $50,000 per year for expenses, to print up newsletters to keep their constituents informed, to do mailouts for important issues, etc. Ford has delighted in every year submitting an expense report for seventeen dollars for a single cab ride or something, saying there is no reason that well-paid councillors cannot pay for this sort of thing out of their own pockets. Ford's family owns a multi-million dollar printing company, of course, but he can hardly be blamed if other council members did not have the foresight to be born to such a family.

Famously, he refuses to partake in the pizza that is delivered to council chambers when council runs into a late evening session, instead ordering a separate delivery meal himself and paying for it our of his own pocket. One might well think that having two vehicles on the road doing deliveries instead of one wouild increase traffic incrementally, but that is just the kind of gridlock that Rob Ford will end with his new transportation plan!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:46 AM on September 30, 2010


Reading this thread is fascinating. As bad as Canadians may have it, relative to their own past, it's not remotely as bad as Americans do. You're discussing how to best build out a mass transit system. We would be discussing whether mass transit is a socialist plot to import Muslims, ergo terrorists, from Mexico.
posted by noway at 10:55 PM on September 29 [+] [!]


I'm honestly puzzled by this comment. Large cities in the US have mass transit systems. Is it that they just don't talk about expanding them? That doesn't seem to make sense, since, according to this page, the MTA in New York seems to be being continually built up, up to the present day. The only way I can make sense of it is if you're comparing Toronto to like, Omaha, or some other mid-size American city. Am I missing something?
posted by skwt at 10:59 AM on September 30, 2010


No, I think most Americans are just unaware of how many big public transit systems there are in the country as it's a big country. Also, even though they're big, many US transit systems are still kind of sucky because they're sparse bus networks that are hard to navigate unless you're familiar with them. Plus a lot of Americans think of Toronto as being quasi-utopian when it's just as shitty as any mid-tier US city with the exception of being able to get better Indian food & donairs. Oh and more letter "u"s.
posted by GuyZero at 11:10 AM on September 30, 2010


Plus a lot of Americans think of Toronto as being quasi-utopian when it's just as shitty as any mid-tier US city with the exception of being able to get better Indian food & donairs.

"Mid-tier" is misleading. Metro Toronto has a population over five million, which is larger than any US city save NYC. It is not Omaha.

And I would differ on "shitty" as well. I have lived there on and off for ten of the last twenty years. It seems to work pretty well, which is why a lot of people are worried about the prospect of Mayor Flounder.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:00 PM on September 30, 2010


Metro Toronto has a population over five million, which is larger than any US city save NYC.

And L.A. and Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia and Houston. It's roughly the size of Miami or Atlanta.

It is not Omaha.

Omaha is larger than Winnipeg or Quebec City.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:38 PM on September 30, 2010


And L.A. and Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia and Houston. It's roughly the size of Miami or Atlanta.

Toronto/Hamilton is about the same size as Dallas/Fort Worth, at around 6.5million. Both a chunk bigger than Philadelphia, Houston, Miami and Atlanta, all packed tight in the 5.5-6million range.

And let's not forget Mexico City.

This is stupid :)
posted by Chuckles at 11:20 PM on September 30, 2010


The population of the GTA is 5.5 million. If you combine it with Hamilton and Oshawa, you get up to 6.1 million, but that's stretching it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:21 PM on October 1, 2010


WORLD CLASS CITY, PEOPLE


WORLD

CLASS
posted by Ouisch at 5:36 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]




Poll puts Smitherman and Ford neck and neck [at 30% each]

We could actually see Pantalone upset them due to vote splitting. Pretty unlikely, sure, but.. It is all about the machine, and Miller/Pantalone might have the better mobilization on election day.

Rossi drops out.

That's surprising.
posted by Chuckles at 10:53 PM on October 13, 2010


So much for neck and neck polls. Looks like Ford is walking away with this: 173k versus 114k for Smitherman, 35K for Pantalone.

CBC calls it for Ford at 8:12 PM.

Tea, anyone?
posted by maudlin at 5:13 PM on October 25, 2010


I'm so sad.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:19 PM on October 25, 2010


YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN US CANADA! BETTER!
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 PM on October 25, 2010


So sorry Toronto. I wish I could have thrown my vote into the hat, but simply not having to live there anymore is a decent second choice in this case.
posted by GuyZero at 9:20 PM on October 25, 2010


FFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by Theta States at 5:42 AM on October 26, 2010


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