JOHN DOWNS

The "Rob Ford Experiment" is over

Posted By: John Downs · 11/26/2012 5:07:00 PM

Rob Ford is evidence that anger can win an election. He is also evidence that anger alone cannot lead or grow a city.

Ford’s win-some/lose-some attitude to Justice Charles Hackland’s decision also shows that he sees municipal politics as a game. The ruling states that Ford was guilty, not that he “lost.” But in his two years on the job, this is how Ford has approached most issues: You're either on his team or you're on the wrong team. It’s hardly consistent with the need to compromise and build consensus for the good of taxpayers and the city.

On that note, Ford failed to view residents of this city as anything more than taxpayers. He failed to realize that Torontonians are also pedestrians, cyclists, community-centre users, house owners, condo owners, parents and children. He spent so much time and effort focusing on the bottom line that he never bothered to look at the value of what we’re paying for.

When elected, Ford and his supporters believed they had a mandate to end a “gravy train” and build subways. It’s as clear now as it was when the promises were made that the city's gravy supply is not as plentiful as some would have us believe. We also know that promises such as subways were not attainable without a valid plan of action to make them a reality.

Despite Rob Ford's failings, both personal and professional, he still has his supporters. To them, I ask: “Why?” Ford is being removed from office because he broke the law. He has also failed to acknowledge his responsibility for doing so.

Both he and his supporters have cited “politics” as the reason for losing this “battle.” While politics may be behind the case, it has nothing to do with the ruling. This is a mayor and a group of supporters who want to win at any cost. Yet they still can't wrap their heads around the fact that you can't win at any game if you haven't read the rule book. Now, this approach of not learning the rules, not understanding the rules or just breaking the rules when it suits has failed.

This is a good day for the city. Not because Rob Ford is gone, but because his demise was inevitable. This ruling just hastens Toronto’s return to evolution and growth.

When asked about his victory two years ago, I predicted Ford wouldn’t last the entire term. I was thinking of a resignation due to something more along the lines of health issues or frustration over council. But in the end, it was Ford's own hand plunging the dagger into his back.

In the ruling, Justice Hackland described a stubborn sense of entitlement, and a dismissive and confrontational attitude. That will also go down in the books as Rob Ford's MO during his tenure as mayor of Toronto.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
Comment Like
  • 38
  1. AB posted on 11/26/2012 05:22 PM
    Ford was his own worst enemy. Although I disagreed with his views, I respected that he stood for the politics he believed in. His problem was and always has been personal character Whether it's criminal charges, civil lawsuits, alleged provincial infractions or public complaint there is a lengthy list of evidence that shows this man continually makes poor decisions and shows blatant disregard to social norms, rules and regulations.

    Ford Nation is dead.
    1. Stug posted on 11/28/2012 05:52 PM
      @AB thought on previous occasions. no way this man last 4 yrs. something will happen
  2. Brenda Konkle posted on 11/26/2012 07:25 PM
    Well I guess whoever replaces Mr. Ford had better be perfect, no faults. make no mistakes, agree with everyone, pander to every one and most important lean to the left otherwise the new mayor will be under constant surveillance lest he or she actually follows the will of the electors and not of the liberal elite. It isa not a good day for Toronto just for those who so diliked Mr. Ford. We government we deserve and I think we will be sorry in the end.
    1. proton posted on 11/28/2012 11:53 AM
      @Brenda Konkle the requirements you describe are only necessary for a right-leaning candidate. anyone at the center or left need not worry about missteps. Examples include Dalton McGuinty & David Miller. They can legally waste millions and billions of taxpayer dollars and keep getting re-elected.

      Too bad Ford was his own worst enemy. His heart and head (part of it anyway) was always in the right place and we need more leaders following that lead.

      He may still remain our mayor; if so I hope he's learned a lesson.

      Meanwhile the thought of olivia chow becoming mayor might almost encourage me to move to montreal!

      olivia chow as mayor would make david miller look fiscally responsible
    2. Deborah posted on 12/06/2012 11:52 AM
      @Brenda Konkle Hey Brenda.. NONE of them are perfect. It's appalling to hear what goes on at Council!! How they are so quick to slam Ford but when they are themselves under scrutiny they have nothing to say. Or they blame someone else. They are all a bunch of whining hypocrites that speak nonsense and do absolutely nothing but criticize each other. I am sick of them all. I think it's time we got people in there who will REFUSE to bark back and forth at each other throwing insults at one another for their OWN gain (ADAM) That man just is out for himself and his own agenda and scr** everyone else.
  3. Alan Stellings posted on 11/26/2012 08:31 PM
    Ford generally likes to refer to Torontonians as taxpayers. The fault in this thinking is that many Torontonians are not taxpayers, but they certainly are citizens. Ford's lack of understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a citizen trumps any concept of paying the city's taxes. As citizens, none of us is above the law.
    1. Black Lab Mike posted on 11/28/2012 04:28 AM
      @Alan Stellings everybody is a taxpayer....even a kid buying a bag of chips...at least thats the way I see it. Tax collected at provincial and Federal levels DOES trickle down. Property tax payers im sure, are who you see as "tax payers". Mayor Ford repects them all...even the ones who hate. I cant see why people hate him?? hes done nothing that he wasnt elected to do...save money!!
  4. RUKidding posted on 11/26/2012 11:24 PM
    What a sanctimonious little toad you are -- perfect in everything you do -- just like Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carrol. I will at least give Rob Ford credit for caring enough about the voting taxpayers of Toronto to make sure their money was not wasted as you and your smarmy little team want to do.
    1. John Downs posted on 11/27/2012 01:09 AM
      @RUKidding RUKidding, thanks for commenting. Actually, I don't think I'm perfect. I also don't think I'm the mayor of Toronto. Rob Ford has treated anyone who didn't support his initiatives as the enemy. If I had been in that position, I would have attempted to build consensus as opposed to a wedge to drive myself further from council. Rob Ford has not cared about optics, procedure or the rule of law during his tenure. To his supporters, like yourself, he has taken the image of an anti-establishment renegade. To the rest of us, he has come off as a stubborn, simple-minded, petulant brute.
      I spent many years working out of city hall. I spent many years building a good reporter/councillor relationship with Rob Ford. This is not alien terrain for me. And Rob Ford is not my enemy. I have no Ill will toward the man. I do however value integrity in my civic leaders. Rob Ford has demonstrated with great pride that he cares not for integrity or those who don't share his opinion. This ruling is not about winners or losers. It's about the rule of law and respect for the very taxpayers Ford has claimed to be working for.
    2. LawandOrder posted on 11/27/2012 08:42 AM
      @RUKidding By resorting to personal insults you have clearly demonstrated your lack of understanding of the issues. Ford clearly ignored the rules. He was warned by the Speaker not to vote. He chose to do so anyway. The consequences are clearly written in the law. By showing his disrespect for the law, he has clearly shown his disrespect for Torontonians. He is the author of this travesty and for that he deserves to be sacked.
    3. RUKidding posted on 11/28/2012 10:25 AM
      @John Downs I have waited 2 days to reply to you because my anger for your holier-than-thou diatribe is overflowing.

      From day 1 the councillors who opposed Ford announced that they would appoint their own "mayor". They did not have to listen to the voting public because they knew better how to run the city. They have gone out of their way to trip up Ford any way they can. In Toronto City Council the phrase "consensus-building" is equivalent to being in the "popular" group and ganging up on the fat kid.

      You speak of integrity. That man has more integrity in his baby finger than I warrant you have in your whole body. Ford's biggest problem is he is not sneaky enough for people like you. His every gaffe, mistake, stumble is blasted into the media with increasing glee. Are you telling me that no councillor on Toronto City Council has ever raised funds for a charity or personal interest group? Of course they have. They just do it with all the sliminess of a career politician. Not only that, they use taxpayer dollars to elevate their causes. Anybody here wnat to go to a $12,000 party courtesy of the taxpayer? What about sponsoring a kids' sports team and paying for their jerseys out of tax revenue. What about opening an office in London, England to promote yourself as the defender of the environment? What about cancelling power plants to win a seat in parliament? That is your definition of integrity. The unfortunate truth is that people like Rob Ford cannot last, because they do not lie to our faces. You're right, the optics are all wrong.

      Ford has been more hands on with the people of Toronto than any mayor I have ever watched. How many of them spend time visiting Toronto Housing buildings to see for himself that those people get treated with care? Have you ever visited one of those buildings and offered your help?

      So please do not elevate yourself to guardian of the moral majority. Rob Ford's biggest mistake was being open and above-board doing something every politician in Toronto has done 10 times over.

      We need more smarmy, sanctimonious little toads because the optics are better. Why don't you run for office? You sound like just the right person to be in public office.
  5. Stand sure posted on 11/27/2012 02:12 AM
    All this is ,is a left wing witch hunt and everybody knows it. It's what they do. What a farce!
    1. Arlo Mack posted on 11/27/2012 04:28 PM
      @Stand sure The farce was the Mr Ford stood up and spoke to a motion and voted on a motion that was about him but did not think that it was a conflict of interest.

      I doubt that Mr Ford would send 13 players on the field to kick field goal becuase he knows that that is against the rules. Why shouldn't we expect him to follow the law at city council?
    2. homer1963 posted on 11/28/2012 09:32 AM
      @Stand sure What is more frightening - tea baggers ruling us or Fords ruling us ?
    3. Stand sure posted on 11/29/2012 06:22 AM
      @homer1963 I assume your not for fiscal responsibility. You Just want to spend everyone else's money. Do you even have a job?
  6. mike posted on 11/27/2012 09:12 AM
    I cannot beleive that you would write such biased trash, while Rob Ford made an error in voting on this issue, it still was passed by a majority of council and he shouldnt of voted. This should have never been in court it is frivolous and a waste of money, while i understand your job is to be a ligtning rod for ratings deep down you know this is BS.He was simply bringing forward to the light the wrong minded thinking of some comfy councilers who at any cost do not want change. Well let me tell you while all of the left leaning buffons are smirking and having a laugh, it wont be for long, he will get the stay, this will be reversed and by the next election there will be a major house cleaning because ordinary citizens (and by the way im a centrist) are sick and tired of seeing a bunch of children getting there knickers in a knot because there is change to the status quo which is bankrupting this city and province. IT WAS FOR A CHARITY!!!
    1. Denny Martin posted on 11/27/2012 10:10 AM
      @mike So if you follow the rules you are left wing and if you break the rules you are a centrist? If you read the integrity commissioner's ruling you will note that she pointed out that even though the donations were for a charity, it was Rob Ford's charity, and he did indeed use his charity to produce positive spin for his political career by constantly mentioning his charity in the media. This therefore breaks the conflict of interest rules in any municipality in the province, not just in "left-wing" Toronto. Secondly, it is illegal for a member of council to vote on an issue in which he clearly has a pecuniary interest. If the only people who care about enforcing these laws are "left-wingers", then so be it.
    2. Black Lab Mike posted on 11/28/2012 04:38 AM
      @Denny Martin So there will be no more councillors putting their name on kids jerseys?? no more calendars sent out to residents with councillors names on them?? lets hope that NOW we hold EVERYONE to the same standards. Many councillors have shown their stripes yet again....with LOTS of press shining down on them too. Hopefully most of them have a plan B....because I think that THEIR jobs are at risk now too... just my opinion
  7. Socionaut posted on 11/27/2012 04:06 PM
    Very well articulated. Very well reasoned.

    That's all...
  8. Anthony Anderson posted on 11/27/2012 04:13 PM
    From my understanding Ford is still the mayor for another two weeks. Just enough time for this cro-magnon neo-con to 'open up' the drawers on his office supplies and take a little gravy with him when he goes.

    Oh wait - he never bought anything for his office - did he? No parting gift stapler for his Worship I guess. Pitch This!
    1. Black Lab Mike posted on 11/28/2012 04:42 AM
      @Anthony Anderson yep...no 12000 party even....its just not his style antony....
  9. homer1963 posted on 11/28/2012 09:43 AM
    Why are people surprised that someone took on this mayor and brought him to justice. These brothers were elected midst a conservative wave in Canadian politics. The waters are much cooler for conservatives of all stripes especially neo cons and tea baggers.

    I wish they hold another election in Toronto and let democracy prevail, for we live in a country which is part of a coalition which goes to war in far flung places to enforce democray.

    If Fords are such a mighty force that they can trash all rules, let them prove it once again in the ultimate people's court. If they win, we should all shut up and put up with what ever these people can throw at us. But till that happens, mayor should follow the rule of law.
  10. Adam posted on 11/28/2012 10:25 AM
    While I respect your opinion about Mayor Ford, I do wish that more people respected the will of the voters. Over 50% of Torontonians voted for Rob Ford to be mayor of the city of a 4 year term (and I know its not exactly 50% since not everyone voted but those who didn't vote don't have the right to complain in my mind anyway). It scares me that a single person can void the democratic wish of the people over $3000. Where was the conflict of interest when Councillors used their taxpayer funded office budget to sponsor sports teams or throw themselves retirement parties. Rob Ford may not be everyone's favourite mayor but he was voted in and barring some major failing ($3000 should not be major enough to spend $7 million on an election) he should remain in as mayor.

    This is really just the left-wing looking for every reason to vacate the taxpayers will. Listening to John you know he leans left of center (which is fine to have your own beliefs). But where was he on calling for the heads of Premier McGuinty, George Smitherman, Deb Matthews, etc... when they wasted billions upon billions of dollars of taxpayers money to the extent that some of them should be in jail for fraud. The left wing is great at persecuting right wing politicians and quick to defend their precious lefties when needed.

    On another note, when George Smitherman tweeted about accountability after this I laughed. He should be held criminally liable for what happened with all the 'boondoggles' on his watch but he left unscathed and with the admiration of liberal supporters.
    1. Brandon posted on 11/28/2012 12:50 PM
      @Adam Actually, to nit pick, he got 47% of the popular vote. So a majority of the voters did not vote for Rob Ford. Granted, he has a better record than the PM, because only 40% of Canada voted for the PM and he won.

      And to cry out because a judge can rule against what people voted for is a silly argument. If you break the law it doesn't matter (or shouldn't matter) how many people like the person. By your standards Rob Ford could have taken a monster truck and mowed down all the the Occupy Movement and still keep the job because he was democratically voted in.

      It's also not over $3150. It's the fact that he broke the rules by voting on something that directly concerned him and he showed zero remorse and zero regret to doing it, and stated he would do it again.

      Stop spinning it as him being ousted because he got donations for a charity.

      Oh, and if you listened to Friendly Fire, you know John has called for the heads of those people on many occasions. But that wouldn't be convenient for your argument now would it?
    2. Adam posted on 11/28/2012 04:14 PM
      @Brandon My argument is that the punishment needs to fit the crime. $3000 is hardly worth vacated the mayoral wish of the voters and cost an almost bankrupt city millions of dollars to hold another city wide election. He broke an archaic law that is now in the midst of being changed because of how useless it is.

      I also do listen to Friendly Fire and never recall John Downs calling for charges to ever be leveled against those liberal politicians so they can lose their jobs (and if i'm wrong then please correct me with what he said about it)
    3. CoffeeCon posted on 12/07/2012 03:31 PM
      @Brandon I look forward to reading the mountains of ink on hazell mccallion's actual, real, conflict of interest proceedings and her imminent tar and feathering.

      Nah, she's a nice old lady; not a belligerent middle aged dude.
    4. CoffeeCon posted on 12/07/2012 05:39 PM
      @Brandon Much higher % than the liberals ever received.
  11. ACS posted on 11/28/2012 11:55 AM
    you (and many other media pundits) in this city have placed too much emphasis on the fact that Ford does not play well with others. yet, is it not true from Day 1, that despite the strongest mandate of any mayor since amalgamation, there were several members on council who said publicly they would never support a Ford agenda. Ford gets called a bully but what of Mayor Miller? The same Mayor who turfed Brian Ashton from his executive committee because he had the audacity to listen to his constituency on the deferring the land transfer tax vote until more input was received. The difference between Miller and Ford? Miller had a left friendly council and never really had to be a consensus builder. When he was thrust into that role like when the Local 416 union was holding the city hostage and he felt his grip on council slipping he failed miserably. Ford has been hamstrung since Day 1 with a divided council with a left led by Adam Vaughan who seemed to ignore the fact that Ford was given such a strong mandate by the voters. It takes two sides to build a consensus and clearly Ford has never had a willing dance partner.
  12. Waran Vaithilingam posted on 11/28/2012 12:09 PM
    Enjoy your show, remember I am the one who said (called in) that mr.ryan ( I am purposely spelling his name this way to indicate that he is a such a small person) is your facilitator , talked to you on the New Year’s day show. See how true my prediction have come to, you are becoming one of Toronto's best talk show host, soon you will be best in Canada, You must thank Ryan for this. Indeed life is a comparison, by co-hosting with Ryan with your fair genuine and caring social justice view you will shine, wait and see you will take off. I see John Moore’s quality in you, genuine, caring of course with crispy voice you will be star. What is with mr.ryan ? now he has this sort of “sh, sh “ (visper) sound when he talks , so fake. You know I am a Tamil Canadian, during May 2009 Tamil protest in Toronto, During his show mr.ryan called Tamil protesters “VISUAL DISTRUCTIVE” mark my word today , 20 or 30 years from when Ryan with his age the Doctor who will treat him will be a “VISUALLY DESTRUCTIVE TAMIL DOCTOR” tell mr.ryan to refuse the treatment from a “Visually Destructive Tamil Doctor”. When we Tamils talks about CFRB1010, I always hear two things.
    a) How we are Thankful for John Moore to be sympathize with us.
    b) Did you hear on CFRB1010 ryan called us “Visual Destructive”. No Tamil Canadian will forget this.
    Meanwhile you keep up your good job. By the way only reason I listen after 7:00 PM is because of you. Though the show may be called “ryan doyle’s show” he is hanging there because of you else no one will listen to him.
  13. Only Common Sense posted on 11/29/2012 08:28 AM
    Why all this drama?
    1. Ford defied the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act
    2. Ford was found guilty and removed as per the same Act
    3. Council should appoint a new mayor from within its own ranks in order to save time and money.
    4. A by-election should be held within the minimum time framework to fill Ford's council seat.
    5. 2 years from now the Toronto citizenry can turn out in order to deliver its verdict again ... wherever that may fall on the left / right scale.
  14. Stug posted on 11/29/2012 12:57 PM
    wha..? it's over? the experiment is over? i was just starting to have some laughs with the bros
  15. Randy posted on 12/02/2012 11:33 AM
    Love the soap opera on the mighty TO ... can't wait to have Adam Vaughan run this city again!!!!! He would leave Miller as a has been and bring on the good old days!!! Can't wait
  16. Randy posted on 12/04/2012 10:35 AM
    Can't believe that Downs still has a job...I complained about him for years before 640 AM got rid of him...Best mover they ever made...
  17. rbfman posted on 12/05/2012 04:44 PM
    It is very hard to suppress the sense of relief I feel following the ruling handed down by the Judge over Mr Ford's transgression. For a learned, non-partisan and highly respected legal mind to have confirmed for us, what we have felt and not uttered was in fact justice served. The man may have a lot to contribute to fiscal prudence - and I was prepared to allow the democratic process to play out his crusade, but he has displayed so few (no wait - none) of the necessary skills that are necessary to lead such a complex mash of stakeholders; this would not have ended well in any event. He along with his devotees, on countess critical matters, could never bring himself to see how opposition to his positions are not part of a left wing conspiracy. It is nothing short of painful to listen to him make an address as it would always leave me thinking only the following descriptors: clumsy, un-clear, uninspiring, and worst Self-righteous! Mr Ford, I still strangely believe, your heart is in the right place, but there’s a very long line of individuals who possess the same attribute, but this in no way qualifies them for public leadership positions and this would never alone have carried you to your goals.
  18. Deborah posted on 12/06/2012 11:47 AM
    I have to laugh every time I hear a legal analyst talk about him. They were all talking like he was going somewhere quick. Well they also said he wouldn't be granted a STAY and look what happened!!! So NOBODY KNOWS what the appeals court will say. EVERYONE MAY JUST BE SHOCKED AS HELL IF HE DOES WIN IT. It's about time people stop speculating. When people ask "who is paying his legal fees?" I have one thing to say ... can Karl Ray give us back the $12,000 he blew on a party??? Stop the witch hunt on Ford. Just because people don’t like him is too bad. THE MAJORITY VOTED FOR HIM... SO SUCK IT UP!!!
  19. CoffeeCon posted on 12/07/2012 03:28 PM
    Thank you rob ford for saving us so much money. Any effort such as yours against the entitled snobbish entitles self proclaimed intelligensia liberal secular socialst pigs was doomed to be sabotaged and disparaged from the start.

    Rest assured that the ratepayer thanks you for your sacrifices, and we will look to find another brave soul like yourself who will dare to stand up for the makers against these takers.
  20. Eli posted on 12/12/2012 08:35 PM
    Very well said. One of the very few who believes in upholding the law, unlike other Newstalk 1010 Hosts
  21. Eli posted on 12/13/2012 05:29 PM
    Doesn't Rob Ford remind you of Conrad Black? Spoilt, opinionated, thinks he is above the law, and believes that only those who agree with him are right everyone else must be wrong. I guess what goes around, comes around. He is supposed to be saving tax payers money, however it is OK to spend $7-$15 million on a by-election. So much for taking care of Torontonians. than Gosh I am not a citizen of Toronto.
showing all comments