#84 – If pigs could fly and other political fantasies.

Heavens and goodness gracious, Rob Ford could be elected mayor of Toronto.  So what?  The truth be known, voters usually get what they deserve.  Obviously, Toronto voters must have done something very wrong to deserve Rob Ford.

But they could do worse and often have.  When Mel Lastman was mayor, for example, many who knew him were prepared to leave the city.  Thinking back over the years, Toronto has had some very good mayors and some very bad ones.  The only problem is that some people have problems separating them into their respective piles.

The problem with mayors is that they are human and have to pose as superman or someone else they are not for the voters.  They are given just one vote on their council, the same as the councillors.  They get paid more and they are expected to work harder but their authority does not go much beyond a few perks of office.  The role of chief magistrate is just not all that easy a ride.

A mayor who antagonizes the other members of council or runs roughshod over what the other councillors see as right for their voters or fails to cooperate with them, will have little cooperation in return.  The only solution for a fractious and unruly council is that it will find it hard to get re-elected at the next opportunity for the voters to have their say.

Rob Ford might surprise people if he gets elected and realizes that getting what he wants for himself and the voters requires some skilful horse trading with the other members of council.  He obviously already knows that and all he is doing at the moment is posturing for the voters’ attention.

The problem is that the race for the mayoralty is theatre of the absurd and we are all actors in it.  We choose our candidates for many of the wrong reasons, vote from whim and spite, and often deny our choice once we have made it.  Logic has little to do with our decisions, emotions and prejudices are excused as reasoned and we have far too little information to really make a thoughtful decision.

What is most frustrating to the voter and the candidates is the news media.  These people want to pontificate, not clarify.  They want to appear smart in their assessment and are abusive of human rights in the guise of neutrality.  They have neither the depth nor the knowledge nor the information with which to assist the voter.  They do not care.  They want copy, they want to scintillate.  They care not for the facts unless they support titillation.  Their editors will discard truth for a better story.

But the most blame belongs to us as voters.  Toronto deserves Rob Ford.  Long may he reign.  And may pigs fly.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to   peter@lowry.me

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