Joining the Fords to defend democracy.

Issues often make strange bedfellows. You would have thought that the entire left wing of Toronto Council would have voted with Mayor Ford on Monday. Instead, most of these people just reacted to the mayor’s position rather than taking a position of their own. Anyone who believes in democracy was expected to bite the bullet and vote with Rob and Doug Ford to have a civic by-election in Etobicoke this fall. They did not. Democracy was defeated.

It was like when their narrow minded hypocrisy denied Toronto a casino. That was one of the left-wing’s more telling moments. There were holes bigger than a football field in the mayor’s position but all the left wanted to do was vote against him. Instead of looking intelligent, they just made sure that Toronto lost. And Toronto lost a great deal. Forcing people to travel out of town to legally gamble was narrow-minded and costly. Leaving illegal gambling places in backrooms around Toronto was pandering to criminals. Their actions were ignorant, anti-democratic and paternalistic. And now they have proved it again by refusing a by-election to replace former Councillor Doug Holyday.

And what was the point? What did they save the city? What did it mean in a city with a budget of close to $10 billion? If this was about a matter of some six or seven months, it would be silly not to appoint someone.

But the voters now have more than a year of not being represented properly. Who was speaking for them in that hollow debate?

Frankly, this writer would never have voted for Holyday as a councillor let alone then help elect him to Queen’s Park. Giving Tiny Tim Hudak one more voice of negativity in the Conservative caucus at the pink palace was a waste of time, effort and proved nothing. Voters will be back at the voting places within the year to hopefully make a decision for Ontario.

And next fall, Toronto voters can make a judgement on Rob Ford. A single, strong opponent should be able to take him. He has no overwhelming support. What he has is a rather ignorant base vote that has a low opinion of politicians anyway. In the cynicism department, Ford is a winner.

But Toronto needs leadership. Hopefully this can be intelligent leadership. It can hardly be left in the turmoil of a confused future. We know that Ford has no future. And nobody can effectively lead that unruly mob on the left.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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