Canada

“I’m Rob fucking Ford, the mayor of this city.”

I always thought Canadian politicians were as boring as the rest of the country. (BTW when it comes to countries, I think “boring” is often a virtue.)

Nope.

How did he get elected mayor of Toronto? Were his opponents even worse?

Update: At The New Republic, Thomas Rogers writes:

That a pol who played to conservative grievances could triumph in a city with such a liberal reputation is actually the least surprising thing about Ford’s story. Along with several other Canadian cities, Toronto is organized along lines that many American mayors dream of: Several years ago, many of its suburbs were amalgamated into the city, bringing with them their tax dollars—but also their voters. Sure, the center of Toronto is, like New York City, a hotbed for diversity and left-of-center politics. But the suburbs are more like parts of New Jersey and Long Island. And they got to vote Ford into office. The prototypical Ford voters drive cars and don’t ride bikes, think they don’t know very many gay people, and harbor feelings of resentment towards Toronto’s diverse, liberal core.

Instead, what makes Ford so unique in Canadian politics is his clear attempt to cultivate an American conservative identity. On the surface, the grievances of Canadian conservatives aren’t so different from those of their US counterparts: They dislike high taxes and oil-industry regulation, and fear a creeping social liberalism. But the similarities rarely extended to matters of style and rhetoric—until Ford came along with a schtick that included comparing centrist and progressive city councilors to Joseph Stalin.

Hmm. I wonder if he comments at Harry’s Place.

Further update: A friend in Toronto writes that he has contributed $10 to the “Buy the Rob Ford drug tape” fund. If insufficient funds are raised, the money will go to Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Additional update:
My friend in Toronto informs me that he in fact contributed to the “Rob Ford Crackstarter” fund, which is actually raising some serious money.

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