It’s safe now to ignore the municipal election. Summer is starting. Voters will tune out, if they were ever tuned in. Compulsive campaigning will continue nonetheless.
Nothing has changed since the candidates were named. Soknacki rose a bit, Stintz slipped a bit, and Ford’s support remains high enough for concern.
Chow and Tory are front runners according to the polls, though voters won’t start to weigh their choices until Labour Day. Other than making the candidates neurotic, polls have little value at this stage.
Ford is about to come back from rehab. In some ways, it’s as if he never left.
Others have filled in as idiots in his absence. His brother wants to reverse the usual procedure and give the provincial Tories a “top to bottom” enema. Georgio Mammolitti accused Gord Perks of aiding Parkdale pedophiles by allowing all ages to dance at Exhibition Place. Denzil Minnan-Wong took four years to come up with an objection to the Sugar Beach budget, which was approved by Council back in 2010. David Shiner, a member of the disgraced Sony Centre Board, tried to shift blame onto the previous Board, though he was a member of that one too. There was no loss of goofiness in Rob’s absence.
But shouldn’t something have changed? The Mayor revealed a trail of lies and video evidence pertaining to his drug abuse and criminal friends, then left the campaign for two months of rehabilitation. Surely that made an impression on voters. Why haven’t the polls reflected this?
I guess it takes more than 60 days to cure an addiction, whether it’s Ford’s addiction to crack or our addiction to Ford.
Roughly 30% of voters are admitted Ford addicts. They like Ford because he makes them feel better about themselves. If all his flaws are forgivable, theirs must be too. They can even forgive themselves the sin of voting to re-elect him. They’ll treat it like the 13th step of a 12-step program. Addicts relapse. It’s what they do.
Among the other 70% of eligible voters, there are the unadmitted addicts. They need Ford to feel better too. They don’t forgive his flaws, because they hold people in high office to a high standard of conduct. Nor do they feel euphoria. Instead, they experience intense feelings of superiority. It’s no less habit forming however.
They consume as much Ford as the media will sell them, and that’s a lot! Yesterday he did nothing, but one paper provided a full page of speculation and advice about how he should resume active campaigning. The papers are as dependant on Ford as the addicts they’ve hooked.
The undeclared addicts are openly contemptuous of Fordheads, but underneath it all, they’re filled with self-loathing. Despite their presumed superiority, they’ve become helpless spectators on events at City Hall. All institutional measures – warnings, sanctions, audits, police investigations, and court hearings – have failed them. No matter how condescendingly they state their opinions, what’s happening at City Hall has become incomprehensible to them. Impotence feeds their addiction. An ineffectual, judgmental, ego-inflating buzz is their only relief from aching regrets about underestimating Ford in 2010.
When Ford returns from rehab, clean, mean, and on the scene, he’ll bring renewed energy to the campaign. As with anyone suffering withdrawal, there will be even more provocative language and emotional manipulation than when the Mayor was still on the pipe.
The papers will dose us with this melodrama. Our tolerance and cravings for it will grow daily. We’ll be so hopped up on this junk, we’ll risk everything we that we hold dear for the chance to snort (at) another line of Ford(‘s).
In the end, the election will be reduced to a contest between Ford and the media elite, Ford and the lefties, Ford and the unions, Ford and the Ombudsman, Ford and the Wynne Liberals, Ford and crime, Ford and gravity, and ultimately, Ford and his personal demons. The other candidates will be sidelined by the media attention he’ll command. They’ll be bystanders, not participants.
There’s only one way to save the City, and that’s zero tolerance. The following list of dos and don’ts will help you cure your Ford addiction:
- Don’t be drawn into discussion of Ford because no matter how it turns out, you’ll be one step closer to addiction.
- If confronted with printed material featuring his image or name, avert your gaze and place the offending publication in the nearest blue bin.
- Avoid imbibing even the most helplessly inarticulate mutterings of brother Doug (the “gateway”) Ford.
- Be wary of pundits and columnists offering special insights into the Mayor’s alleged character, rumoured values, or hypothetical ethics.
- Watch for the side-effects of Ford consumption among your friends, especially signs of intolerance, ignorance, belligerence, dishonesty, delusion, or confusion.
- Do not frequent places where people are openly partaking of Ford, such as Sun Media’s websites, broadcast channels, publications, or company picnics.
- Resist the attraction of coke or anything containing coke, including Etobicoke.
- Exercise caution around a horizontal mirror because it’s either covered in white powder or it’s reflecting your image from an unflattering angle
- Do not notify police if you find a black Escalade parked with missing licence plates and empty vodka bottles littered around it, because they already know
- If you’re thinking of quitting your job and Norm Kelly looks like the best replacement, immediately check yourself back into rehab, because you ARE Rob Ford
Now everyone knows what to do. Let’s take it one day at a time.