Rob Ford, Former Mayor of Toronto, dead at 46

Rob Ford
© GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images/ Rob Ford

I learned it in Grade 10 Latin: De mortuis nihil nisi bonum- don't speak ill of the dead. But I have been writing about Toronto's former mayor for years, and have no doubt that he would have been re-elected and still be mayor had he not been stricken with cancer. He had a huge, dedicated following of suburban voters that would follow him anywhere. No matter what he did or said, it didn't matter. John Allemang writes in the Globe and Mail:

Mr. Ford’s enduring popularity with Ford Nation was sustained by a moral resiliency that allowed him to make light of his transgressions and find instant forgiveness among the large segment of the electorate – particularly suburbanites annoyed by downtown preoccupations such as bike lanes and green roofs, and immigrants unconvinced they were sharing in Toronto’s prosperity – who were predisposed to believe his claims to innocence.


And every time I look at what is happening south of the border, I see these scary parallels.

Much like Donald Trump, Rob Ford was a populist at heart, a revolutionary figure in a dissatisfied democracy who instinctively sensed how to express the grudges of ordinary people against sinister, amorphous elites – up to and including their own elected representatives, who are portrayed as scheming, incompetent, self-satisfied and out-of-touch.

There is nothing I can say now, but have said enough in the past; look at the endless string of related links below.

Tags: Toronto

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