I'm not gonna lie, yesterday I was downright giddy with the news that mayor Rob Ford had a judgment against him that would remove him from office. And in my household we popped a bottle of bubbly and made a toast to the fact that, "Sometimes the system does work."
Now this morning I'm catching up on the news and reading a lot of handwringing in articles and comments about how this isn't the way it should have gone down. By golly, people are so concerned about democracy and how, if and when Rob Ford was removed from office, it should have been by the will of the people alone.
Where do we draw the line? This guy has flouted the rules at every corner, turned his nose up at a half-dozen opportunities to do the right thing specifically in regards to the conflict-of-interest case that got him booted (nevermind all the other laws he's broken), and he's decided that the laws just don't apply to him. What threshold do we really, honestly need to set in order to decide that someone poses more harm in office than good? And if the people willfully voted for someone they knew were going to break every law in the book, does that mean that they're still immune from any legal penalties?
Now, I'm aware that there are other scandals that have been unable to remove other politicians from office. That really, honestly doesn't matter. If Hazel had killed an albatross with her bare teeth in the middle of a city council meeting and pummelled a GirlScout with its carcass, all without facing any penalties, does that mean we would have to let McGuinty off the hook if he robbed a liquor store while stark naked and armed with a tank?
Say what you will about whether you think that others have done worse, or that even Rob Ford himself has done worse and should have been turfed for another reason, he absolutely broke the conflict-of-interest rules and has shown not a glimmer of self-awareness or remorse. He is so full to the brim with a sense of entitlement that he honestly does not think that he should be punished, even despite flagrantly breaking the rules.
If he had, at any opportunity in the past couple years that this conflict-of-interest case has been stretched out over, taken personal responsibility and acknowledged that he was in the wrong and now he's gonna fix it, I believe 100% that he would not have been removed from office. As it stands, I do not think the judge had a choice.
My only regret in this whole situation is that I've just moved to Mississauga and therefore can't run against him in the by-election. Well, guess I'll have to save up my political favours until 2014 and hope the world doesn't end next month. Fingers crossed!