Hey, so remember how Rob Ford broke campaign spending rules by exceeding the limit by about $40,000? Yeah, well, turns out they’re not going to bother prosecuting him after all.
The city’s three-member compliance committee voted 2-1 on Monday to drop the case rather than begin a prosecution. Ford would have faced possible penalties including a fine and removal from office.
The committee meeting ended in dramatic fashion. Committee member John Hollins tabled a motion to prosecute. But Virginia MacLean quietly said she dissented. After a pause, Colbourne said he too would not support Hollins’s proposal.
In an hour-long presentation, Ford’s lawyer, Tom Barlow, had argued that a prosecution would not serve “the public interest.” Ford’s breaches were small and inadvertent, he said, and Ford has learned important lessons. [SOURCE]
And herein lies the crux of trying to attack Rob Ford: while he’s constantly — CONSTANTLY — fucking up, it’s never bad enough for people to go into full-blown outrage. A roll of the eyes, a week’s worth of punch lines maybe, but one of the few things Ford does right is that he screws up enough to get called out but not enough for the city by and large to hold him accountable.
The result of this is that Ford’s fan base rallies behind him stronger. His poll numbers actually went up from 45 percent to 48 percent since the campaign spending trial. I get it: Ford seems like a humble man of the people, in that he’s about as competent as any average Torontonian could be. It’s relatable. And when the government cracks down on him, it just makes it look like big government is going after the common folk, despite the fact that Ford is rich as balls, and oh yes, he’s the mayor of Toronto. But people will still see it as elitists and intellectuals condescending to the average person.
Once again, I like the average Torontonian. But I don’t want the average person running a city. I want the smartest, most competent people available. I want someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and not just someone who fucks up but never so badly that it can’t be glazed over. A lack of knowledge or experience can be forgivable within reason, but not when you’re running one of the biggest cities in North America.