Monday, November 26, 2012

Should Rob Ford have been removed?

As a legal matter, once the judge found the amounts were material (an arguable point to my mind), the removal was automatic.

But that isn't the point -- should a judge have removed an elected Mayor where the judge carefully explained there was no corruption in the sense of personal gain or similar?

The law as written didn't give the judge an option.  And that law was passed by duly elected MPPs.

That said, and I write as someone who did not support Rob Ford and has not supported him, it does feel wrong for the Mayor of Toronto to be removed on what seems like a minor technical legal point.  Yes, it reflects a larger failing of Mr. Ford to distnguish betweenhis different roles in life but no one can say he was corrupt in the traditional sense -- taking money for favours.

I would have preferred an election. 

But now everyone will be looking to remove elected municipal politicians through Court process (I suppose it is workfare for lawyers)... .

Story

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rob Ford's ignorance and arrogance are what made him a bad mayor, and his ignorance and arrogance removed him from office. Although he was not directly removed for that reason, it was the inevitable result of his behaviour. If the leader of the city chooses to remain ignorant of the laws governing his position, it is only a matter of time, either because of this issue, or another, before he makes a mistake so egregious that it does indeed warrant removal from office.

Anonymous said...

Yet, the mayor of London (On) governs on. Should we jail those politicians that did not pay their leadership campaign debts in a timely fashion? Six months I believe is the max.

This is very heavyhanded and most know it. Let the electorate decide.

Skinny Dipper said...

My problem wasn't the amount given to Rob Ford's football team. My problem is that if the lobbyists had chosen not to donate to the team, how would Rob Ford have decided on issues related to council. Those lobbyists could have potentially lost millions of dollars if they had refused to donate to a football team.

RuralRoots said...

...that is the issue with "mandatory minimums"

Anonymous said...

RuralRoots said...
...that is the issue with "mandatory minimums"

Bingo.

Anonymous said...

"But now everyone will be looking to remove elected municipal politicians through Court process"

That is what is going to happen--anybody with a political axe to grind will look for any rules that were broken to remove elected leaders from office.

I don't live in Toronto, so I might not be totally cognizant of why he was removed. I believe that it was because he voted as a Councillor where there was tangential conflict of interest. Is it true that he was offered the option to correct this mistake by giving back the money to the donors, but he refused?

The last point shows stubbornness on his part if that is the case. In a way, the very bombastic qualities that made Rob Ford popular also caused his downfall.

The better outcome would have been to remove Rob Ford by simply voting him out. By removing him because of a technicality in the rules (whether this was self inflicted or not) disenfranchises those who voted for him. This might actually turn him into a martyr and he could ride a wave of sympathy the next time he's allowed to run. Consider the case of the Scott Walker recall--many people felt that the process was just sour grapes by his political opponents who didn't like the results of a previous election. So he was reelected thanks to even those who considered themselves to be Obama voters.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory minimums and zero tolerance! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Ernest Julius Guiste said...

Why is it that in a free and democtatic society individuals are afraid to put their names to comments they make on issues of public importance on a blog ?

I do not understand this. Please explain...

The Rat said...

Dear Ernest, it is things like this from our friendly neighbourhood Liberals that make people prefer anonymity.

An 81-year-old war veteran has been shunned by his member of parliament because he didn't vote for him.

Jim Baxter wrote to Liberal MP Tom Wappel asking for some help receiving veterans' benefits he had been previously denied.

The Second World War veteran, who lives in Wappel's riding of Scarborough Southwest, is legally blind and partially deaf.

But in a letter back to Baxter, Wappel said he was puzzled by the request, since Baxter voted for the Canadian Alliance in the last election.


Further, it has been a longstanding tradition for political commentators to act under pseudonyms for a variety of reasons, including the ideal of letting the argument stand separate from any prejudice towards the writer and, of course, to allow political comments freedom from fear of government or other retaliation.

Take yourself, for example. By using your name I am able to find out a treasure trove of information about you and, were I so inclined, I could use it to attack you. People who have commented on blogs have had their personal lives devastated when ideological opponents have harassed them at work or at home or threatened their lives, even.

Anonymity or pseudonymity allows us to argue ideas without fear. When we demand actual names what we mean is we want to be able to hold a person accountable for their ideas. That sounds wonderful until you realize that it was some very unpopular ideas that brought us to the world we have today.