Rob Ford, is the most famous mayor in Canada, maybe North America and after Friday's court ruling on his conflict of interest case, it's clear that, love him or loath him the Big Mac is here to stay.
In recent days, we've heard more noise about conspiracy theories eminating from Toronto's City Hall, rumours that there are forces that wish to have Rob Ford and the delegates of FORD NATION removed from office through any means legally available. It's not a conspiracy so much as a plain observation that there is a concerted effort to do so.
After winning his appeal to stay in office, the originators of the conflict of interest and other incidents are redoubling their efforts, Clayton Ruby is appealing to the Supreme Court. This is all happening just as the city has released it's projected budget which is speaking volumes about the participants on all sides. Between the fiscal results and the relative calm from the private sector after two years of Ford in office, it's looking more likely that the only way to get Mayor McCheese and his small fries out of city hall will be through the courts.
One of the hypothetical outcomes bandied about before the decision came down on Friday projected that if Ford was vacated from office, the Toronto City Council would appoint a replacement for the remaining 21 months of Ford's term. The Mayor's brother, Hamburgerlar Doug Ford had vowed to push for a by-election and let the citizens decide his fate. Rob Ford would still have been able to run in that election and, most telling, it's likely he would have won.
This because, as mentioned before, the results on paper for Ford aren't as brutal most in the sphere of the downtown had expected. That's not to say that wasn't a shakeup and some messy cuts proposed (it's hard to sell any ward on the idea of reducing their number of fire trucks). But by most accounts, the 2013 budget is modest in spending (no surprise) and in cuts (kinda surprising from the image of a machete waving conservative).
Results are chiefly important but not the only way to judge an administration because perceptions can easily paint over the reality. The image and antics are powerful enough to make most conservative Americans believe that Ronald Reagan was a fiscal conservative (he WASN'T) and their liberal countrymen see Bill Clinton as a broker of peace and champion of low taxes for the middle class (def NOT).
Rob Ford on paper is a fiscal conservative with an agenda focused on lower spending in the short term but larger spending on infrastructure in the long-run. His record is marked by serious questions of flagrant disregard for council protocols.
So now after nearly loosing it all because of a stupid mistake (stupid as in how the hell could not have thought this applied to you?) One way can only hope that Mayor McCheese takes some subtle actions to curtail his public perception. It's not with his voters and fan base since he has no worries there, but with the meat parade that is the sphere of downtown. Ford Nation might reject this outright "we don't need to change just to please the lefty-pinko elitists, we have the support of the people!" But that's been the problem from day one, because the Ford supporters aren't the ones documenting, scrutinizing, codifying the saga of Rob Ford -- it's the "lefty-pinkos" as they love to call them.
Maybe the man should hire an image consultant that can give him elocution lessons, teach him how to hold a salad fork and maybe even recite a few lines of poetry at a city function. It wouldn't hurt, especially since now most of city council, along with the growing list of opponents from across the political aisle, will be more resolved than ever to sink the Bismarck.