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Opinion: Toronto mayor needs to step down

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Rob Ford is up for reelection as mayor of Toronto in 2014. One day, he wants to be the Prime Minister of Canada. Wait, what?

When the American public thinks of corrupted or questionable politicians, they tend to think inward. There is a history of corruptible and negligent politicians within the United States’ history, so who could blame them?

When Americans think of Canada, the image invoked by many is one of the following: Mounties, maple-syrup, and hockey players who will bust your front teeth in but greet each other with a warm “How’s the weather, eh?” Well look, Americans. Right in front of you, Canada presents humanity. A looney politician no longer acting in the best interest of his constituents.

The media backlash to the release of the video showing Ford’s purchase of crack cocaine and his subsequent (but very late) admission of drug usage has been quite critical. It seems to be generally accepted that he should step down. So why is he still in office? Most politicians would have wilted under far less pressure than this.

Ford’s outspokenness this week has brought him admirers and critics alike. He does not maintain the demeanor of the typical politician. His responses are not cold and calculated. He is brash and seems to say whatever comes to his mind first. When allegations arose that he was cheating on his wife, he shrugged it off, saying that he had plenty to “eat” at home. He later attributed the remarks to increased stress, which is quite believable given the current situation.

Mostly though, he is just a pain and nuisance to the people of Toronto who would like to move on from this nightmare. Ford has denied many an allegation. The fact that this many rumors swirl around him make him a figurehead and celebrity more than a politician. It is because of this that the city of Toronto is trying to push him out.

He maintained public office for years while coaching a local high school football team, the Don Bosco Eagles. He is also an outspoken fan of his city’s professional football franchise, the Toronto Argonauts. And it sure does not seem that Ford had any intent to stay away from the spotlight. While at a recent game, the Grey Cup against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he held up a fake Grey Cup and posed for pictures.  CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon had even requested that he stay away from the game, but then again, why would Ford comply?

Even if smoking crack cocaine was his only fault, even if he has not solicited prostitutes, or done any of the things said of him, he is still causing a distraction. He may be acting accountable in regards to drug abuse, but Toronto laughs at him as the city council has continued to strip most of his power. Yet he just will not step down. Step down, Mayor Ford, so the city of Toronto can move on.

 

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