For those dissatisfied with American politics, the joke used to be to head north to Canada.
Nowadays however, local Canadian government is making President Barack Obama’s NSA scandal and launch of the federal health care website seem like a trivial problem as Canadians don’t know what to do with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
For those who have been living under a rock and missed the past several months of media fodder coming from the north, the train wreck that has become Ford’s political career began in May when multiple media outlets reported Ford smoking a crack pipe on video and making racist and homophobic remarks.
As of Monday, Ford was stripped of any political power when the Toronto City Council voted to slash his budget and deprive him of any official duties, besides representing Toronto as a figurehead at official functions, until the end of his term. However, in light of all of Ford’s actions, the City Council should have impeached him completely considering the city will have to put up with him for another whole year, as his term doesn’t end until the end of 2014.
Since May, numerous media outlets and individuals have reported a long list of controversial actions from Ford, including but not limited to prejudiced remarks, public intoxication, suspected drinking and driving and suspected solicitation of prostitution in addition to what he may have allegedly done with a crack pipe.
Though he said on his weekly radio show he is “not an alcoholic” and “not a drug addict,” a recent press conference shows him publicly denying claims a coworker said he “wanted to eat her p—y” and countering the accusation with “I’m happily married, and have more than enough to eat at home.” With such tact in public speaking, it is dumbfounding to imagine how he got elected to public office.
Normally, a press conference to apologize for his actions would easily be the first step in improving a public figure’s image after a controversy, but as “Saturday Night Live” joked at in this weekend’s opening skit, the Toronto mayor has not been very successful in speaking to the public.
Instead, the only way for the city to redeem its reputation or improve its political environment is to impeach Ford and kick him out of office completely. If he won’t resign, the people of Toronto must solve the problem themselves.
Those who don’t approve of U.S. politics may not find solace in Canada either as Ford has promised to run for office again in 2014.
Alex Rosenthal is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.