As a former resident of Canada's largest city, I'll openly state that Toronto is one of the most diverse and open-minded cities on Earth. But last night, the unthinkable happened- notoriously racist and homophobic far-right candidate Rob Ford won the mayoral election. For the next 4 years, the human incarnation of Peter Griffin will run a city of millions. And about half of registered voters won't be able to complain because they didn't get off of their asses to cast a ballot.
Toronto is a city with policies unlike most of Canada's cities; policies that mandate one must be a citizen in order to cast a ballot. A city of immigrants, 39% of the population was deemed ineligible to vote even before the race began. And then only 53% of registered voters cast a ballot, a remarkable low. And now young people will have to live with the consequences of election of a man so corrupt he was even sued during the mayoral race.
Parts of Ford's platform include removing the historic downtown streetcar lines and privatizing garbage collection, things he knew would appeal to his suburban base. He knew that after statements about those with AIDS (AIDS is very preventable; if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably, that's bottom line.How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men.") and Asian people (Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out ... that's why they're successful in life. ... I'm telling you, Oriental people, they're slowly taking over, because there's no excuses for them.) that he would not win the downtown vote, thusly he appealed to the ultra-religious and those who are wealthy enough that they don't use public transit.
So Ford attacked the homeless, bitched about cyclists, and insulted immigrants because he knows that poor people don't vote. He appealed to the right fringe with his beer drinking, girl-chasing, hockey loudmouth image that turned out to be a true representation of who he is. He's the kind of guy who engages in illegal fundraising and has no grasp of mathematics. He's quick to point the finger at the horrendous lifestyle of his opponent George Smitherman (Who is legally married to a man and has a child. For shame.) but claims mistaken identity anytime his drunken hillbilly antics gets him arrested (3 times- DUI, threatening his spouse with death, marijuana possession) or kicked out of a hockey game (where he told a female spectator to go to Iran and get raped and shot). He's been investigated by ethics commissions more than any other Toronto politician, and you elected him because you didn't get out and rock the vote.
Everyone, everywhere should use the unusual and disturbing election of Rob Ford as yet another reason to exercise their right to voice at every opportunity.
This is one of the many compilations of Ford's ineptitude. Use your Googler.