My friend @cityslikr’s got another fine piece at Torontoist today. In it, he neatly dissects the discrepancies between Team Ford’s apocalyptic predictions of fiscal disaster and the fact that our benighted city somehow manages to return an operating surplus year after year.
Matters aren’t helped, of course, by The Brother’s inexplicable characterization of Toronto’s financial condition as bankruptcy. JM McGrath’s already picked it apart for factual inaccuracy, and in terms of formulating a reasoned and measured response, I think Ed Keenan’s shown us the way.
(Aside: while I like and respect Ed a great deal, I’m not sure I can commit to two years of daily Keenans.)
Well, what is there to say, really? Can’t argue with Daren’s analysis, and since I can’t really add much to it, maybe it’s time to step back and, as I do from time to time, try to put this in a larger context. (Christ. There he goes again.)
That Rob Ford’s grasp of the workings of municipal governance or the basic principles of citizenship is somewhat, er, limited isn’t news by now. And it’s fairly straightforward to suggest that we should work to limit and contain whatever damage he can do between now and 2014. Council’s already doing that on several fronts: working with him when possible, working around him when not.
But that’s not all, because if we’re really interested in the good of this city, we need to pursue a two-track strategy. The first is already clear to most of us. The second — and this is where it gets tougher — is to do whatever we can to encourage him, to reinforce him, and to enable him in anything that helps him act like a better mayor. And that’s regardless of whether we think he merits a second term. (Kristyn Wong-Tam is showing us the way in that regard, too.)
No illusions. He’s going to backslide. He’s going to disappoint. He’s going to make us all want to do a Keenan from time to time. And this two-track strategy is a difficult path to walk. It demands much more of a commitment to civility, generosity of spirit (I keep going back to this piece wherein Hamutal Dotan sets the benchmark for that), and the greater good than anyone on Team Ford has displayed thus far, or is likely to display in the months to come. If it helps, perhaps focusing on the long view might make the day-to-day cringeworthy stuff a little more palatable.
- On Rob Ford and generosity of spirit | #TOpoli #Jack
- Fiscal discipline, @cityslikr and Toronto’s endless budget follies | #TOpoli #onpoli
- An open letter to Councillor Doug Ford | #TOpoli #TeamFord
- Politics, decency, and finding common ground: the restoration of civility
- @jm_mcgrath, Rob Ford, and municipal governance | #TOpoli
- @AdamCF and @JM_McGrath talk governance, institutional reform, and #TOpoli