Ten things I’ve learned from Rob Ford

  1. Gravy is a problem, but pork is quite alright.
  2. There is an important and critical distinction between paying lip service to participatory democracy and actually listening to constituents. If you hear without listening, and do what you were planning to do anyway, then what’s the point of town hall meetings? Luckily, the mayor is just one person, and the Councillors know that they have to answer to their constituents if they want to keep their jobs.
  3. Just because an accounting firm says something is a good idea doesn’t make it so.
  4. Weasels and snakes, apparently, belong in the zoo.
  5. When the vast majority of Toronto’s executive committee lives in the suburbs, it really makes one wonder where the actual city of Toronto’s interests are being represented.
  6. Being a mayor means a balanced understanding of what matters to the people who live in your city…as long as what matters to the people who live in your city doesn’t include: museums, art, culture, police, bicycles, zoos, public transit, being GLBTTTTQ, or reading.
  7. People like voting for people who look like people who they could have a beer with at a bar and complain about stuff with. People should be voting for people who look like people who actually understand the complicated nuances of politics, urban planning, and diplomacy. I don’t want to have a beer with my brain surgeon; I just want her to be competent.
  8. Lefty politicians should learn from Rob Ford. He spent a lot of time talking to a lot of his constituents, and it paid off. It hurts you to be out of touch.
  9. It’s a rare feat to be so bad at being mayor that you could make me long for the halcyon days of Mel Lastman; a man whose main qualifications for running a city involved a furniture store with prison-themed commercials.
  10. Integrity is what you do, not what you say. So don’t say things that you can’t do.

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