This has been a crazy week for news in Canada! Scandals within scandals!
Between the scandal about the prime minister’s office covering up Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s expense scandal, the sanitized Senate audit scandal, and the scandalous video of the Mayor of Toronto smoking crack, I’ve been riveted to my Twitter feed.
Key players have been falling like dominoes. Two Conservative Senators resigned from the Conservative caucus over investigations into their expense claims. The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff resigned over an improper $90,000 payment to a Senator, and Toronto’s Mayor’s Chief of Staff was fired for apparently telling the Mayor he needed help.
Yesterday a judge ruled that the Conservatives were guilty of election fraud in six ridings in the last federal election, and this barely registered a blip on the political radar because it was overshadowed by bigger scandals.
Mother Nature has been weird this past week too, with wild mood swings, hot flashes, cold sweats and earthquakes.
So anyway, about Toronto’s mayor smoking crack.
Not surprisingly, I don’t like Rob Ford. He’s a vile, arrogant, boorish, obnoxious, repugnant, right-wing bully and he sees those characteristics as qualities. For evidence of this, see the infamous “Fat Fuck” video:
I’m nowhere near as good a person as Bob Rae, who tweeted that nobody with an ounce of sensitivity could take any joy from watching what is happening to Rob Ford. “He needs help,” said Mr. Rae.
I’m not taking joy exactly, but I admit to enjoying it.
When the reports of the crack video first surfaced, I found them entertaining but I was skeptical about the authenticity of any such video. For one thing, Rob Ford’s too fat to be a crack addict. For another thing, as much as I dislike and disrespect him, it seems improbable that he could have such outrageously bad judgement as to allow himself to be filmed smoking crack and making obnoxious comments about ‘fags’ and minorities. The crack video wasn’t some ancient thing dredged up from a misspent youth, either: it was apparently taken sometime in the last six months.
Despite my initial skepticism, I now believe he really does smoke crack. The longer this drags on, and the more his inner circle seems to believe he has a problem, and the more he literally runs and hides from the press and refuses to admit or deny that he smokes crack, the more convinced I become that it’s true. He is behaving like someone who is frightened, irrational, guilty and stubbornly clinging to a lie that nobody else believes.
Meanwhile, his empire crumbles around him. In the past few days he has been fired from his volunteer job and banned from schools in the Toronto Catholic School Board, and he has fired his Chief of Staff, apparently for advising him to go to rehab. City Council’s confidence in him appears to be eroding quickly and there is talk about how to force him out, although apparently there is no mechanism to do so.
My prediction is that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives will – unfortunately – survive their scandals, but Rob Ford is in a political death spiral.
On top of everything else, as he hurtles towards rock bottom there’s probably not a crack dealer in Toronto willing to sell to him right now.