Like many Canadians and people around the world, I’ve been watching the circus that has been Toronto city hall for the past few weeks, wondering whether the video exists and if it’ll even surface or has already exchanged hands and been disposed of. There are theories and unfortunately, many are based in one’s biased opinion of the people involved, but either way, it’s been a fascinating watch in both the news articles, how the news articles are written and the comments that follow those said articles across the different news organizations’ websites.
One of the more recent headlines to come from it is a vow from Rob Ford himself that he will run for mayor again in 2014. He won’t be stepping down despite the controversy around the video and the circumstances that have resulted from that and he says he will let the people decide. “I’m just itching to go on the campaign trail. It’s like a caged animal here. I want to put my record and let the people decide.” (CBC News)
As the news continues to spiral out of control with six city hall staffers quitting or being fired over the last week and a half, many people have noted that the reputation of Toronto seems to be taking a hit around the world while some at home have said Ford should resign for the sake of the city’s reputation.
It’s no secret that Rob Ford has been an unpopular mayor since being elected in in 2010. Once the antics began, he earned himself a reputation that few would be pleased to have but he seems to care little about what critics think. I personally don’t know much about what he has done for the good of Toronto, not having lived there myself so admittedly, most of what I know comes from negative press he’s received following actions that have included being caught reading the newspaper while driving or calling 911 on a This Hour Has 22 Minutes camera.
Even still, when one’s negative press vastly outweighs the positive, especially when one’s job is to do things that aren’t self-serving, the question must be asked: at what point is the negative attention negatively impacting how good a job Ford can do?
Is his refusal to resign admirable in the sense that he’s sticking to his guns and not quitting despite the negative press? Knowing that the media circus may never completely forget about this should neither side give up in regards to the video’s existence (however, there are photo stills that have yet to be explained and theories about its whereabouts), is Ford’s promise to run for re-election selfish knowing that his involvement is putting Toronto in the news for all the wrong reasons? Removing any of his political affiliations or background, is there any scenario in which Ford running for mayor again after the scandal that can show he’s doing it for the good of the city he’s supposed to be improving and not just for himself?