Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: An Honest Role Model?

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The outspoken and embattled mayor of Toronto has certainly grabbed headlines around the globe. Rob Ford prides himself on his honesty and refuses to step down no matter what he confesses to. He feels the voters of Toronto should decide whether or not he leaves office when they vote next year.

The city council does not agree. For some odd reason, they don’t like videos of their drunk mayor going viral. They don’t like his admission of smoking crack cocaine last year during a different drunken episode. And, they haven’t seemed to be fond of reports that he bought illegal drugs while in office. But, as the council scrambles to divest Ford of his powers, he’s stood by his promise that he will not take a leave of absence.

Yesterday the allegations against the mayor reached a new level as he was accused of sexual impropriety. This infuriated him, causing an epithet-laden tirade that stunned reporters. Yet another apology followed. His explanation? “When you attack my integrity as a husband and a father, I see red.”

Despite his confessed actions and suspicions of greater wrongs not yet uncovered, Ford has his share of fans. In an era when politicians often try to portray themselves as patriotic, family oriented, and trustworthy, only later to be debunked by scandal, Ford’s honesty has a refreshing ring. In most of his interviews he talks about staying in office to serve the people, and he genuinely seems to mean it.

But how far can a political leader go before his mistakes become too much? It raises an interesting question of conscience for voters. What mistakes are unforgivable? Shady financial dealings? Drug use? Alcoholism? Extramarital affairs? Or is everything okay provided when caught, the politician apologizes profusely and appears repentant?
Right now the public can’t seem to get enough of Rob Ford and his out of control behavior. Monday it was announced that Rob and his brother Doug would now host a TV show. Maybe crime does pay.

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Chris McEachern,
Creative Writer,

Matthew Shaffer,