By the Maven | Don’t ask me why; I picked up my Saturday Globe this morning and found myself reading that well-known intellectual columnist Mark Schatzker. What he lacks in political insight he tries to make up with humour, the all-too often refuge of the lightweight thinker.
It his column Downtown elite, have you enjoyed Ford’s first 100 days? he pretends to quote stereotypical elite-types from downtown neighbourhoods, irrationally placing blame on Robdoug’s administration for things like dead birds and bad food.
But it is his opening paragraph that pisses me off. He says “Since entering office, Rob Ford has cut taxes, balanced the budget, revived the city’s once dead subway map, and discovered a vat of gravy at TCHC”.
Really? That’s pretty good for 100 days. Too bad Mark got his facts wrong. First, there is no Rob Ford. Ask any reporter who has tried to interview him. Have you seen or heard Rob Ford interviewed? Right. You’ve only seen his brother Doug, whom 12,660 voters supported in Etobicoke North in the last election, or one-half of one percent of the total population of Toronto. Rob isn’t good about thinking things through, so Doug doesn’t let him talk to reporters. Rob can’t even sit through a City Council meeting.
Nope, there is no Rob Ford. There is only Robdoug, a hideous amalgamation of two of the most unattractive politicians this city has ever spawned. As for his accomplishments to date, Robdoug has indeed cut taxes, leaving even his budget chief Mike Del Grande scratching his head and worried about the implications for 2012.
Robdoug cancelled the very worthwhile LRT program (you know, the one that we have already spent millions on–did you know the LRT was a gravy train?) only to substitute it with a much scaled back subway concept that, as yet, has no secure funding.
And the TCHC gravy train? Well the investigation into that wasn’t even initiated by Robdoug.
In the meantime, our proud and free media won’t even pressure Rob to submit to questions, instead letting Doug do all the talking.
The free and proud media is giving Robdoug a free ride because they believe his rhetoric that he is riding a wave of popularity, notwithstanding that he polled less than 50% of votes cast. Now 47% is good, but more people voted against him than for him.
And 100 days into his administration he has a 60% approval rating. That sounds good. However, six months into his first term David Miller’s was over 82%. Did Miller get a free ride from the media to bully every opponent into submission?
No, our media are missing in action. They are not asking the Mayor tough questions, they accept speaking to a local councillor who happens to be the Mayor’s brother as a substitute for the real thing, and they accept the gravy train analogy as given from on high without delving below the surface.
And you know what offends me most about Schtazker? Is it his conservative politics?
No. It’s that he isn’t even funny.
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