In the Toronto Star, Rick Salutin writes a column that might get him drummed out of the corps d’elite of Toronto society:
If there’s any truism I cling to, it’s that: people don’t get the leaders they deserve. Why not? Because of all the haughty intervenors between the citizens and those who govern — they generally get the leaders they select, either sooner or later. Here I come to urban guru and U of T prof Richard Florida, who I do find embarrassing in this context, but also instructive. He wrote this week in the Globe and Mail: “It is time to convene a blue-ribbon commission on Toronto’s future … the top leaders of all of our key institutions must step up — our banks and corporations, schools and universities, labour unions, the city, the province, and more. No one can stand on the sidelines if we are going to forge the model of private-public partnership that is needed … ”
Does he really not get it — that this is exactly the mentality that led to the Ford mayoralty, out of widespread popular disgust for an unelected elect who think they have the right to gather in blue ribbon bodies and decide on behalf of everyone else? The goal, Florida says, is that Toronto’s “future mayors will look less like Rob Ford and more like New York’s Mike Bloomberg, Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel” — leaders who’ve aimed to decimate the core of their communities: their public school systems; and have met huge popular resistance. Besides, the sole concrete thing Mayor Ford has done is to public-privatize garbage collection here, if that’s your cuppa. Talk about confusing the problem with the solution.
So, at the moment, the city is divided between anti-Forders who often view Ford Nation as irredeemably “stupid” (and I quote), versus stubborn Forders who resent that contempt and are desperately hoping Rob finds a way not to be starring in that crack video. But it’s been ever thus, if in less stark terms: Mel Lastman followed by David Miller. Rob Ford against Olivia Chow or John Tory.
H/T to the Phantom Observer for the link.