You heard it first here, folks, Rob Ford came in last at the weekend. But first the background.
I don’t think I need to explain who Rob Ford is. But, for those who don’t read newspapers or follow late night TV, Rob Ford is Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor. He is an admitted addict, in the past frequently seen intoxicated and/or high in public (he calls these episodes his “drunken stupors”) who has spent part of the summer in rehab. He is also - and this is well documented, and often videotaped - racist, homophobic and misogynistic. He lies frequently and publically. All of this, inexplicably, has not dissuaded just over 25% of the electorate from currently giving him the nod. True, this is down from 52% at the last election when most of his foibles, aside from rank stupidity, hadn’t come to light. But still, 27% of voters at the last poll?
He’s a character all right!
As an aside his record on voting for social programs isn’t good, not surprising given his far right position in the political spectrum. He has a consistent record of voting against any city-funded LGBT programming which record precedes his mayoralty. He is also not supportive of HIV causes. For example in 2006 Ford was the sole councillor to vote against a motion to put up three welcome banners over roadways for the International AIDS conference that was held in Toronto in August 2006. The city did not require any extra funding to install these banners. The motion passed 32-1.
In 2011 he cast the solitary vote against a 100% provincially funded, one-time, transfer in the amount of $100,000 to combat the ongoing elevated rates of HIV and syphilis in Toronto. He claimed his vote was in order to ‘protect tax payers’ money’, even if it was provincially-funded and not a cent came from municipal coffers.
He has never attended a Pride parade and just this year wanted the World Pride flag which had been raised outside Toronto City Hall taken down .Council refused. He uses the word "fag" to describe people like Justin Trudeau who he thinks are gay. He has called the Toronto chief of police a "cocksucker".
And he has the support of 27% of the electorate in a city which is otherwise very livable and arguably world class.. (I used to live there. I don't now.)
And so it was that Mayor Rob Ford made an appearance at Warkworth Fall Fair this past weekend.
Warkworth, Ontario is the community of about 700 people that I live two miles outside of. It’s about a two hour drive east of Toronto. It has a small but quaint Fall Fair.
I should explain that one of attraction of the Fair this year was a Pig Racing. (I told you I live in rural parts.) In one heat featuring mixed breeds, Mayor Rob Ford, a saddleback/potbellied cross was pitted against animals named Senator Pamela Whallin, Senator Mike Duffy and the Mayor of Brampton. (Canadian readers will get the references to other well-known trough feeders.)
In heat one, the competition moved briskly out of the gate, but Mayor Rob Ford merely sauntered out - and promptly defecated. Surveying the crowd and with some prompting, the obese porker then shuffled slowly round the track and finished a distance last. (You can see all this in the video I took below.)
In round two (same line-up) the pack left the gate in a hurry and in the first stretch, Ford took an early lead. But before even getting to the first bend, he stopped. And defecated. After that he turned around and headed back to the start line – “back to rehab” as the chortling announcer remarked. Then – you guessed it - the obese porker shuffled slowly round the track and finished a distance last.
Hence my headline “Rob Ford comes in Last”. Is this a portent, you say, of Toronto’s municipal elections in October which will see Rob Ford’s future on the line? You bet your sweet bippy it is. At least this reporter hopes so!