I’ve rebelled against Mr. Ford since the 2010 election campaign. The campaign for mayor lasted nearly 10 months for me. I was one of the top 5 candidates, and in the top 3 at one point in the race. The days were long, usually starting at 7am and running until midnight. From events, to rallies, debates and social functions the top 5 candidates saw one another almost every day and often more than once in a day.
Over time a sense of respect develops amongst the candidates. Respect for each other, for the strengths you see in another, for the way most of them answered questions honestly.
Unfortunately that respect never developed between Rob Ford and myself. He would never look me in the eye and his handshake was limp, often soggy. I couldn’t believe the way he twisted the truth during the campaign. Suggesting he could pay for subways with government efficiencies (ignoring the huge debt we must pay down). Or suggesting he would get rid of the land transfer tax, and lower taxes. He made more fake promises than I could count, and the public seemed to lap it up.
It takes ignorance and a lack of self-respect to peddle such absolute bullshit, and Mr. Ford possesses both. But it takes true arrogance to continue to peddle the bullshit for 3 years following the campaign without delivering on your promises. And it is this arrogance that lost my respect for him from those early days of the 2010 campaign.
I am not sure if he thinks people are stupid enough to believe that he saved Toronto $1Billion; or if he simply knows that repetition builds belief and facts take longer to come out? But there are still people in Toronto who believe that Rob Ford has not raised taxes (they have increased by 4.5% since 2010). There are people who aren’t aware that the city operating budget has also grown by $200million since 2010 and who don’t question where the Billion in savings has gone. People still believe that Mr. Ford will get rid of the land transfer tax, despite the fact that he has raised their taxes by 4.5% over the past 2 years.
And the biggest lie – that he will build subways with funds created through efficiencies, when he has admitted that he didn’t find enough to pay for subways and will have to increase property taxes to pay for the Scarborough subway line next year.
Mr. Ford hasn’t just lied about his private life he has lied about what he has accomplished, he has taken credit for the work of former Councillor Doug Holiday (union agreements), Councillor Ana Baeleo (Refinancing of TCHC loans) and others. He has stretched the truth to such a degree that I don’t think he himself knows what it is anymore.
It takes true arrogance, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of self-respect to lie to the public to the degree that Rob Ford has, but the scheme has taken it’s toll on him. How much more bullshit can one man spin out before they themselves disappear in the charade?