March 22, 2016
Rick McGinnis’ obit for Rob Ford, at blogTO
Rick McGinnis writes (read the whole thing):
He may never be commemorated with a statue or have a park named after him, but Rob Ford, who died today, left as much of a mark on Toronto as Allan Lamport, Nathan Phillips or Mel Lastman. (…)
Just as his election revealed a deeply polarized city, roughly divided along the borders of the old city and its recently amalgamated suburbs, Ford’s drive to reduce city expenditures at all costs provoked heated arguments inside and outside council chambers about just what a municipal government should and shouldn’t pay for.
Those debates had been going on for decades, and they might have remained relatively polite if not for Mayor Ford’s brash, even boorish personality, which seemed to amplify the rhetoric and encourage his supporters and detractors to be as hyperbolic as the mayor himself.
The first of Ford’s cancer diagnoses took him out of a mayoral race that probably would have seen him win re-election, in spite of everything that happened in the previous four years, and Toronto voters can confidently say that they have firsthand experience with the sort of intensely polarized politics that seems to gone nationwide south of the border.
At least ten books have been written about Rob Ford so far; it’s hard to imagine the same thing happening to any of his predecessors – or his successors.