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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford asked us to forgive and forget. Regrettably, forgiveness doesn’t come that easily.
|Photo source: Toronto Sun/QMI Agency|
By Christopher Levan
... The whole world watched as the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, unravelled in public. It was a pitiful and painful sight: the tongue-tied mayor confessing that he had lied to the city (and to himself) and that he betrayed the public trust. On a personal level, I felt some compassion for the man. Who hasn’t been caught in a lie? Who hasn’t been humiliated at some point? We can get inside shame like Ford’s and feel his helplessness.
Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to let emotional sympathy fog up our ethical reasoning. In office, the mayor has been a vicious political operator. If you disagreed with him, he dismissed you as part of a conspiracy of left-wing fanatics. He might even seek revenge, as a councillor who didn’t vote with him on a transit issue discovered when Ford initiated a robocall campaign to systematically ridicule him. The mayor used his weekly radio show to malign his enemies, especially the “maggot” journalists who, it turned out, had been telling the truth about him all along. And he was not just a little hypocritical. When a city employee was caught resting his head on his desk, Ford publicly called for his summary dismissal — this from a mayor whose own work habits were questionable, to say the least. Outwardly, he portrayed himself as a tough-on-crime common man, and privately he hung out with shady characters well known to the police. ...
- recommended by Christine