Saturday, 3 May 2014

THE THINKER: Cabaret & Corruption, Mayor Rob Ford

The continued appeal of Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, to voters is now viewed as an impenetrable mystery.  However, this is due to the fact that by only looking at voters themselves, political analysts have, by and large, been looking for answers in the wrong place.

When viewed from another perspective, it can be argued that, since either consciously or subconsciously, the public generally believe that all politicians are egotistical, ineffectual, negligent, self-interested and irresponsible, Rob Ford at least offers voters entertainment; he adds some cabaret to the usual political corruption.

As a result, the fact that Rob Ford is popular with voters is less a reflection on voters and more a reflection on politics and politicians.  Usually, the public has to wait for history to reveal the sordid truth behind the polished facades of political leaders.  With Mayor Ford, the public has the luxury of viewing all the unacceptable imperfections in present time, in present day. 

Now, instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed years afterwards for having cast a vote for Richard Nixon or any other number of “defrocked” politicians that have come and gone, the Torontonian voter can proudly admit that by casting a vote for Rob Ford, he or she has, in fact, participated in a city wide co-production of a living Satire Against Politicians.

Through the extreme example of Rob Ford as mayor, election to any public office is forever stripped of its status; never again can a politician be proud of acquiring position and power; never again should the titles that come with public office be automatically greeted with deference and respect:  It is no longer an accomplishment. 

Through Mayor Ford, the public perception of working politicians is finally and explicitly exposed. What voters are saying, consciously or not, is that until proven otherwise, politicians are all untrustworthy, narcissistic buffoons.

"I don't mind looking evil, but this guy makes us look like fools!"

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