Worthwhile Canadian Election
Will Rob Ford again and still be the mayor of Toronto? Dan Rath says maybe, yes:
I would dearly love to be wrong. But when I share my disturbing outlook with friends and colleagues, most of them ardent social progressives and realistic fiscal conservatives, they think it through, hang their heads and mutter through clenched teeth that I’m probably right.
Factor one is the entrenchment in western culture of politics as a spectator sport. It’s been an American thing for decades — since actor Ronald Reagan became governor of California in 1967, followed generations later by pro wrestler Jesse Ventura in Minnesota in 1999 and action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger in California in 2003, cartoon-character candidates with off-the-scale name recognition have been tough to beat in single-candidate elections like a mayoralty race. A name sufficiently burned into the public mind can turn a stuffy election into a really fun game, a phenomenon best captured by an Arnie voter who famously told CBC: “Why am I voting for him? I just want to see what happens.”
Are Toronto voters that callow and naive, that disrespectful of their franchise? I’ll go out on a limb and say Yes . . . more than a few of them.