Critics cry foul after Ford spams supporters
In anticipation of the cuts to be made by the Rob Ford administration, the city is undertaking a review of its services. Because this city doesn’t do anything without at least the illusion of democracy, this means that there will be public consultations where city councillors and bureaucrats will pretend to listen very hard to the rabble. The whole process is usually pretty painful, but things got especially heated last week when word got out that the mayor used email lists he collected during the election to urge his supporters to register for one of the eight upcoming meetings.
To no one’s surprise, Ford’s critics weren’t too happy about it, promptly accusing him of attempting to stack the proverbial deck. According to the CBC:
Councillor Joe Mihevc [took] issue with the email, accusing Ford of bringing partisan politics to an issue that should be free of it.
“There are some major decisions coming down the pipe around what kind of business we’re in, in whether we actually have libraries, whether we actually have a vital daycare network. And he clearly wants to skew those results in a particular direction,” he said.
We get the Ford critics’ concerns, but let’s not pretend this is the first time someone has rallied their supporters for a public consultation. The city’s outside worker union did it last week during a somewhat obscure (sorry, Josh Matlow) debate about garbage collection, and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation did the same thing on the infamous night of the Jazz Hands. That Ford is using his election-era email list is “partisan,” we suppose, but nobody seriously thinks Toronto politics are non-partisan anymore, right?
• Ford accused of trying to stack public consultations [CBC]
• Mayor sends rallying cry to Ford Nation [Toronto Sun]
• Ford calls on his ‘nation’ for help at public meetings [Toronto Star]