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Doug Ford says the mayor should have veto power over council

Doug Ford says the mayor should have veto power over council

Lest anyone be skeptical, we’re sure Doug Ford would be saying this even if George Smitherman or Joe Pantalone had won the election, and not his own brother Rob Ford:  “I believe in a strong mayor system, like they have in the States. The mayor should have veto power ... so he has enough power to stop council,” Doug told the Globe and Mail. “The mayor should be the mayor. At the end of the day ... the mayor’s responsible for everything.”

The Globe goes on:

It’s been a tough transition for the Ford camp to shift from a highly partisan, highly successful mayoral campaign to the enforced diplomacy of governing, attempting to woo councillors and win votes on a 45-person council with no party system, in which the mayor has only one ballot to cast.

“You’ve always got that council. You’ve got to have your 23 votes to get it passed,” Mr. Ford said.

This kind of statement from the brother of the mayor raises a number of questions. Questions like: what, exactly, do the Brothers Ford want that that they haven’t already got out of council? So far, all of Ford’s priorities have been met without a serious fight. Idly suggesting that the mayor needs even more power to run through an open door is a bit odd, to say the least.

The mayor’s ability to appoint councillors as committee chairs and members of the executive committee already gives him plenty of power to woo and punish if necessary. Councillors opposed to Ford have, in interviews with The Informer, taken to quoting Royson James’s line about “political harlotry:” the mayor’s power gives councillors a lot of incentive to play nice, something that began to happen the exact moment Rob Ford became a serious candidate in the mayor’s race.

On top of all that, suggesting the mayor needs veto power—something prime ministers don’t have in parliaments or premiers in legislatures—is just, well, odd.

• Toronto needs strong mayor with veto power, Doug Ford says [Globe and Mail]

(Images: city hall, Neil Ta; Ford head, Shaun Merritt)

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