Rob Ford learns that charming female colleagues takes more than roses

Rob Ford learns that charming female colleagues takes more than roses

With conservative councillor Jaye Robinson planning to quit the mayor’s executive committee at the end of this year, the Globe and Mail asked, “Does Rob Ford have a woman problem?” The short answer: yes (he has a few other problems, too). Although council has a higher proportion of women than it ever has before, Ford only has two women in his executive—and may have none after the usual mid-term shuffle this December.

The Globe and Mail summarizes Ford’s limited lady options:

The executive’s other woman, Scarborough’s Michelle Berardinetti, isn’t sure she wants to stay on beyond the end of this year. Like Ms. Robinson, Ms. Berardinetti still backs Mr. Ford’s fiscal agenda, but she recently quit his budget committee and criticized him harshly for mishandling the subway file.

Ana Bailao and Mary-Margaret McMahon, two potential recruits from the political middle, say they aren’t interested in joining executive. TTC Chair Karen Stintz, council’s best-known conservative woman, is the mayor’s nemesis.

That leaves Frances Nunziata as Mr. Ford’s only rock-solid female supporter on council. She loves being speaker, a role that bars her from sitting on executive.

The paper suggests Ford has alienated several female councillors with his, er, reluctance to compromise, and, since many of council’s women are left-leaning, there aren’t many left for him to try to win over. The National Post’s (all-male) political panel contributed a damning metaphor this morning, wondering if more women in Ford’s inner circle would even make a difference in how he governs, and if sweating this kind of stuff might be like “worrying about your high cholesterol while your plane’s going down.” Still, no one can accuse Ford of not trying—remember when he and his brother sent all the women councillors roses on Valentine’s Day? Yeah, we scrubbed that one from our memory, too.

• Rob Ford’s female troubles [Globe and Mail]
• Does Rob Ford have a problem with the ladies? [National Post]

(Images: Roses, Shanna Riley; Rob Ford, West Annex News)