Friday, November 01, 2013

Or Else What?

As a kid I remember it occurring to me that "or else" could mean nothing. Counting to 3 without a defined punishment at the end means that 4 could be what comes next.

I often find myself also thinking how delicate the agreed-upon rules of society are. If you walk out of a store with a bag full of stuff, that's shoplifting. I'd like to think most people don't steal because they know it's wrong. Many probably don't because they're afraid of getting arrested. But the reality is that if you went somewhere you rarely frequent and randomly walked out of a small store without paying for anything, that you'd probably never be punished.

An extreme example? Maybe. But so many rules are set up with the expectation people will act decently. The line "make me" or "what are you gonna do about it?" come to mind.

Which brings me to Rob Ford.

Toronto's Mayor's foibles and fuck ups have been well-documented. The latest twist is his friend, Alexander Lisi, a "stand-up guy" by Ford's own written admission, has been arrested for extortion, drug trafficking, and probably a few other things. The press got the documentation for the search warrants released, and they were revealing. Photos of Lisi and Ford going through spy-level package drops and meets, possibly drinking and driving, and generally looking shifty. Along with these came the admission from the Chief of Police that the cops also now had a copy of the crack-smoking video in their possession. The video Ford said didn't exist. The one that Ford had hoped had been mostly forgotten.


So with this revelation, the media descended on City Hall. Ford came out, mumbled his way through excuses, and said he wasn't going to resign, because there was no reason for him to.

He's kind of right.

There are no criminal charges against Ford. Even if he WAS smoking crack in the video (and his lawyer has already said it wasn't crack in the pipe, or more accurately, that they can't prove it was crack, because straws offer good grasping support), that's not enough evidence to charge him with anything. It just means he's a liar, which most people already knew.

If you were accused of a crime and told to quit your job, would you? Or would you defend yourself? Especially if there was no actual charge, just the public casting you as guilty.

Ford SHOULD temporarily step aside to avoid being a further distraction, with the promise to return when his name is cleared. But he won't do that either.

For he knows full well that there's nothing anybody can do to him. Council can't have him removed. There's no recall option. The Provincial Government can only remove him if he's charged with (or convicted of?) a crime. He also knows the support he has left is among die-hard morons who would stand behind him as he threw puppies at a button that would nuke the city. So in short, what can be done to him? He'll just keep deflecting and denying and hoping it all blows over and is forgotten.

What this will do is reignite the investigations into his life and past. He will have no privacy, and no secrets. He knows the police are following and recording him. His friends are rapidly getting arrested. His allies are abandoning him to save their own hides. It will end up being him, his brother, David Price, and maybe one or two council members who are too stupid to get away.

Oh, and I expect Lisi will look for a plea bargain to avoid court, which could keep the video under wraps indefinitely. Because for some reason, the Ford family seems to be scarier to criminals than jail.

Here's hoping he doesn't see a second term.

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