The price of democracy – having to listen

Today these two people will have their patience tried severely. For a pair of motormouths (Rob Ford and George Mammoliti – Toronto councillors)  having to have to sit and listen will be tough. As a result of a public invitation issued by Mayor Rob Ford to all of his subjects "Come on down and tell me what they think (about the state of the City)", he will now have to sit down and listen for at least 25 hours at the next executive committee meeting. Over three hundred (according to City TV – others have pegged it at 258) people have registered to speak at today's executive committee meeting. Watching whether these two clowns and the Mayor's brain – his bro Doug, will be able to handle it will be just as much a spectacle as the proceedings themselves.


Ford's KPMG exercise has been questioned both for content and process. The content not really being examined for "efficiencies" but for "slashing" and the process for being cursory. For instance there was no committee debate on any of the reports just a shuffling and abdication of committee responsibility by sending the reports to the executive committee without any of their own committee recommendations (there were none) off to the Mayor's committee where ten 'stooges' will rubberstamp RoFo's opinions, if he ever makes them known.


But back to the point, the issue of public deputants and their relationship with the governors. The majority of them have already been written off as "union stooges" by Rob's brain – Bro Doug. "The Ford Nation is too busy working to be able to afford to come down and talk to us." Talk radio picked up on that last night as the newest star of AM640, Arlene Bynon was echoing the party line and disparaging the very idea of anybody criticising the Fords. This will be the tactic today – write off the speakers by attaching labels – lefties, downtown condo dweller, birkenstock wearer and the greatest badge of dishonour today – cyclist. None of the opposition will be given credit nor will any of their points be recognised as being valid, they will be taken as opinions from the "usual suspects".


This problem – the inability of opposition being able to make their points has been seen here. How many times in the last decade has it been seen that regular opinionmakers (those who hold opinions other than that of Council) being seen at Council meetings only to be met with stony silence, unconcealed disdain and having no questions asked of them? When asked about the deputants how many times have councillors written of what they had to say by prefacing their remarks with the sneer  "Well that so and so's view". As if what they had to say was totally irrelevent because they said it. In Cobourg we have the opportunity to see this again. There will be quasi-consultation process by the designers of the new Communication Plan. How many public suggestions will make it into the final document? We suspect none, because that's the way things work. Unfortunately it leads to a couple of problems – Council thinks it has the only answers and no weight is given to these public spirited citizens who answered the call to respond. It almost makes one think why one should bother. But they have to "public meeting" is a benchmark on the Gannt chart of the project. The fact that anyone would listen is of no consequence.



So let the hundred of Torontonians speak, even if the ten stooges on the executive committee don't listen, at least they will be punished by the endurance test of sitting at their desks. Let the court of public opinion judge the deputants and let's see if the Ford's can salvage their reputations. In a side note does anybody even make the connection between Mammoliti and Mussolini? Pic on right. There is more than a facial connection here.


For a liveblog of the executive committee meeting click here courtesy Twitter feeds included


Toronto Star feed here


CityTV live video feed here

19 comments for “The price of democracy – having to listen

  1. Merklin Muffley
    July 28, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Yesterday, the Toronto Star ran a piece about the proposed closing of a library in the west end, behind a Shopper's Drug Mart. Sixty-percent of the library's users were described as 'ethnic' and all were outraged at the idea of losing their library. But wait. The Star spoke to six of these people -each with a name that would certainly lead one to think 'ethnic' was an appropriate description- and every one of them said the same thing; that, yes, they had voted for Rob Ford but deeply regretted doing so and if their library was closed they'd never vote for him again.
    What did these people imagine they were going to get? Did it have something to do with Smitherman being openly gay? Or was it just pure Cut My Taxes stupidity? Personally, I have no sympathy for any of them and if their library closes, tough luck. Maybe put a little less 'me' into your next vote and a little more 'us'.  

  2. July 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

    the best comment so far at the">Torontoist:
    "Good day, I'm Bob Ford and this is my brother Doug. How's it going, eh?
    Can you believe the hosers in Hogtown elected me mayor and my brother a city council member? Somebody must've put something in the beer ahead of election day which is good by us since we get our own downtown parking spots. Only problem is that there are no Tim Hortons in City Hall but we're gonna fix that by turning the public libraries into Timmy Ho's. Maybe even sell McDonalds some of the animals from Riverdale Farm. Lookin' forward to some back bacon on my Big Mac… Beauty, eh? Just remember that I don't like gravy with my fries."

  3. Merklin Muffley
    July 28, 2011 at 10:20 am
  4. Merklin Muffley
    July 28, 2011 at 10:28 am

    The voters of Toronto got exactly what they deserved. None of the dirt on Rob Ford was ever hidden or suppressed. The voters of Toronto listen to Jerry Agar. They're not going to listen to Margaret Atwood. Any time I hear some witless slug say something like "Well, yeah, I voted for Rob Ford -but I didn't think it would be like this!" I just laugh. I never thought I'd be an advocate for a Voter's Means Test but frankly, voters in Toronto are either massively stupid or are lying through their teeth -much like Rob Ford himself. Tough it out, Toronto. And quit your bitching. You got exactly what you deserved.

  5. Merklin Muffley
    July 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

    At the Vienna Opera House they call the Ford Brothers the lumpenproletariat. But at least the Viennese lumpens appreciate opera -something that certainly can't be said for the Ford dols.

  6. Merklin Muffley
    July 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Bad enough that all the warning signs were there that the barbarians were at the gate. Worse still, the gatekeepers, the voters of Toronto, welcomed the Barbarian Brothers with open arms. All of those so-called (by the Toronto Star) 'ethnic' voters about to lose their library  are from Somalia -where being a homosexual is punishable by death. Did George Smitherman's openess about being gay sink him with that segment of the population? Is that why Rob Ford wouldn't be caught dead at the Pride Parade? Has Toronto's own 'diversity' turned it into an anti-liberal, red neck and fundamentalist backwater ripe for the picking by thugs like Ford and communities who long for the strong hand of their failed-state dictatorships?

  7. Anon
    July 28, 2011 at 11:51 am

    GTA stuff is interesting etc… Can the BurdReport do a piece on something far more important and closer to home. The Transcom closing and the loss of 127 full time jobs in Cobourg.

  8. Deb O'Connor
    July 28, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Certainly the Ford Brothers deserve criticism but why lump the current Cobourg Council in there too? The Old Boys Club that used to rule here is gone now and we've seen none of that arrogance from the new Council, at least not yet. The Communications Plan may be the tipping point, but let's wait and see before we tar this Council with the same brush as the old one. 

  9. July 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Love to respond to the challenge to keeping the comment local. It's a done deal as much as the Mayor decries it and encourages them to stay. Read the financials of this corporation and you will see that this location and three others have underperformed. I guess that means indians and filipinos with english accents are much cheaper to employ and produce a higher level of profit for this multinational. On a personal note I never did care for the company and its ball-breaking workplace practices. So as much as i hate to see jobs go this one doesn't hurt too much unless we think of the workers and who apart from the BR thinks about the workers in today's world.

  10. July 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Deb, Cobourg Council is no different from any other Council and all councillors are prone to disregarding the 'usual suspects' If this Council ever adopts a suggestion by any of the 'usual suspects' at any time in this term I will buy you a beer on election night. So what Toronto does Cobourg will do. If Toronto can kill libraries this one here doesn't stand a chance.

  11. Frank
    July 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    For all the shocked individuals suddenly awake to library closures, it should be said that a lot of people in Toronto apparently did know  what they were getting in Ford. Cogitate on that.

  12. Deb O
    July 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    It seems to me that the campaign mounted last year by Wally Keeler about damage to the Park from Rib Fest was taken to heart by the new Council, even though he presented to the old one last summer. They've taken solid steps to mitigate the situation and save the event from re-location.  Nobody is giving him any credit, of course, but there's no doubt he was the catalyst for change.
    I'm not a cheerleader for this Council necessarily, but it's sure better than the last few we've had, and when I look at what goes on in Port Hope, Brighton, and the Kingdom of Hec, I figure we've got the best of the lot. At least our Council is living in the 21st century most of the time.

  13. July 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    rib fest was never going to be relocated. That's the problem it should be – out of the park onto the Pier

  14. Merklin Muffley
    July 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Out of the park. Onto the pier. And keep going…..

  15. Merklin Muffley
    July 29, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I particularly like the part about "…Mr. Ford sat impassivly in his chairman's seat knocking back cans of Red Bull…."
    So that's it; Red Bull. I should have known…

  16. Merklin Muffley
    July 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Toronto is nothing more than The American Debt Crisis writ small. Toronto, like America, needs higher taxes.

  17. Deb O
    July 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    If I'm not mistaken, former mayor David Miller left a set of balanced books. It is Ford who killed all sorts of revenue producing programs who's to blame for the crisis. Mind you, I'm on his side when it comes to the city operating things like golf clubs, that's a bit rich these days. There are frills people can live without, trouble is this clown is throwing out the baby with the bath water. I agree there are tax inequities too that need to fixed.
    It will be one loud discussion when they announce their actual plans, that's for sure.

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