Thursday, February 17, 2011

Respect for Democracy?

Mayor Rob Ford Should Be Able to Veto Council

...says American presidential stylist brother Doug Ford

Alarming news story in today's Globe and Mail

"If they had their way, the Ford brothers would be able to override the wishes of a council that didn’t vote the way they wanted." I guess convincing 23 ward councillors is too hard to do, since there's not a lot of logic to the ideas being brought forward.

“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,” Mr. Ford said. “The mayor should be the mayor. At the end of the day ... the mayor’s responsible for everything.”

Forget the budget, service cutbacks and the TTC. This is the single scariest thing about the Ford brothers reign.

Here is a Torontoist article " The Brothers Ford Are Concerned About Democracy "More distressing than the lament about the perils of voting and Council debate, however, was when Doug Ford went on to object to the recent OCAP protest at City Hall—not the fact that it disrupted a meeting, but that the protesters apparently were considered a legitimate part of public debate in the first place. “Some of those folks are actually getting grants from the city to lobby against the government...I just don’t understand.”... That's what we do in a democracy, Doug: we fund our opponents. Ensuring opponents have a voice is, roughly speaking, the whole point.

Will we someday need to take to the streets like in Egypt to ensure we have a democracy?

Councillor Doug Ford:   416-397-9255

Duly Quoted: Doug Ford  "The mayor should have veto he has enough power to stop council...At the end of the day, he has more skin in the game than anyone."

Scarey.... very...scarey.

* Update: Now Mayor Rob Ford says I was always happy with the power I have and distances himself from brother Doug's comments: " I think my brother might be spending too much time in Chicago,” Rob Ford said with a laugh". Perhaps the Twitterverse sent the message (see BlogTO )

* Update: Even though Rob distanced himself from brother Doug's comments, it is still concerning that the province goes out of its way to say 'Yes, we might allow mayoral veto' Globe and Mail link

* Update: Some councillors get it that our City Council should focus on being a team for us:
Councillors Want More Teamwork at City Hall...Posted By: Katie Franzios
Those at city hall say council needs to work together as a team, now more than ever. This comes after remarks from Councillor Doug Ford made public yesterday, proclaiming the mayor needs more power on council in order to push his ideas through. The mayor says he's comfortable with the amount of power he has tight now. Councillor Maria Augimeri says Doug Ford needs to realise things are different than the private sector and he's talking about an elected body. Teamwork is the key, according to Councillor Joe Mihevc he says councillors need to figure out a way to reestablish control of council so there is good dialogue and transparency."