Originally posted on National Post | News:
With Matt Gurney at sea, Jonathan Goldsbie and Chris Selley consider what fresh madness might follow Rob Ford’s successful appeal of his ouster.
Goldsbie: It is as though Nietzsche had proclaimed that God was dead and began laying out a vision for a post-God world, only to spot the Lord outside his window, alive and healthy and coaching high school football. So what now? Nothing has changed, and we are thrust back into the same climate for which we had already pre-written the obituaries. I’m tempted to dive into the decision’s legal implications, including the judges’ acceptance of some of Ford’s lawyer’s rather novel reasoning … but although that’s important stuff, it almost feels like that would just be me sidestepping the larger, more difficult questions of what this means in a political sense. Not because “the left” was defeated or any such thing — just that trying to imagine or predict what the next two years under Ford will offer seems like such a futile exercise. When you stare off into the future, are either of you confronted with anything other than a dark tunnel of inconceivable absurdity?
Selley: I actually have a pretty easy time imagining what the next two years will look like. Just picture the last year and … there, you’re done. Ford seemed genuinely relieved and moved at his Friday press conference, but if he was actually humbled — as he said he was — well, he either doesn’t know what the word means or he was telling a wee fib. The same cheering hordes who have bounded up to him at gas stations, coffee shops and football games over the years to tell him he’s doing the lord’s work are still doing so, he insisted. Why, the hordes are more numerous than they were before! Let’s face it: The “humbling” narrative never made much sense. He was nearly forced from office over a financially trivial conflict of interest allegation, brought and supported by people with clear political motivations taking advantage of a draconian law … and suddenly he wants to know what Kristyn Wong-Tam thinks about the budget? Je pense que non. Friday’s ruling merely adds another layer of absurdity to this circus: As easily as Ford could have made it all go away by cutting a cheque for $3,150, Council could have prevented it from happening in the first place by not approving a financial penalty as a sanction for Ford’s code of conduct violation.