Rob Ford fiasco highlights flaws in our political system

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MARC W. KITTERINGHAM — THE GRIFF (MACEWAN UNIVERSITY)

We need an impeachment option. Something is definitely wrong with being able to ask a person who they were threatening to kill and how often they smoke crack, and still being able to call them mayor.

Even after each of the three Rob Ford videos, and whatever else he isn’t telling people, he will still be mayor of Toronto until October 2014. Sure, Ford is easy to laugh at and make witty comments on Twitter about, but what it comes down to is that this man is the mayor of the fourth largest city on the continent. It is scary how prominent he is, and the worst thing is, there is nothing Canadians can do to reduce his prominence until the end of his term in office.

Some politicians — like Justin Trudeau — have been coming out candidly about their pasts this year, but smoking pot before their political careers began is nothing compared to admitting to smoking crack in the past year. Pot is different from crack. Pot is almost decriminalized; it is being used legally for medical treatment and three American states have even legalized it.

Crack cocaine is quite different. For the mayor of the largest city in Canada to admit to smoking crack cocaine, and continue to serve in his position, proves that there is something wrong with our democratic system.

The fact that Toronto residents cannot kick this man out of office and the public eye is unacceptable. Even U.S. President Richard Nixon, (who was in the process of being impeached when he resigned in 1974) whose worst crimes were obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress, wasn’t as bad as Ford.

Not only have Ford’s “drunken stupors” made him the laughingstock of Canada, they are also giving Canada a bad reputation in the rest of the world. His irresponsibility and refusal to step down, as well as his admitted use of crack cocaine while in office has given Canadian politicians the reputation that they are irresponsible and not to be taken seriously.

Ford’s antics combined with the Senate scandal are the products of a decadent and seemingly untouchable political dynasty and both scandals highlight flaws in our political systems.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford recently admitted to smoking crack cocaine in the past year. -Wikimedia Commons
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford recently admitted to smoking crack cocaine in the past year. -Wikimedia Commons

Marc W. Kitteringham is the griff’s politics columnist. Each week he breaks down a political issue into its parts, makes sense of it and then puts it back together again before sharing his opinion from the perspective of a MacEwan University student.