We need to talk about Canada.
Toronto is just like any large American city, but a more improved version. The people are nicer and their views on things like same-sex marriage are much more evolved than neighbors below the International Boundary (us). There are so many trees you could describe the city’s scenery as ‘lush’. And the streets are cleaner — like, clean enough to eat poutine off of the sidewalk. Not that you should try it.
So it’s truly a shame and a bit of a shock to see a crack-smoking idiot like Rob Ford refuse to cede control of such a lovely place — and it takes a lot to surprise Americans. We forgive and even sometimes reward any number of the following wrongdoings by our elected leaders: prostitution, genital-selfies, sexual harassment, serial philandering and, crucially, crack smoking! Marion Barry pioneered the art of the crack-smoking-mayor video, and his redemption was delivered in the form of a cushy seat on DC’s city council, where he spends most of his time saying racist things about any number of immigrant communities and trying to distance himself from Rob Ford.
Over in London, towheaded mayor Boris Johnson certainly attracts attention, but is relatively scandal-free as hapless leaders are concerned. No crack smoking and drunken stupors that we know of. (Not that his name is totally clear: there is the whole love child thing, but for some reason Boris generates more headlines when he’s a) parachuting and getting stuck in a zip wire b) stumbling into a river or c) saying pervy things about female volleyball players. Harmless, really.)
— Janine Gibson (@janinegibson)
When it comes to scandalized mayors, you’d never think it would be the Canadians giving the world an American-style spectacle — reality show included — that is Rob Ford.
Sorry, Canada. We never thought we’d be giving you the cultural advantage on this one.
(Photograph: Jon Blacker/Reuters)