Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Welcome Distraction?

The latest allegation about Toronto's controversial mayor, Rob Ford, is making a lot of press, even in the US.  The purported video of Ford smoking crack, and making idiotic statements, has led to comparisons with former Washington, DC mayor Marion Bradley, whose own drug use caused him a world of trouble.

The cynical side of men wonders if there's one  person who is quite happy to hear about this, Stephen Harper.  The Ford mess may distract attention from the ongoing controversy over the expenses of Conservative Senators Mike Duffy and Pam Wallin, both of whom resigned from the Conservative caucus in the Senate this week as a result. Questions have arisen about the role Harper's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, and Harper himself,  might have had in trying to make this scandal go away. 

But that story revolves around questions of campaign spending and loans to pay off expenses.  Stuff that can be slightly confusing or dull to the average newspaper reader or TV watcher.  "OMG, the loudmouth, loose canon mayor of Canada's biggest city is a crackhead!" is much easier to understand, and  no doubt much more exciting for many folks.  And it's the mayor of Canada's largest city, allowing a large number of voters to be distracted. 

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