Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rob Ford Wins Toronto Mayoralty

Rob Ford is Toronto's new mayor elect. He won the election on Monday night with 47 per cent of the vote to George Smitherman's 36 per cent. After a campaign of simple slogans (Stop the Gravy Train; Respect for Taxpayers) and populist positions, Ford will lead Canada's largest city for the next four years.

Last Tuesday's amusing edition of CBC Radio's As It Happens featured a 'part interview' with Ford. You can find a transcript of that interview here on the Torontoist and the audio clip from the As It Happens website here. The interviewer catches Ford as he's coaching a football practice. And it's clear from the conversation where Ford's attention is. At one point he yells, "Go out and get changed! Go out! And get changed!" At another point: "Coach, half your juniors aren't even here, eh ? Alright, alright."

But to give the man credit, he's apparently already reaching out to councillors by seeking meetings with all members of the newly elected council. On election night Ford received the usual congratulatory calls from outgoing Mayor David Miller, Premier Dalton McGuinty and defeated rival George Smitherman.

Smitherman must have had a bitter taste in his mouth on election night. After entering the race as the front runner, he left it roundly stomped by Ford. Smitherman's campaign had a number of different platforms and messages — and to its detriment, no memorable slogan. He also kept adjusting the political messages his campaign was sending out, from left of centre to veering right to mixing the message so that his policies borrowed from both ends of the spectrum. I don't think this helped him.

The next four years promise to be highly interesting. In a time where no government's problems are easy fixes and costs from health care are set to skyrocket, Ford has promised to slash the city's budget while not reducing services. Where he will find those efficiencies is anyone's guess. There will be no shortage of people paying attention to see if he can deliver.


Lately I've been listening to the score from American Beauty. Thomas Newman, who composed the score, has worked on a number of films, including Road to Perdition and the Pixar hit WALL-E. Newman once called his work on the film's score a balancing act to move the action along without disturbing the movie's "moral ambiguity." Many of the tracks have clever titles in addition to being great instrumental music. I've linked to a selection of them below:

4) Lunch with the King

6) Mr. Smarty Man

12) Structure and Discipline

18) Any Other Name

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween.

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