Reactions to flawed leaders

Editor:

Why is it that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been able to gain in popularity (and) then-MP Svend Robinson was crucified by so many?

Editor:

Why is it that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been able to engage in illegal activity, socialize with known criminals, behave unprofessionally, rant homophobic sentiments and explain away his behaviours as “drunken stupours,” and actually gain in popularity and compassion?

Why is it that when then-MP Svend Robinson demonstrated just one lone lapse in judgment – following a lifetime of honourable conduct – he was crucified by so many?

The political pundits and citizens claim Ford is an every man, an average Canadian, deserving of our compassion, he should get help and that he has done well by Toronto.

Robinson did well by Canadians and others in the larger world, but he lost support and got scorn.

If Ford is a representative of the average Canadian, what does that say about who we are and what we model for our children? If we crucified Robinson for one error in a long life of service, what are we teaching the next generation about what it means to be a Canadian?

Our current right-wing economic, social and political policies have facilitated an increase in national angst and risky personal-coping mechanisms.

Perhaps, that is why people are able to relate to Ford at this time.

I fully support Ford in seeking help to resolve his serious issues, just as Robinson has already done.

I would discard either for having personal issues, only if I were flawless.

We need to look deeply into ourselves to see why we are treating Ford and Robinson so differently. My guess is that collective homophobia might be at play.

Pummy Kaur, White Rock

• • •

Apparently, Toronto’s scandal-ridden mayor believes that if he just holds out long enough, everything will somehow end up OK.

Either that, or he’s attempting to establish a brand new political standard in his tiny corner of the universe, one in which it’s actually acceptable, perhaps even somewhat noble, for an elected politician to behave in a manner that’s – at least up till this point – 100 per cent unacceptable.

Then again, perhaps he’ll even succeed, judging from the rather bizarre ‘I-just-want-the-tax-savings-Ford-produces’ support that’s incredibly actually there.

Frank G. Sterle, Jr., White Rock