Crazy Town makes sense of Toronto politics

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By Alex Heck

For everyone thinking, how the hell did all this happen, Robyn Doolittle’s highly-anticipated book Crazy Town explains the dynamics of the city, and the political phenomena that played out over the past few years. It outlines the ideological war between old and new Toronto, which led to Ford’s election in 2010, and paints a clear picture of the Ford family dynamic.

It’s the story the city should have known prior to 2010.

In 1999, while Doug Ford Sr. was a member of the provincial parliament, Rob was charged with impaired driving in Florida. He was also charged with possession of marijuana, but those charges were later dropped. To date, over 20 calls have been made to the police over domestic disputes in the Ford house, Doolittle writes.

In addition, the book also sheds light on the ever-supportive Ford Nation, which despite the various scandals, still remain strong. Doolittle explains that there is a rift between downtown and suburban voters and that there is a growing trend in suburban Toronto that if their mayor fulfills the basic service needs — garbage removal, snowplowing, etc. — that’s all that matters.

Ford built his loyal following in the suburbs. He knew that he wouldn’t be popular in city hall, writes Doolittle, so he made sure that he was on the streets. Ford became unpopular in council when he started answering complaints from outside his ward.

From the smallest acts of stepping on toes, to the numerous domestic calls to his house and DUI’s (driving under the influence), Crazy Town explains how Ford was able to get away with so much.

Crazy Town is the book every Ryerson student should read. It gives insight into the dynamics of city council, and the diversity of voters in the city. It makes poignant statement about the current distrust of media in Toronto, and helps readers understand the vagaries in Toronto politics.

Robyn Doolittle will be giving a speech followed by a Q&A at Ryerson Feb. 13.

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