Dear Mayor Ford:
On your radio show this past weekend, I heard you issue what sounded like a challenge to your media critics: “I’ll debate any of those,” you said.
Now, I assume I qualify as one of those. So I would like to accept your challenge. I would like to debate you at any time that may be convenient to you.
I have a great idea: let’s book a hall, and we’ll sell tickets to watch the mayor of Canada’s largest city debate against me, some lowly, weekly media columnist used to offering opinions from the gallery. We can donate all the proceeds to the Ford Football Foundation, which I know you’ll agree is a good cause.
I will even be happy to let the you choose the topic for the debate. Here’s my suggestion: “Be it resolved that Rob Ford’s mayoralty has been disrespectful to the taxpayers and citizens of Toronto.” Or we could go with the proposition Doug keeps suggesting, “Be it resolved that no one in Toronto does more for black youth than Rob Ford.” Or we could go with anything else you may like, as long as we get to talk about the issues you yourself have defined as important–respecting taxpayers, value for tax dollars, and customer service–and we get a chance to put our opposing claims about your success or failure right beside each other. The Grid will rent a hall, you’ll stand at one podium, I’ll stand at another, and we’ll talk it out for an hour or two, and let the audience decide who makes a more persuasive case. And who will benefit? The kids, Rob. I think we could likely raise, easily, $5,000 to $10,000 or more–so much easier than writing letters to lobbyists and companies who do business with the city!
You or your staff can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements. I’m looking forward to it.
PHOTO: COLIN MCCONNELL/TORONTO STAR