Will we see more of this in Vancouver? Video mocks T.O. mayoral candidate Rob Ford
More often than not, Vancouver City Council is a pretty serious kind of place. There are those dry public hearings followed by endless Penny PowerPoint ("3P") presentations. Occasionally, things can get a bit more interesting. For example, we recently reported on hundreds of thousands of dollars being wasted and controversies regarding which Mayor's office contractor is funding a certain attack blog. But there are also many times when municipal politics can just make you laugh.
I recently tweeted about a funny YouTube commercial made of leading Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford. It's a takeoff on the new Old Spice commercials and has one scene of Toronto burning in flames as Ford blathers on. I can't help but think that we can expect to see more of these videos as Vancouver moves headlong into its own civic election campaign. Gosh, with backyard chicken coops, vegetable gardens, Ken Doll looks, running red lights...there is no shortage of material for the Mayor's opponents to work with.
In that vein, I thought it would be fun to share with you some other interesting and funny YouTube videos that were taken at various council meetings across North America. Speaking of Rob Ford, you just have to take a look at this video whereby he goes on the attack against what he calls a "socialist reporter". There is no shortage of testosterone in the room as he takes on the media establishment after one of them calls his a "fat f**k". It is pure entertainment. Remember as you watch this video that this guy is likely going to become Toronto's next mayor (Ford appears to have Mel Lastman beat in the outrageousness department).
Next on my list is of hilarious council videos is a short clip from a Carson, California council meeting. Watch carefully as the woman who finishes speaking lightly taps someone on the back of the head as she leaves the podium. If the "victim's" reaction isn't worthy of an Academy award, I don't know what is. Listen carefully as someone shouts out about needing to call the police. This one is truly a keeper.
Then there is the cantankerous Detroit city councillor who just wouldn't shut up when the mayor tried to bring the meeting back to order. Her attacks got quite personal and once again, it makes the antics at Vancouver council look tame by comparison.
If Gregor Robertson thinks we at CityCaucus.com ask him tough questions about some of his donors and his lack of transparency, just take a look at this video. Wow, just imagine if we had a video camera and started showing up at the Mayor's news conferences and asking him some questions. Hmmm...on second thought, maybe not a bad idea.
Now here is someone who turned her protest into a tune. She wrote a song for the mayor and council to express her concern regarding a proposed new bike helmet law. How anyone in the room kept a straight face is beyond me. If I close my eyes I vaguely recall someone who sang just like her who showed up at a Vancouver public hearing back in 2008.
For people who like mixing bathroom humour with the dryness of a city council meeting, this video is for you. Listen closely as someone makes a rather rude sound right in the middle of a public hearing. Due to the subsequent laughter, it's understandable why they had to adjourn council for a short recess.
This one isn't necessarily that funny, but watch this councillor blow a gasket when he challenges one of the speakers to reveal which of his council colleagues revealed in-camera information to him (sound familiar??). This guy appears genuinely ticked off that confidential information is getting leaked out into the public domain.
Finally, take a look at what can happen in council when the gloves actually do come off. This St. Petersburg, Florida council meeting disintegrated into a knock em out fist fight. Tempers got quite heated and this looked more like an mixed martial arts event than a meeting of the planning and priorities committee.
When someone tells you that urban politics can be dull, dry and is like watching paint dry, be sure to flip them this link. They just might get a different perspective.
- post by Daniel