Double standard on display in approach to Svend Robinson and Rob Ford

Why is it that Rob Ford has been able to demonstrate a consistent lapse in judgment for several years, engage in illegal activity, socialize with known criminals, behave unprofessionally, speak untruths, rant homophobic sentiments, and explain away his behaviours as drunken stupors, to mention only a few, and actually gain in popularity, sympathy, and compassion [Letters, November 7-14]? Why is it that when Svend Robinson demonstrated just one lone lapse in judgment following a lifetime of upstanding, honourable conduct that he was crucified by so many in the public and media?

The political pundits and citizens claim Ford is every man, an average Canadian, deserving of our compassion, he should get help, and that he has done well by Toronto. Robinson also did well by Canadians, and others in the larger world, but he lost support, and got scorn.

Does that mean Robinson is a Canadian anomaly in being upstanding and honourable, always championing the underdogs in the world? If Ford represents 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 life of service to Canadians, then what are we teaching the next generation about what it means to be a Canadian?

Our current right-wing economic, social, and political policies and climates have facilitated a dramatic increase in national angst, and risky personal coping mechanisms. And, perhaps, that is why more people are able to relate to Ford at this time.

I fully support Ford in seeking help to resolve his very serious issues, just as Robinson has already done. I would discard either for having personal issues only if I were flawless. I think 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 / Director, Global Education Center




Nov 12, 2013 at 10:18pm

Poor Svend the Thief didn't suffer much from his criminal behaviour. He has a generous MP pension and last I heard was enjoying a cushy sinecure paying a "fighter for social justice" the salary & benefits of a 1%er. There likely would have been more sympathy for Svend if he hadn't made a range of excuses that only satisfied his most loyal followers. His attempt to comeback in Provincial politics was a failure that shocked only those who believe a conviction for theft is a sign of a good public servant.

Svend Robinson refused to take responsibility for his actions, instead he tried to blame a range of factors in life that many others face with fewer resources & less support by stealing jewelry. Not bread because he was starving, jewelry for his partner. All the good that Robinson did as an MP became a footnote when he pocketed the jewelry, that is how quickly a reputation can be destroyed.

Svend the Thief deserved to be turfed for his malfeasance but the truth is that he would have been reelected regardless of his criminal record such was his popularity. The fact supporters of Svend the Thief believe he was hard done by shows they are just as conditioned as the drones supporting Ford the Drunken Druggie. That kind of conditioning led the NDP core to appoint Sihota, Minister of Resignations, as paid party president and Adrian the Writer as party leader under the mistaken belief that the swing voters would overlook their "lapses."

Theft isn't a "lapse in judgement," neither is smoking crack with criminals or backdating a memo or fixing the sale of public assets. The problem is that the bulk of the voting herd will forgive every lapse by "their" masters whilst demanding exile or execution for lapses by "the other." Anyone trying to justify the actions of a criminal politician, be it the drunken druggie or the thief or every other elected official in this country, is simply part of a herd incapable of thought and relying upon stimulus response.

Ben Sili

Nov 12, 2013 at 10:39pm

Different times... and strawman. If Ford was gay, he'd be absolved by the media party.


Nov 12, 2013 at 11:20pm

Comparing Svend with a crack smoking drinker who hangs out with known gang members at known crack houses?


Nov 13, 2013 at 9:13am


Rob Ford and Svend Robinson aren't being treated differently. They are both being condemned for their lack of judgement and apparently impulse control deficiency.

Rob just refuses to lie low. Svend could have hung around, hung around, fought it, made weird pronouncements too but he took a higher road.

Tobias Borgnine

Nov 13, 2013 at 12:28pm

Huh? Rob Ford has been completely crucified by the media and the public, not only in Canada but around the world!! Have you not been watching the news, reading the paper or watching the late night talk shows? The only people who haven't been condemning him are the bone heads who live in the suburbs of Toronto. All they care about is saving a few tax dollars so they buy more smokes and Molsons!

Pummy Kaur

Nov 14, 2013 at 9:43pm

Before more people get their knickers in a twist I must add that the letter was composed and sent before most of the long, long list of denials,confessions, apologies, and rants that came from Ford between that time and the publication today. So, think back to his first admission, of more than a week ago when reading my letter, before admonishing / correcting/ attacking me. In peace.


Nov 15, 2013 at 4:22pm

Pummy, come on, this has nothing to do with homophobia. Just a chance for you to get on a soap box. Hedy Frey beat out Svend in the election and she is a big supporter of equal rights for all. Also to think Mr. Robinson had just one lapse? Wasn't it he who spent the taxpayers money by grandstanding in Ottawa to change the words to O Canada?


Nov 15, 2013 at 11:13pm

If anyone else had been caught stealing a $60,000 ring on a surveillance camera they would have at least a criminal record if not jail time . Imagine for example if Svend was a police officer or a common citizen who also also had "stressors"in their life .
Svend confessed only after police officers confronted him with the evidence , not because he turned himself in .
Perhaps according to Pummy's logic we should forgive all people on their first criminal offence..


Nov 17, 2013 at 12:02am

Oh come on - there's no similarity whatsoever between the two men. Svend's record is very clear.
And he's continued, long since now working for on international development in Geneva, most recently for the Global Fund Program (fights TB & Malaria, funds HIV/AIDS prevention & treatment) coordinating with Parliamentarians worldwide.
No comparison. Forget the damn ring.

Kim Robinson

Jan 3, 2014 at 10:30pm

The book is false, like the person it purports to represent.