Edward Keenan has had his hands full in 2013 keeping up with the tabloid-worthy antics of Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Keenan has been warning the public against Ford for years, but, to his credit, he never says, "I told you so". In Some Good Idea, a book that borrows many of the political and cultural ideas Keenan writes about as a Senior Editor for The Grid, the journalist turns his eye to the meaning of Toronto. His message transcends urban politics and delves into what makes the city tick.
Actor Adam Paul performs the audiobook like a young, impassioned activist who recounts the first-person stories of Keenan's meetings with a drunken Mayor Ford as if he were personally present for the political trainwreck.
Since 2010, Toronto's headlines have been consumed by the outrageous personal foibles and government-slashing, anti-urbanist policies of Mayor Rob Ford. But the heated debate at City Hall has obscured a bigger, decade-long narrative of Toronto's ascendance as a mature global city. Some Great Idea traces how post-amalgamation, and under three very different mayors, Toronto managed to so quickly oscillate from one extreme to another, and how the city might proceed from here. Some Great Idea includes behind-the-scenes tales from the Miller and Ford campaigns, and explores recent turning points like the city's core service review and the mayor's conflict-of-interest trial. Through personal history, keen reportage and revelatory analysis, it shows how the fundamental principles of diversity and democracy that have made Toronto such a vibrant, dynamic 21st-century city can produce an unlikely politician like Ford. And how those same principles have vividly and repeatedly insisted that such politicians are only part of a larger, messier and more productive urban politics. This is a story about both Toronto's past and present, how the city has relentlessly and collaboratively reinvented itself. But it's also a story about Toronto's future, and what that future might mean for all global cities.