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Ford gets do-over for Mandela vote

Mayor Rob Ford was allowed a do-over for an embarrassing mistake during a busy Thursday morning session of city council.

Toronto councillors reopened voting on two separate items from Wednesday. Ford had voted incorrectly on a motion to honour Nelson Mandela by naming a street after him and on a motion to congratulate Canadian athletes who competed in Sochi.

Ford’s Mandela gaffe was mocked on Jimmy Kimmel Live and mentioned in newspapers in Kenya and South Africa. It also made People magazine.

The votes were taken again on Thursday and both passed unanimously.

After the re-vote, Ford thanked councillors for their support.

Coun. Adam Vaughan was not forgiving of the slip-up, saying, “If you’re not smart enough to push the right button at the right time, maybe you have the wrong job.”

Vaughan, who voted for reopening the Olympic motion but against reopening the Mandela motion, said Ford did not make a mistake.

“Quite clearly, Rob Ford did not make a mistake. Under immense public pressure and international scrutiny, he realized he made a fool of himself and he’s seeking to change his mind,” Vaughan said.

“He waited half an hour [to ask for a re-vote]; he waited for social media to kick in; he waited for his staff to tell him…and [then] he changed his position on the issue.”

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said it was common practice to reopen issues on the council floor.

“The courtesy of any one councillor wanting to reopen an issue is council’s decision to make,” Mammoliti said.

When asked if he believed Ford made a mistake, Mammoliti said, “Who am I to say he didn’t? He said he did.”