I'm not a Rob Ford basher. In fact, the only thing more cynical to me than the mainstream media's deliberate campaign to discredit Ford at every opportunity is their transparent coddling of Justin Trudeau. That said, there's something fishy about Ford dropping out of the Toronto mayoralty race on health grounds but still running for city council. What's the medical dividing line for being too sick to run for mayor but not sick enough to run for council? And how did Ford make that distinction before even knowing the results of a biopsy on a tumour found in his stomach? Throw in the fact that his brother Doug is replacing him as a candidate for mayor, and it's not offside to simultaneously wish Rob Ford well and wonder if there's something rotten in Etobicoke.
The Guy Turcotte case is a depressing reminder that justice and the law don't always intersect. That a man who stabbed his 3 and 5 year old children to death is being freed on bail pending a retrial is completely at odds with common sense, let alone any sense of justice. Turcotte was found not criminally responsible in 2012 but a retrial was ordered after the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the verdict last year. Even though there's no question that Turcotte killed his children and that he has a history of severe mental illness, Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent says Turcotte has a right to the presumption of innocence. If that's the letter of the law, the law needs to be relettered.
Regardless of the outcome, there are important lessons to be learned on both sides of the Atlantic in this Thursday's Scottish referendum. The clear, unequivocal question being put to Scottish voters is a lesson in intellectual honesty for Quebec separatists. On the flip side, with the Queen herself declining to intervene for the No side in what Buckingham Palace calls "a matter for the people of Scotland", Canadian federalists should understand that Quebecers have the right to decide their own destiny without undue influence. That right, however, only extends to the referendum itself, and everything is on the table moving forward from there.