Politics make for strange bedfellows, as they say. Things get even stranger when family’s involved. For example, the Ontario and federal Liberals (which feature the brothers Dalton and David McGuinty) have not always had perfect agreement on things like the HST. Generally, issues like this don’t stay personal, but we wonder if there’s an exception when someone like Rob Ford threatens to run full steam ahead against the provincial government—and city councillor (and Ford ally) Michelle Berardinetti is caught in the middle.
Despite her newbie status at city hall, Berardinetti was able to land a coveted seat on Ford’s executive committee. She also happens to be married to Liberal MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti.
So earlier this month, when Ford threatened to go after Liberal ridings in the October election, should the premier refuse to give Toronto more funding, Michelle Berardinetti was caught in an awkward political triangle…“I know. I know,” she said, shaking her head. “I was at a fundraiser for Lorenzo after (the mayor made the comments) and, of course, it was packed with Liberals. (Finance Minister) Dwight Duncan was there. I just had to crack a joke or two. Otherwise, it would have been, ‘Okay, this is odd.’”
It is a position other politicians have been in before and will be again. But so far, in the contest for Berardinetti’s loyalties, Rob Ford is winning by a few touchdowns: according to the Council Scorecard’s latest update, Berardinetti has kept her 100 per cent pro-Ford voting record [PDF link here]. Few things have directly tested the city’s relationship with the province—at least, nothing council has had to vote on. If something does come up, we’ll be paying some attention to Berardinetti.
As will Ford’s opposition on council. The Star quotes Gord Perks as saying he hoped Ford’s threats would dislodge Berardinetti from the mayor’s club, but we’re unconvinced. We’ve got no reason to believe that Berardinetti is incapable to separating her job from her home life, and making politics that personal probably isn’t good for anyone.