- No regular means of Mayoral & administration accountability to the public, the media (our proxies in the halls of power) or even to council itself. Ford never has to address questions from anyone if he doesn't want to. City Council needs something like "Question Period" where "opposition" Councillors would at least have some chance to put questions to the Mayor and his team. This is a huge part of how Ford is able to just create his own reality, because he almost never has to face it colliding with the actual one (when it does, it is a sight to behold).
- Weak election regulations, particularly on campaigning outside the defined election period. This year's Ford Fests are nothing but campaign rallies. Ford and his brother campaign weekly on a radio show they host and use to smear & attack opponents and "address" media questions as they see fit, but without any opportunity for rebuttal or follow up. They take callers (screened in some way) but have full control rather than a nominally impartial host. He uses official city numbers as the caller ID for political robocalls. He threw himself into campaigning "for" Doug Holyday in a provincial by-election. Sure, Ford spends his own money for all these very campaign like things, but that he's a wealthy man with money to burn on such events is all the more reason to strengthen these rules.
- No means to remove him short of outright criminal conviction. Impeachment rules are dangerous and must strike a delicate balance lest they be abused for partisan or ideological persecution, but Ford's disreputable actions make regular business in Council wellnigh impossible. Impeachment is always a political question, but some form of outlet and possibility of it would do something to keep a future Mayor of his inclinations in some kind of check. At the Provincial and Federal level, the government leaders can always be removed by their own party caucuses or by losing a confidence vote in the legislature. Ford faces neither.
- No automatic enforcement of the City's ethics codes and other regulations of politicians. Ford's conflict of interest troubles required an ordinary citizen to take the matter to court. The propriety of his radio show & the Ainslie robocalls could only be reviewed if someone makes formal complaints to the Integrity Commissioner (or bodies like the CBSC/CRTC). Laws need enforcement that doesn't rely on brave and motivated citizens making a legal stink.
- Ford's "cancellation" of Transit city: I don't know how to fix this, but it was a clear abuse of his authority as Mayor. Transit City was ratified by City Council. The Mayor alone should not be able to cancel acts of Council.
- Weak consequences for most ethical violations. Items like using city letterhead to write letters of reference for friends are violations but even if someone braves the Ford Nation ragestorm, the most the offending politican faces is non-consequences like a "reprimand."
- Weak formal mechanisms of transparency. The media have to file FOI requests to get even partial versions of Ford's schedules. He shows up at noon most days and leaves at 3. He claims to be working away from City Hall. Who knows what he's doing? Other reports have a major city property developer giving two councillors on Ford's executive committee accepting sub-market rents for prime apartments. What happens with this? Why does it take a media investigation to uncover this?
- Weak financial controls. Ford makes a lot of hay paying his own way for official work expenses. Everything from office supplies to business travel. Not all politicians are personally wealthy. Should those that are be able to buy positive press this way? Doug Ford supposedly doesn't even take his salary. Ford overspent significantly on his Mayoral campaign, nothing at all was done about this.
If this really is the end of Ford, Toronto got lucky to escape as lightly as we did. It could have been a lot worse.