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In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario…

January 9th, 2013

So you voted for Dalton Mcguinty: how’s that working out for you?

daltons-ontario

Say your a teacher, had to have him. Heaven forbid Tim Hudak win, and you have to deal with someone overseeing the tax-payers money who counts it before he hands it out. So you put together a website two elections in a row, the Working Families Coalition you called it. You spent a fortune of non-election expense dollars. You would have your guy no matter what: democracy be damned. Stand up guy that Dalton, yes?

the head of the local secondary teachers‘ union said he’d be shocked if teachers did start volunteering again after having their democratic rights “stomped on” by Minister of Education Laurel Broten

Ah yes, those democratic rights.

The thing is, I’m somewhat sympathetic to the teachers position. They’re right, instead of negotiating in any recognizable form of good faith, he bullied them with legislation, forced them to take his terms. If a private sector employer tried to do what he did, the like of Dalton McGuinty would have them in front of the magistrate. Problem is, this is who McGuinty is, this is who he has been for ten years now, and he is the teachers guy. They went all in for him, and the fact he treated you like you are a rural landowner should surprise you not. The fact it does surprise the teachers, combined with the fact they are in charge of developing our young people’s critical thinking, is worrying.

But never mind the teachers. You didn’t vote for Dalton McGuinty because of the teachers. Living in a lakefront condo in downtown Toronto you have no kids to be taught – or to pay the tab for all these expenditures over their working lives. No, what you care about is that your morning (and late afternoon) latte is steamed using carbon-free electricity. You vote for the Dalton because you love the environment, and so does he.

Last spring an eagle built a nest on the ledge of one of the neighboring condos. The person who lives in the apartment overlooking the nest set up a webcam and ran live streaming video 24/7 of the eagle and her eaglets. After your long day of work you would come home and drink half-a-bottle of California Zinfandel watching the eaglets. It was so inspiring. So, you see, you care about the environment, and therefore you vote McGuinty because of the green energy act. It’s all about the eaglets…

(H/t SDA)

Ah, but maybe you don’t need to work for Nextera to know: it’s Stephen Harper’s fault. For example, healthcare.

Worked all your life, paid those taxes, that rotten Tim Hudak would have imposed user fees to access the system you’ve been paying into all your life. It was hard saving money while working, raising a family and paying 40% of what you make to the government, but you did it, and now you can enjoy those retirement years. Last thing you want or need is a healthcare user fee:

Ontario will consider co-payments based on income for home care services currently provided at no cost to the province’s seniors.

C’est la vie. Your just a kid anyway. Not yet old enough to vote, or just old enough and you wandered down to the makeshift polling booth at the University of Guelph. Put your big old X right there beside McGuinty, Dalton (L). Hey, it’s your future, and you want to own it. Congratulations, you just bought it, all of it, lock stock and barrel. Not that you’ll like what you bought, but make no mistake, when the bills come due, you’ll be the guy paying. Those healthcare user fees? You won’t believe the fees they have by the time you get there. That 40% tax rate to pay for all that free healthcare? it’ll be closer to 60% than 40 by the time your done, and the only free healthcare will be the healthcare your grandpa got and left that big bill for.

And then there’s E-Health, Ornge and a whack of other spending scandals. You’ll pay for all of it, but don’t ask where the money went: Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has a word for people who do that: cowards.


Dalton Dalton Dalton, Silly Liberals

Liberals: Not Dead Yet

October 31st, 2011
Comments Off on Liberals: Not Dead Yet

I wrote this piece in response to Gerry Nicholls assertions that the Liberal Party was done like dinner, to quote a colourful figure from the past. It has been up on Gerry’s Freedom Forum for a couple of days now.

By the way, by “young, energetic new leader,” I don’t mean Justin Trudeau.

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Gerry Nicholls says the Liberal Party of Canada is a spent entity. Here’s how his argument runs:

The Liberal Party is based on a single ideology, power. Now out of power for three elections and five years, the Liberal Party has no other base to fall back upon. Where once the Liberals were loaded with talent, now the cupboard is bare, frontline talent so thin the Maple Leafs would give them a run in a best of 7 series.

Furthermore, the Liberals are lined up against a dastardly foe, Stephen Harper, the “Genghis Khan of Canadian politics,” a ruthless player of chess against everyone else’s checkers. Harper’s overriding ambition is to eliminate the Liberal Party of Canada.

I agree with Gerry on these points, and that the elimination of public political funding is a serious blow to the Liberal Parties ability to fight elections and collect entitlement with which to be entitled. However, I think the playing of Marche funèbre on behalf of the Liberal Party is premature.

Can the Liberal Party of Canada rebound?

It is first important to ask, if not the Liberals, who? The Bloc Quebecois seems to be in equally dire circumstances in Quebec, and seems less likely than the Liberals to ever rebound. With almost all of their funding coming from the now defunct $2.00 a vote scam, it seems likely the smart sovereigntist money in Quebec will go provincial. The Bloc, in other words, now that is a spent force.

After the last election I suggested the NDP had a problem. They now have two disparate bases, Quebec and Western Populists. Their western populist base, sprinkled with some union towns in Ontario and the Maritimes is the traditional NDP. The new Quebec NDPers, however, have old school Quebec ideas, i.e. the Federal Government needs to move resources out of the rest of Canada and into Quebec. Here in Ontario we seem to not get that Quebec’s $7 daycare is paid by us (or was, before Dalton McGuinty saved us from paying into Canada’s transfer payment system), but in the west they are very aware of who pays to keep Quebecers happy. The NDP, I argued then, had a tough balancing act:

He (Jack Layton) will also now have to make up his mind on a number of issues where he said one thing on Quebec and another elsewhere, particularly out West. You can’t play two sides of the fence in Parliament. It will be a delicate balancing act, and one if he gets wrong, could be very bad for the NDP next time around.

The juggling act would have been tricky for a skilled politician like Jack Layton, the chances that whoever replaces Layton will be able to hold the NDP vote together for future elections is unlikely. The recent caucus split on the issue of where to build Canada’s new navy ships, a split that runs along Quebec and not Quebec lines seems to prove this out.

All good news for the Liberals. The bad news is, they are in just as bad a shape. They have no funding base except the government, now run by their sworn enemy, they seem out of touch and out of ideas. As Gerry notes, leadership material is thin on the ground.

But they are not dead yet. Here’s what the Liberals need to do to survive. Elect a young, energetic new leader and give him a mandate to win not the next election but the one after.

This leader needs to go from town to town, riding to riding, meeting with Liberals and potential Liberals. They need to shake hands with every person they can, look them in the eye and listen to their concerns and ideas. They need to meet with the leaders of the Liberal party in every riding, talk to them, listen to them. They need to hold rallies, not $350 a plate dinners, and pass around the collection bucket at the end. It doesn’t matter if they donate a toony or a twenty, people must feel like they own the party.

Based on their travels, and listening to the people, the leader needs to create an ethos for the Liberal Party to base its policy on, not just pull policy out of thin air. Every item in the policy book needs to be tested against the ethos, and not found wanting. And the Liberals need to be prepared to let the new leader have an election to lose, to learn from the mistakes, to begin selling the ideas of the new Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party of Canada is, to borrow a phrase, not dead yet. And unlike Gerry Nicholls, I am unconvinced they will not recover. However, they have one chance to get it right, and only one.


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Ignatieff’s Liberals…

October 8th, 2009

closer to the NDP than the Conservatives.

w-ekos-vote-cbc-091007How can this be true? you might ask. This is how…

To quote one of the top five political minds in the country: stick a fork in him.

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Jack Layton: Running for Stéphane Dion’s Job

October 2nd, 2009

I remember it like it was just last year, Jack Layton was telling every microphone within’ diaphram-shot that he wasn’t running to finish third place; he wasn’t even running for leader of the opposition. No in the 208 general election, Jack Layton was running for Stephen Harper’s job. He had the stuff, he was The Man: Prime Minister material.

But Prime Minister’s lead, Prime Minister’s make a decision and stand on that decision. Voting present, as Rudolph Guiliani put it, is not an option. That’s what Stéphane Dion’s Liberals did, and Jack derided him.

Yesterday, “the prime minister in waiting,” Jack Layton, and his caucus sat while Parliament’s confidence in the current government was being decided. For all his big talk the past number of years, when the decision was a tough one Layton’s NDP abstained: they voted present.

Jack Layton: Stéphane Dion in waiting.

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Let Them Strike

July 9th, 2009

I was in Toronto last week for one of my very seldom visits. While I have read a story or two of the stench of rotting garbage on the streets, the disgusting mess of litter on the sidewalks, I found that not to be true.  jun2409-garbageWas there a slight odour of garbage, left out on a summer day? Certainly, but that’s as expected in a dense metropolis. Garbage will accumulate, and it will offer a distinctive scent if left on the sidewalk for a summer afternoon waiting collection. So no, Toronto wasn’t disgusting just because the public union said it should be so.

Yet I’ve started to hear the old legislate them back to work canard. One hubby and the Mrs. radio show in particular yesterday was pushing for the province to legislate CUPE back to work. Other op-eds are starting to mention, casually, the possibility.

The instinct to force the union back to work usually comes from my side of the political aisle. Conservatives, who tend to dislike the unions anyway, are often quick to say, legislate them back to work. The pressure will come from Conservatives, the NDP will oppose any such motion.

The Toronto inside workers strike is now over two weeks old. In 2002 the provincial government of Ernie Eves legislated Toronto’s striking workers back to work by this time.  Permier Dalton McGuinty, who was then leader of the opposition, led the fight to have them legislated back. In arbitration, the union won a ruling on job security, the main issue in the strike. This time, McGuinty appears to be leaving the strikers alone: in Windsor a similar strike has been ongoing for almost three months.

The Premier is right: let the workers strike. Toronto is not falling apart, in fact they seem to be managing quite well. It is likely the workers were happy to go on strike, fully assuming they would be legislated back after a few weeks, and would then win in arbitration. That’s been the modus operandi for as long as their has been garbage strikes, and it has failed the public good. Let the workers strike, let them learn what we private sector union workers know: once you walk off that job, there’s no guarantee you go back. It is the one reign on unions behaviour and demands. Let the unions action have real consequences, and next time they’ll think twice; next time they’ll consider how many years of sick days they’ll need to bank to make up for the days lost to being on strike.

And here’s some good news for beleaguered Torontonians: as of today it’s that number is one… and counting.

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