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Maxed out

Sheepish Ontario voters have one final chance


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While Canada dithers with navel-gazing talks about electoral reform, proportional representation, an elected senate and other trivial matters, the real debate should be engaged on stripping Ontario of the right to vote in any federal election. The Eastern Bastards just can’t be trusted.

That may seem harsh to you. It seems harsh to me. But sometimes Tough Love™ is what the situation calls for and, considering the historical record – okay, the recent historical record – I think we can all agree Canada would be better off as a country if Ontario’s franchise was limited to provincial elections and even then, only with UN inspectors or some other neutral, third-party oversight to prevent, well, not exactly fraud but silly, silly results.

Consider the record.

When I moved to Toronto in 1983, Bill Davis and his Progressive Conservatives ran the province and had done so for several hundred years, Bill being well over 200 himself. Ontario, at that time, was making great strides to shed its Hogtown, slow-witted, dull image. For example, that very year was the first time in history an Ontarian could go to a baseball game, buy a cold beer and actually drink it in his or her seat while watching the game. Until then, if one possessed such loose morals as to be depraved enough to drink beer and watch baseball, one either had to do it in the privacy of their own home or hive themselves off to a dark Corner of Sin in the bowels of Exhibition Stadium, a ballpark made for cattle auctions if ever there was one.

Then something pissed Ontarians off. I don’t remember whether it was Sunday shopping or the LCBO beginning to stock wine you could drink without gagging but whatever it was, the electorate ditched the PCs and handed the reins of power over to Davie Peterson, as smarmy a Liberal as ever walked the halls of power. So smarmy and self-assured was he that when he called an unnecessary election in 1990, not quite three years into his term, the voters not only turfed his sorry butt out but somehow – historians are still arguing the mechanics – handed Bob Rae and the NDP a majority government, an act often compared to letting an eight-year-old drive a Corvette the wrong direction down the 401.

So appalled at what they’d done, and faced with the prospect of a full-term NDP government – I think Bob finally called an election four years and 364 days into his term – they elected Mike Harris who beat them senseless with his Common Sense Revolution.

Having fouled the air, poisoned the water, bankrupted the province and generally acted like Generalissimo Horse’s Ass for two terms, Ontarians put the boots to the PCs last year and elected a fresh-faced Liberal who promised, before God and television cameras, who in fact signed an oversized, photo-op prop of a contract, to never, ever raise taxes.