Opinion » Maxed Out

The new Conservative order?


1 comment

So the Orange One dropped by La Belle Province, tossed a few bombs, shook a few hands and then pretty much blew off all the G7 allies, calling our own PM a weak pussy, or words to that effect, not that much of the country doesn't agree with him, but it's just not done, you know? Maybe it was posturing—trying to piss off the heads of what passes for the civilized world—to impress Rocket Man prior to their meeting to destroy the planet, or maybe he's really just batshit crazy. Either way, regime change is looking more and more like a reasonable option.

But, as they say, all politics is local so let's just ignore the Dimwit-in-Chief and focus on what's happening in the Great White North. More to the point, what's with Ontario anyway?

Yes, they're at it again. They've delivered Doug Ford a huge majority, much to the delight of Stephen Colbert ... if no one else.

Now, I'm not an avid proponent of the ol' 'Merican three-strikes-your-out style of justice; you know the kind, steal three jelly donuts to feed your starving family and you end up doing life in the pen where you're given a whole new education on looking for love in all the wrong places.

In the same vein, I don't believe perseverance is the highest form of human undertaking. If you can't do something, well, if not right, at least not woefully wrong after a couple of tries, it's just mulish stubbornness to keep doing it, not some abstract virtue through which you will become a better person.

But somewhere, the rest of Canada—or in its absence, perhaps me personally—has to draw the line. It is abundantly clear Ontarians are simply not qualified to have the vote at all but certainly not to have such a preponderance of votes and Commons seats. Because, unfortunately, what happens in Ontario doesn't stay in Ontario. Let's look at their record. Not the whole, historic record, just the recent record.

One fine day in the late '80s, Ontarians got fed up with the smug, simpering puss of David Peterson and booted him into retirement. This in itself was not a bad thing. Except they elected Bob Rae, who was head of the provincial NDP then and confusingly, later in life, became a Liberal MP and still more confusingly, even later in life became a revered Canadian statesman. Go figure. Bob had never been anything other than leader of the opposition and then only rarely. But Ontarians gave him a majority government! Now, giving Bob a majority provincial government turned out to be a lot like giving your dull, half-wit cousin Marvin the keys to your Corvette, pointing to the road and saying, "Go like Hell, boy."

Bob and his cabinet—consisting of any NDP candidate elected to the legislature who could both spell Minister and not confuse it with a religious office—proceeded to smash Ontario into the nearest brick wall. Once they'd recovered from their injuries, the People's Republic of Ontario downsized jobs, but not population, and in the ultimate irony, tore up the government workers' union contract and imposed a new, less generous one in its place. As a result of their one chance to govern, the provincial NDP could pretty well hold caucus meetings in a hot tub after the next election, a legacy to which Andrea Horwath can painfully attest.

To correct this egregious error, the populace of Ontario elected—wait a minute, I always laugh at this part—Mike Harris and his band of Regressive Conservatives. Like the sheep they are, Ontario voters also gave Mike the Knife a majority of seats at Queen's Park, which Mike, mistakenly believing the name had something sinister to do with same-sex preference, renamed Guy Park. When one of Mike's ministers pointed out that Guy was pronounced Gee in that damn French province to the east, Mike renamed the legislature again. I don't remember that name but subsequent governments renamed it Queen's Park.

Mike, who it turns out had never read anything more intellectually challenging than a Hardy Boys adventure, named his political movement the "Common Sense Revolution." Common sense is what people often fall back on when they don't really understand something or they have no empirical justification for doing what they want to do. If they have the latter, they call it fact-based decision making. Either way, it's usually just the same old nonsense with a new name.

Common sense to Mike was appointing an Educashun Minister who didn't finish high school, a Health Minister who closed hospitals to provide better healthcare, and a Welfare Minister who thought squeegee panhandling was honourable work.

I'll spare you the sordid details of the gong show of the past decade and a half under Liberal rule. After last week, I understand Kathleen Wynne has asked Horwath if the NDP still has the hot tub they used to hold caucus in. C'est la vie.

If Ontario was kind enough to simply inflict its peculiar brand of misery on themselves, the rest of us could just shrug our shoulders, snicker and tsk-tsk in silent humour, the way we might when we see some poor deluded soul who has mistaken their eyebrows, nose, tongue, lips and other parts for pin cushions and had them pierced in order to look cool, which is to say, like a deranged freak. Unfortunately, Ontario votes in federal elections like they vote in provincial elections, which is to say, like deranged freaks—oops, I mean like sheep.

In 1993, such behaviour may have been understandable. After all, we all voted against Muldoon in that election, even though he wasn't running, having wisely taken a sackful of money and retired to leave Kimmy holding the bag. Ontario's slavish vote for the Liberals was irrelevant.

And in 2015 it was, again, irrelevant since virtually the entire country was festooned with Stop Harper signs. So completely had Mr. Harper poisoned the well that it was only rural Ontario, which is to say most of it, that wanted to see his smiling face back for another term.

But now Ontario has given us Doug Ford and other than comic relief, I can't see anything good coming from it. So, I think it's only fair to engage in a national—sans Ontario—debate on whether we should continue to allow Ontario to enjoy the democratic privilege of one person, one vote. I believe a probationary period of one or two federal elections is appropriate where their votes are discounted, say three for one.

Sounds like common sense to me.



Showing 1-1 of 1


Add a comment