Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pining For A Non-Existent Past

It occurs to me that perhaps the limited appeal of young Tim Hudak, the increasingly out-of-touch leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, might be related to the retro mentality that periodically pops up in North America. You know, that nostalgic pining for a non-existent past where everyone lived harmoniously in a semi-suburban environment, when men would daily don their work attire (usually a suit and tie), go forth bravely to earn the family's bread, and then return home to be greeted by the loving, doting wife, clad, in the mode of June Cleaver, in apron and pearls. And, of course, there was the malt shop, were teens had good clean fun.

Perhaps that era's main appeal lies in its alleged lack of ambiguity. The answers were there for all who cared to look: good-paying jobs, the car as king, and clearly-defined roles for all. Environment and ecology were words used only by specialists who had little to do with their time.

That is the kind of fictitious past that young Tim seems to be drawing upon for policy formulation, and it is that kind of simplistic thinking that fewer and fewer people, I believe, are willing to uncritically accept, at least if this letter from The Hamilton Spectator is any indication:

Build new Fort Erie-to-Hamilton highway: Hudak (, March 7)

I have just read the article wherein Tim Hudak is again quoted as saying he will go ahead with a new highway between Fort Erie and Hamilton.

I am a retired Ontario ministry of transportation employee who was involved in the mid-peninsula highway project and the later Niagara-GTA corridor study project. I am also a resident of Flamborough.

Tim Hudak scares the bejabers out of me.

All the studies have shown that the type of highway he wants is not needed in the foreseeable future. Why can’t he accept this fact?

I don’t think he is an uneducated man, but he seems to be unable to read or to comprehend. He is willing … no … he is anxious, to bulldoze through sensitive wetlands and prime farmland because he thinks it might get him more votes in the Niagara area.

Hudak appears to be a small-thinking man who cannot accept that his ideas just don’t work in today’s society. Most of his comments about jobs are red herrings when it comes to a new highway. While he talks about well-paying skilled trades jobs, he is also talking about getting rid of the unions that helped ensure those types of jobs are well-paid. Again, he doesn’t see the disconnect in his statements.

Although I lean to the right politically, I could never vote for the Ontario Conservative Party with Hudak as its leader. It is incredibly sad that those of us who do lean slightly to the right have no one to vote for.

Will MacKenzie, Flamborough

UPDATE: Perhaps young Tim would be wise to heed this advice from the father of the new conservatism, Preston Manning.

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