Friday, July 13, 2018

Feeling Like An American

Now that Ontario is in the thrall of Doug Ford and his Regressive Conservative Party, I am beginning to understand how sane and balanced Americans must feel having an obscene fool as their national leader. It makes everyone look bad.

While Ford and his merry band of obsequious MPPs secured their majority thanks to a minority of voters who were filled with "passionate intensity" while the "best lacked all conviction" and chose to vote in smaller numbers, all of us, because we live in a democracy,' must bear the shame and ignominy.

The tail wags the dog here in Ontario. And make no mistake - just as Trump plays to his base, Ford et al. have every intention of tailoring their time in office to the demands of the minority who elected them. Just take a look at yesterday's Throne Speech:
The Tories will ... free police from “onerous restrictions that treat those in uniform as subjects of suspicion and scorn,” [a return to carding and loose SIU oversight?] end “unaffordable green energy contracts,” and expand beer and wine sales to convenience and big-box stores.
Ignoring the fact that extensive consultation paved the way to the revised 2015 sex-ed curriculum, this benighted new government
... will replace the 2015 “sex education curriculum with an age-appropriate one that is based on real consultation with parents.”

In a sop to the social conservatives who helped him become Tory leader in March, the new premier’s administration will use the 1998 sex education syllabus, which predates Google, same-sex marriage, and social media, until a new lesson plan is developed.
Crazed evangelical leader Charles McVety is delighted, observing that
students can now “go and learn how to tie their shoelaces and do arithmetic and read and write and do what they should be doing in school instead of learning things that belong, really, in post-graduate studies.”
Others were not so kind:
Green Leader Mike Schreiner countered that Ford has “declared war on the modern world.

“I mean, to have no climate change plan and to take our sex-ed curriculum back to 1998 is taking the province backwards,” said Schreiner.
That old curriculum was woefully antiquated, in no way addressing the problems and concerns bedeviling 21st century children:
The 1998 health and physical education curriculum describes a society that few elementary school students would recognize. It does not mention the words cyber-bullying, social media, race, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. It only once mentions the word Internet, and only to say that kids can use computers to surf the “World Wide Web” for information.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture that our 'new' government has some mighty 'old' ideas and beliefs.

On a personal note, it is very difficult for me to be anything other than contemptuous of my fellow Ontarians. But that, I suspect, will be the subject of a future post.


  1. Ford won 40% of the vote. The Libs, Dippers and Greens took 78% of the vote. 2% of the vote was split between the Cray-cray and the Communists.

    Only 58% of eligible voters, voted, so miniTrump got a "majority" based on the choices of only 23.2% of the electorate. More people chose, or did not for various reasons, vote, than voted for mini-Trump.

    Some "hot quick takes",

    - mismanagement, scandal, faux scandal and a failure to deliver "taints" a Party for a Generation for voters, outside of their core of rabid Partizans.

    - political parties are ossified. From Riding Associations to Provincial Councils, it's always the same dammed people, the same cronyism, the same "failed" platforms and policies, with minor tweaks.

    - the voters are not engaged, involved, informed and the GOTV in Canada, seems to be focused soley on stacking the Nomination process.

    - the Media in general, are pathetic.

    1. There is much to be disgusted by in current politics, Jay, and you have articulated some of the reasons for that disgust. To me, it becomes a chicken or egg situation. Until a strong majority of people turn out at the polls, governments who regularly fail us in so many ways will not amend their behaviour, since it is clear that not enough of us are watching them and prepared to hold them to account.

    2. Few Canadians are involved in politics. People don't join political parties, and outside of astroturf "movements" to swing nominations, the political parties arn't really interested in getting Canadians to join and be active.

      Even the Greens.

      To a large part this is due to a small group, locally, provincially and federally running the parties like little private clubs. The "boys" in charge, don't want to "lose control" by inviting in large numbers of the "unwashed".

    3. it seems to be the way with organizations, Jay. When I was a teacher, my federation was not interested in what I had to say because I was not part of the executive. Power does corrupt.

  2. FPTP will be the end of democracy. It produces these false majorities that are susceptible to rightwing populists who intend to rule, not lead, and, like Trump, work mainly to destroy institutions essential to the continuation of democratic governance.

    1. Which is precisely why the powers that be will never change the system, Mound.

    2. The powers that be in the Greens, Libs and Dippers are just stupid and shortsighted. In a PR system, Ontario would have a Lib/Dipper coelition government right now, maybe even Greens.

      They forget that "backlash" majorities work both ways, and the Media focus on "horseracing" make them forget that many people vote, or don't vote, based on policy.