Let's see. Yesterday we had another looming credit downgrade, news that the auditor general is going to unpeel some curiously high salaries at ORNGE, a York Region transit strike that continues to fester, and news that perennial Liberal leadership candidate Chris "Smoove B" Bentley chillaxed approach to the Attorney-General's office caused more problems than it solved. CUPE is worried about potential austerity measures by the Liberals, while Tim Hudak is punching away at McGuinty and his union cronies.
And what do we hear from the usual sources? A whole lot of nothing.
If there was a spirited defence mounted by the McGuinty government over this spate of bad news, I have yet to see any evidence of it. I don't know why....maybe it's because it's the weekend before Christmas, maybe it's because Queen's Park isn't in session, or maybe it's because McGuinty's goons are burnt out from a record year of goonery.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what Ontario would look like if not for two things: spin from the Liberals, and complaining from anonymous pretenders to the title of "principled Conservatives." These are the two obstacles to a PC government, and both exist because of fear.
Ontario is a funny place. Once you have a title, you can basically do no wrong. People just sort of accept that you are the man, or woman. Really. There are elected officials at every level in this province who shouldn't be allowed to manage an ice cream truck, let alone a city or a riding. Yet year after year, there they are.
The Liberals have one MPP who, if what I hear is to be believed, is being sued by a close relative of his. There's another fellow who has been re-elected three times in a *very* conservative part of the province, but has yet to come close to a cabinet post because he's just that useless. Then there's a certain lady representing a riding in the GTA whose incompetence is so legendary that her staff have been known to cry with frustration.
What stops voters from pointing out the obvious? Fear. The Liberals have power, and they are not to be trifled with, because the one thing the Liberals are very good at is making their opponents look like dangerous people who will ruin the future. That's why so many of these MPPs disappear between elections, and then reappear with juicy spending announcements at election time. Voters are so used to no reply from their MPPs that when they suddenly roll out these promises, it's like winning the lottery. So they find any number of excuses not to do something about the problem.
Meanwhile, in the PC Party of Ontario, caution about not offending people and not speaking out too loudly has become so commonplace as to be routine. Nobody wants to go too far in attacking McGuinty because the Liberals will supposedly use it against us. That much has been obvious since 2003. What isn't obvious is that PC Party members are terrified of offending their party exec and leader's office.
I watched a room full of people give Changebook standing ovation after standing ovation when it was announced. A few months later, these same people had noticed all sorts of problems with Changebook that hadn't been there a few months before. Nobody spoke out against Changebook publicly, and nobody spoke out about the need to change our strategy when our strategy needed changing, because they were afraid of getting shunned by their friends. But let me tell you: Lots and lots of people spoke up about not giving the Liberals any ammunition. So out went the promise to eliminate the HRCs, out went the promise to eliminate the HST, and out went any hope of doing anything controversial, because of fear of the Liberal attack ad machine.
Dalton McGuinty is the Emperor With No Clothes. His caucus are a group of antiques, incompetents, and elevated municipal ward bosses with nobody driving party renewal. His advisers have been around for the better part of a decade, his War Room Boss hasn't had real teeth since the 1990's, and the chief Liberal egghead is a quiet little guy who you cannot pick out of a lineup. If we, the PC Party of Ontario, got over our hang-ups and neuroses, we could squash these guys like bugs.
I don't write these things because I claim to have some special intelligence, or ability to see what others don't. I'm just not afraid.
I can hear the sound of silence in Ontario, and what it really says about our province.