I'm not Catholic, but I have observed that the Catholic Church comprises a pretty powerful group of people. Usually, governments take them on at their peril. Not Dalton McGuinty's government, though.
The chief problem here, as it is for any opponent of Dalton McGuinty, is that the Catholic Church is not the government of Ontario. Like most Ontarians, I do not like the idea of a church being the government. I am unlike most Ontarians, however, in that I also do not like it when the government is the church.
Look at what's going on in Quebec right now. The people of Quebec had a Quiet Revolution, and now they're having a very loud revolution. In Quebec, the government is definitely not the church. In Quebec, they have come to the understanding that there are some things the government can't get away with without a real fight. It is also that way in many other regions of the country. It is also that way in many other countries around the world. But, not in Ontario.
It is an entirely rational and correct response for Ontario Liberals to be worried about a global explosion of unrest. Global explosions of unrest, when they happen, tend to shake things up enough so that just doing the socially acceptable thing won't work. And when the socially acceptable thing doesn't work anymore, you might as well be taking a Liberal's oxygen away.
But I draw your attention back to the idea that the Ontario government is at loggerheads with the freaking Catholic Church and Dalton doesn't seem too worried. Not about the Church itself, or about people who send their kids to Ontario's Catholic schools and don't seem to care for mandatory GSA's, or anybody who has an opinion that differs from the government.
Why, there's even talk of defunding the Catholic school system. But that's silly. No way Dalton would ever get away with that. Right? I mean, obviously Ontario's Catholics would hit the streets in protest, not unlike the red squares in Quebec, if that ever happened. Right? Ummmmm......well, I don't know. Like I said, I'm not a Catholic.
You know what? Maybe I've got this whole thing backwards. Maybe Quebec is catching up to us. Back when Mike Harris was Premier, there was a lot of social unrest here, too. Mike Harris tried to put forward some ideas that could be credibly called "conservative" ideas, and the experience was so traumatic for Ontarians that we decided that no matter what the government does, we'll never have social unrest again.