I disagree with Kelly McParland. Dalton McGuinty is not to be condemned for admitting, brazenly, that he made the call to kill the Mississauga power plant.
Never mind that it took him the better part of a year to come around to admitting it. Never mind that he admitted it in the dead of summer when "nobody is paying attention."
Instead of letting his flunkies Dwight Duncan and Chris Bentley twist in the wind over this, as I expected he would do, Dalton manned up.
Instead of invoking something Mike Harris, Rob Ford, or Stephen Harper did, he took them out of the equation.
Now, when we say, "Dalton McGuinty cancelled a power plant and passed the cost onto taxpayers for purely political reasons", no Liberal can use something a Conservative did to excuse Dalton's behaviour. Neither can the voters. This is Dalton's mess now. His alone. His to wear. He said so himself.
We can only hope and pray that Dalton McGuinty will continue to admit that his motives are not always pure as the driven snow. For somebody like Dalton, this kind of self-reflection constitutes progress.
What could have prompted this change? What could have brought Dalton to this point?
Could Dalton finally be admitting that his desire to Move Ontario Forward has consequences, and those consequences must be acknowledged and not swept under the rug?
No way. We're never going to get that lucky.
Because while Dalton certainly did admit that he cancelled the plant, at no point did he admit that he did anything wrong by cancelling the plant.
Instead, Dalton is taunting us. Daring Ontarians to hang this around his neck. To punish him. He doesn't think we're going to do it.
For there is a by-election at hand. In Kitchener Waterloo. One which will, for all intents and purposes, decide whether Dalton gets his majority back. And one which will decide, for all intents and purposes, whether Tim Hudak remains as leader of the PCPO.
(That part about Hudak is a fact, by the way. One which everyone acknowledges. If Dalton can do it, so can we.)
Dalton McGuinty thinks that he deserves a majority. He thinks you're going to look at the power plant and ORNGE and everything else he's responsible for, and vote Liberal or stay home.
He thinks you'd rather have a cancelled power plant and ORNGE and all the rest of it than vote for someone affiliated with Tim Hudak.
The excuse that "voters don't know" about the power plant doesn't work. The voters of Kitchener Waterloo are very much aware of the power plant. I have asked them at the doorstep. They know. And Dalton, through his little admission, is certainly not trying to prevent them from knowing. For once.
And if, with all this in mind, the voters of Kitchener Waterloo vote in a Liberal and give Dalton free reign to cancel as many power plants and cause as many ORNGEs as he wants, well, then it isn't Dalton's fault anymore. It's the people's fault. If you don't punish someone for misbehaving, you can't blame him when he does it again.
This is how societies plunge headlong into madness. Not because of conservative governments, but because people put off electing conservative governments for too long. That's when the real nutjobs take over.
Dalton McGuinty can live with that. After all, it won't be his fault when that finally happens.
But the question is- can the voters live with it?