Given that the battle lines have clearly been drawn between Dalton and the teachers' unions recently, and we're on the sidelines watching, I figured it is time to shift gears a bit here at TCAM and discuss the implications of such a battle.
We have seen a similar fight play itself out in Quebec, as Charest took on the Red Squares. That little skirmish ended badly for M. Charest. Quebec being Quebec, however, there are differences. There, the students themselves rose up in revolt instead of a bunch of old fogey teachers unions claiming to speak in the students' best interest. The students had youthful energy and passion, misplaced as it was. And they focused their energy on taking Charest himself out, rather than a cross province all-out action like the one these union throwbacks are threatening.
So while it doesn't bode well for Dalton, keep in mind that teachers' unions can't fight a pitched battle with the government without seriously impacting the functioning of schools. Dalton's people don't have day jobs other than carrying forward his agenda. That's how he was able to squish the doctors, pharmacists, horse farmers, and everyone else. If Dalton's bill passes, they won't be able to strike. And if teachers pull extracurriculars, then it becomes up to them to defend their actions. Can they do it? It's up to them.
For now, the bigger implication is that whoever wins this fight, we lose. This is Statism vs. More Statism. Dalton wants to impose his Obama Lite womb to tomb statist project on everyone, and the unions' main problem with that is that they are tired of being foot soldiers in that project. The unions don't necessarily oppose the government ruling and subjugating everything. Their problem is that they want to drive the government's agenda and prevent the kind of flights into quasi-Conservatism that Dalton is currently engaging in.
The people who are being caught in the middle of this fight are either nowhere to be found because they don't have time for it, or don't care. Given what we've all seen over the past little while, I favour the second explanation. When your future, and your children's future, depends on who wins in a battle between unions and an unpopular Liberal government- which is fast becoming an endangered species in this country- you should take issue with both parties. But the people continue to be distracted by Liberal distractions and the media just keep on writing columns dumping all over whatever it is we put out there.
Lately I have begun to wonder; if the people do not act or vote against this union-government pas de deux, even though they may very well feel inclined to, is it really worth holding out hope that they will?
Is that the reason why we can't connect with the voters? Because we're expecting Ontarians to turn against their government when they aren't capable of doing so?
Are we asking them to make a choice that they cannot make?
Must we therefore make the choice for them?