Sunday, June 5, 2011

Something Just Ain't Right

That noted scribe from St. John's, Tim Powers, wrote this week that we taciturn Ontarians should be getting our tuckers up in a big way over Dalton's dismal performance. As is the case with many an Easterner, Westerner, or Northerner who seeks out our big mushy centre of Confederation, he seems surprised at the lack of public outrage we Upper Canadians display when things go wrong:

Anybody else starting to get angry? Why maintain that polite Upper Canada restraint? While great fodder for jokes in many other parts of Canada, Ontario's downward spiral ought to concern us all. With voters going to the polls here in October, Dalton McGuinty should not be getting a pass for his failing grades on the economy.

I shudder to think what Ontario will be like with another four years of Liberal rule. Maybe no feathers will get ruffled, but is that enough of an appealing hypnotic spell to overlook everything else?

Ontario, I believe, plays an important role as a buffer zone for the complaints of the other regions. Depending on where you're from, you rage against the arrogant Upper Canadian, the pompous Eastern bastard who needs to freeze in the dark, or the maudites anglais, and call it a day. And in turn, we Ontarians have become so used to everyone hating us that we have become experts at tuning it out. Can't we just move forward together instead of arguing about wheat or oil or fish or transfer payments or whatever it is today?

Of course, when you expect attacks to come from outside, it creates two things; detachment from the people making those attacks, and delusion to try and keep a positive self image in the face of those attacks. As a province in a very scary place economically (one which we're not used to) and as people who are used to trusting the government and letting them manage things, we have to believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that things are not as bad as they seem. We have no game plan for how to deal with our province falling as far as it has, so the only thing to do is to walk slowly forward. What did you expect?

For Dalton's part, I can't figure out if he is deliberately reinforcing this delusion or if he has wholeheartedly bought into it himself. It's hard to tell with a guy who tells an audience of Liberals in Woodbridge last week that the past eight years were "a good start" yet doesn't seem to be sure about whether he'll continue as leader after the next election. What is known is that he has a big problem with us not buying into the delusion. That's why he says that we "don't believe in Ontario."

If you take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland.

How many Liberals at that rally in Woodbridge could feel the limits of credibility being reached during that speech? Probably lots, given the party's standing in the polls and the fact that, try as they might during this past week, they couldn't land a decent hit on us.

It's why they're trying to recreate ads from the Bush/Dukakis race like anyone will even remember who Dukakis is, and why they're giving a platform to Paul McKeever, the leader of a party that gave its support to the Northen Alliance back when Bush was running. Hmmm. Well, it's not like anyone who gave McKeever the soapbox would know about the Northern Alliance......right?

Bottom line though- delusions always fall apart. Always. The Liberals know this in the back of their minds, and the bottom will drop out on Oct. 7th.  

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