Sunday, April 29, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

I would have thought that wildly mispredicting the Alberta election not even a week ago would have convinced the punditry that it's not a good idea to lock themselves into a narrative in advance of a vote. Not a good idea for political parties to do so either.

And that goes for political parties on both sides of the aisle.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Farewell, Elizabeth Witmer

Sad to see Elizabeth Witmer step down, wishing her all the best.

I don't think she deserves to be attacked for allegedly not supporting Hudak, because she was quite clear in supporting him here, but what do you expect from Liberal spinners? Just because she was respected by everyone at QP doesn't mean she isn't grist for their mill.

Now a short but very necessary message to Hudak himself: This by-election is win or die for you. Want to prove the haters wrong? Win.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ignorance Is Strength

Get a load of this Liberal chump tweeting at me yesterday that I was (temporarily) wrong about Ontario's credit rating getting a downgrade. It was actually the credit *outlook* that was downgraded at the time, a difference which was of course was supposed to make us feel better. Really. Dwight Duncan said so, and this goof believed him, only to find scant hours later that a different credit agency had, in actual fact, downgraded Ontario's credit rating.

No doubt Mr. Leblanc, intrepid fact finding guy that he is (who, if what I've heard is correct, does what he does on Twitter without being paid by Dalton) will now admit the credit rating has gone down. Facts are really important to Bryan Leblanc, as you can clearly see from his above tweet. Oh, wait a second, no he isn't going to admit that Duncan wrote a check his considerable ass couldn't cash- instead, he's tweeting about the wait for the College Street streetcar. Ontario's going to hell under his guy Dalton, as per a non-partisan credit agency, and he's mad about the wait for a chronically late Toronto streetcar!

Well, of course he is. He's a Liberal who supports a Liberal government, and the purpose of a Liberal government is to keep the other bastards out of government by any means necessary, because nobody else has the right to govern. For Liberals, facts and evidence exist if they serve the purpose of keeping themselves in and everyone else out; if they don't serve that purpose, they don't exist. They talk about "social progress" and "moving Ontario forward" and all the rest of that high-flown nonsense, but that's just the excuse they use to keep themselves from admitting to themselves what the real story is. Because if they admit that to themselves, they might admit it to someone else, and then, well....

Hey did you hear about CPC MP Stephen Woodworth's motion to make an unborn child a person? But wait a second; isn't Stephen Harper supposed to be a controlling dictator who bullies all dissent into submission? How could this be happening? Well, I guess the only way you can square this circle is that Stephen Harper, dissent-squasher, is comfortable enough with the notion that there are people in the country who think an unborn child is a person to allow some random backbencher to put forward a motion that has little if any chance of passing, because unlike Liberals, Conservatives are not cult members and do not live in bubbles where every thought and opinion has to be pre-approved!!!

Would any of the pro-life Liberals (and there are lots) ever dare to voice support for Woodworth's motion? Of course not. Because they know that, to quote that link, "Liberal Leader Bob Rae has stressed the party remains pro-choice and he expects all Liberal MPs to fall in line." And despite Dalton being the son of the only Liberal in Canada to have resigned from his position over Pierre Elliott Trudeau's position on gay rights, nobody (except me) thinks to ask themselves if Dalton or his MPP's really do believe in the stuff their handlers force them to say on the subject, or any subject! But somehow, Harper is the controlling bully here!

I tweet and blog regularly, saying a bunch of stuff I know Liberals don't like to hear, and they usually ignore me. But when I make a mistake, I'm suddenly noticeable! And when Tim Hudak makes a mistake, only then do people pay attention to him! But when Dalton makes a mistake, you have to come here to read about it!

And why are people so willing to forgive Dalton for his mistakes? Not because, as Robin Sears says in today's Star, that they are interested in peace, order, and good government. You could be forgiven for not noticing, but Dalton is currently in a struggle with the very people who elected him- namely, teachers, doctors, and unions- and his government is mired in scandal, while the province continues to sink under the weight of debt. This isn't peace, it isn't order, and it damn sure isn't good government. And people would rather believe that Tim Hudak could have averted the tax on high earners by negotiating with this government.

No, Liberals, and Canadians, by and large, do what they do and ignore what they ignore because they have a hard on for authoritarianism. They cry about how awful governments are, but they do nothing to throw them out. They get misty eyed about the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party, but the Canadian versions of those things usually don't go too far.

Not even so-called principled conservatives who are dissatisfied with Hudak will form the really principled conservative alternative they constantly pine for, and if they did so, they probably wouldn't even end up voting for that party, as was the case with the Wild Rose short days ago.

The Ontario NDP, who made a huge show of rallying against the budget, then failed to even try to stop it, are no better. But nobody is going to notice this, because the NDP propped up the government and are now everyone's darlings, even as Liberal MPP's lay into them.

We're not as quick to point out the mistakes Dalton makes as we are to criticize Hudak for his, because we have already accepted that Dalton, and governments in general, have us over a barrel. Because centrist governments have the most powerful weapon of all- the right to determine what is, and what is not, appropriate to think and say.

And when a Canadian federal or provincial government finally decides that they are not even going to pretend to care about the limits of government in people's lives- when the government actively tries to control everything, instead of just passively- then I have no doubt that they will become the most popular government in Canadian history.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thank God For Small Victories

Well, at least we got the Star to admit that the PC's opposed the budget after it was introduced instead of before.

Just a bit of feedback from a loyal volunteer, guys; if you're griping about the leader to the Star (specifically, the Star) about the leader's decision, after the fact, and musing about taking a run at him but not actually doing so, two months after you had a chance to do so in Niagara, then I happen to believe that the problem is not confined to the leader.

Meanwhile the province's credit rating outlook went down again despite the "strong" budget by McGuinty. That's not news or anything, is it?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today, We Are All Ontarians

OK everybody. In keeping with the proud tradition of "If nobody else is going to say it, I am" that has come to characterize TCAM since its inception, it is now time to say what has to be said.

In Alberta yesterday, voters were given a choice between Principled Conservatism and Unprincipled Conservatism. And Unprincipled Conservatism- populism- won the day. Boy, did they ever win the day.

Now, I'm not going to lecture Albertans on their choice. But I am going to say that, with the results of this election being as decisive as they were, it is time for Principled Conservatives to stop their lecturing.

All of you- Sun News especially- need to take a deep breath and a hard look at what just happened. You all need to start wrapping your heads around the possibility that Principled Conservatism isn't the goddamned answer. Sure, it's important. Sure, it's needed to keep us from becoming a cult like the Liberals. But it isn't the be all and end all answer, like it's made out to be.

The Wild Rose offered the most conservative province in the country the most conservative list of policy positions that you could ask for. Abolishing human rights commissions. Conscience rights. Balancing the budget in no time flat. Support for private options in health care. Charter schools. Respecting private landowners. It was all there.

The Wild Rose did this because they believed that if we adhere to Principled Conservatism, we win elections. That's what we've been told since the beginning. If we lose elections, it's because we didn't stick to our principles.

Well guess what? Tim Hudak, the guy who put forward Changebook, did better than the Wildrose. Against an actual Liberal Premier, instead of a pretend one.

This was the Wild Rose's chance to prove to everyone that waffly pseudo-Liberalism is no match for honest conservatism with all its flaws. And that didn't happen.

What's more, the list of reasons issued by so-called "grassroots members" of the PCPO as to why we lost in October can now seriously be called into question. Candidates were muzzled? Hudak didn't attack as much as he needed to during the debate? Lack of fundraising? Top down policy process? The fact that the P in PCPO stands for "Progressive"? The Wild Rose didn't have any of those problems.

What's more, the PC Party of Alberta's strategy of "Ahhhhhhh! Scary!" worked. This is the same strategy that has been used on conservatives since Stockwell Day. How do we get past this strategy? Ask Harper.

Oh, and the fact that the PCPO "blew a big lead in the polls"? Well, as a whole bunch of pollsters and people who read polls are finding out today (myself among them), a big lead in the polls doesn't always count for a whole hell of a lot.

If we judge the Wild Rose by the standard that this was this was their first general election in which they were competitive, they certainly did well. They bore up well against the firestorm of criticism that was hurled their way. They won a bunch of seats, got Smith into the Legislature, and have a chance to win government if they work at it.

But you see, too many people want Principled Conservatism now. They think that all you have to do is offer people what the Wild Rose offered, and all will be sunshine and roses. So now Danielle Smith, Principled Conservative, will have to deal with the same complaining and disappointment from her base that Hudak has to deal with.

Now let's talk about the day that was in Ontario. We are not, as I said a month ago, going to have an election, because the NDP put discretion before valour. Dalton decided to accede to an NDP demand to raise taxes on the wealthy, thus breaking his promise to not raise taxes for the billionth time. Both of these decisions were not principled ones. Instead, they were based on popular perceptions here in Ontario that an election is a terrible idea and that soaking the rich is a great idea.

Now, if you disagree with those ideas, then the only party for you is the PC Party of Ontario. Because we opposed this charade as soon as we read the budget and saw that Dalton lacked the testicular fortitude to address Ontario's problems. You wouldn't know that if you listened to Dalton, who says that we marginalized ourselves here. But what Dalton won't tell you is that he- and the NDP- have to deal with the fallout from this budget, as it was and as it stands.

If you read the Toronto Star, you'll find a column by Carol Goar, who thinks Ontario doesn't have a humane welfare system. If you read the National Post, you'll find a column by James Doak, who thinks higher taxes on the rich is comparable to ethnic cleansing. Then, as you move towards the centre, you have corporations, doctors, environmentalists, unions, teachers, rural Ontarians, and everyone else who doesn't like this budget. Dalton and his NDP friends think they can deal with this lot, and I wish them well.

Tim Hudak's job is to take the people who think the government is off track and needs change - that is, the people who Dalton labelled "marginal"- and translate that into real change. This is going to take time. It isn't going to happen tomorrow. It isn't going to happen if we totally lose our backbones a la John Tory. It isn't going to happen at all if real effort isn't made by him to address what our party is doing wrong and how we can fix it, like, "Why can't we get our basic message out?" Could it have something to do with this?

As for us on the ground? We can stop pretending that just because our views are principled, people will share them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Western Alienation

Hudak > Smith.

More to follow tomorrow.

A lot more.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bread And Circuses

Maybe it's just me, but when a bunch of unionists mess up the Queen's Park lawn and basically demand an election, it should follow that the party (parties?) affiliated with those unions should be blamed for that election, if it happens.

Of course, another explanation for yesterday's disgraceful display is that the NDP is going to roll over and support the Liberals, just like I've been saying all along, but they just had to go through the motions of saying they didn't like the budget so the rubes in their ranks could be fooled into thinking they did something important.

Martin Regg Cohn thinks that the NDP should be blamed for this probably-not-going-to-happen election, anyway. He does, however, say that the media has been ignoring Tim Hudak. That's certainly true, but then again, Mr. Regg Cohn is part of the media, after all. I hope he realizes that.

Best of luck to those politicos in Quebec, Alberta, and B.C., where politics isn't a complete joke and actual stuff is happening.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sid's Sad Saga

It seems like only a short while ago that Dalton McGuinty and Ontario Federation of Labour rageaholic Sid Ryan-  a man who makes the Incredible Hulk look like Mr. Spock-were the best of BFF's. When Dalton decided one fine day to make pharmacists into the enemy, for example, he knew he could count on his hotheaded buddy Psycho Sid to provide well thought-out supportive messaging.

And when Sid, his considerable flaws notwithstanding, proved that he was willing to support the McGuinty message of the day, he was rewarded by getting his name on Liberal literature during the last election. Now while rewarding a known agitator in this way would seem, on the face of it, to be a colossally boneheaded move that agitated many individuals of the Hebrew persuasion in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, the truth is that anybody, no matter how worthless of a human being they may be, can be redeemed by accepting the Word of Dalton into their hearts. Which is probably why Sid's slight was forgiven and the urbane voters of St. Paul's re-elected their fop of an MPP, Dr. Eric Hoskins, with an increased plurality.

Ah, but the prodigal Sid forgot that sometimes Dalton giveth and that he sometimes taketh away. For now "Sid from Oshawa" is the butt of Liberal jokes, and as NDP leader Andrea Horwath prepares to assume the position in advance of this budget vote, poor Sid is left to cry fruitlessly on the Queen's Park lawn with whichever OFL leftovers he can scrape together for an upcoming "Day of Action".

Umm....a "Day of Action" that lasts only two hours? Look, Sid, I know your friends aren't the most industrious of people, but a two-hour workday is really pushing it.

This pathetic fallacy reminds me of another recent fall from grace- that of feminist blogger Fern Hill, who fell in with the wrong crowd and ran afoul of the War Room Boss, and the Ontario Liberals, as a result.

I recall a time when Ms. Hill took exception to me pointing out how she was obviously thrilled to have been selected by the Liberal War Room to participate in their booga-booga campaign of yesteryear aimed at demonizing Hudak as a woman hater. Well, Ms. Hill- if I may quote a certain prominent conservative woman- "How's that workin' out for ya?"

There but for the grace of Dalton go all of us. For today's Ontario is a jumbled mass of groups climbing over themselves to sell whatever honour they have so that His Lordship may look favourably upon them. Those who have Dalton's favour prosper; those who displease him are cast down.

Cast down like the Liberal MPP's who bailed before the last election and the MPP's who were defeated by outsiders and disavowed, an untold number of staffers and supplicants who got handed pink slips, the federal Liberals in their entirety, the collection of "interest groups" who found out with this budget that they are just as disposable as anyone else after they have outlived their electoral usefulness, and most notably, Dalton's former #2 man, George Smitherman.

Every Ontarian knows that to be censured by Dalton is not just a career-limiting move; it is a sign that you have sinned, and that Dalton will reply, "I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."

And all these sinners will be back, looking for a chance to get into the boss man's good graces next time around.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Suspense Is Terrible....I Hope It'll Last

What's this? Can it be that the gap between the Wild Rose and the Alberta PC's is.....gasp....shrinking? Hmmmmm. Probably just a blip or something....or....the campaign against Smith is working.

But how could a campaign by the elitist Toronto-based media be working against the Wild Rose? Isn't this an Alberta election, and isn't the Wild Rose campaign being run by the most Principled of Principled Conservatives? And didn't the Ontario PC's lose the last election because they didn't stick to their principles, while the WRA is going to teach all us timid Easterners a thing or two about how to deal with waffly quasi-Liberals like the PC Party of Alberta?

Of course that's what's going to happen. I'm just getting too worried about some silly polls.

There's just no way that the Alberta PC's are going to regain government based on a couple of wacko things some of the Wild Rose candidates said. If they did, well....that would mean that Principled Conservatism (which the Wild Rose has in spades) has nothing to do with whether we win elections or not.....and the only reason conservatives win elections at all in Canada is if the Liberals don't do a good enough job of scaring voters into voting Liberal.

It would mean that even Albertans value social acceptability of a candidate's views as more important than....well, anything, really.

But that's just crazy talk.



By the way, did anyone else notice that Dalton's budget vote is going to be on the day immediately following this Alberta election? Why do you suppose that is?

All Politics Is Local

We'll return to speculating on an election three provinces over in just a short while, but first there's some domestic business to attend to.

Dalton McGuinty says he has found common ground with the NDP. We can all relax now, right? Um, not quite. Looks like the Liberals have ramped up their pre-election blitzes in opposition ridings. PCPO MPP Rob Leone will explain:

Now I ask you: what is the point of making robocalls if you don't want an election?

And why is Dwight Duncan getting the chance to speak on this file instead of the Premier? To burnish his leadership ambitions, perhaps?

Or perhaps it's because the Liberals have reannounced funding for the hospital in Cambridge approximately 1 zillion times with nothing to show for it and Dalton can't keep a straight face and pretend otherwise?

Speaking of not being able to keep a straight face, we learned today that the Premier giggles like a little schoolgirl when the topic of S-E-X is brought up, and he also says that the PC's can't criticize his budget.

Negotiations? What opportunity was there for negotiations? And why would you negotiate on a budget that claims to cut spending without really cutting spending?  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Duncan Pulls A Clunker

Dwight Duncan just told a Globe and Mail reporter that his party can't make up its mind on whether to adopt the NDP tax-the-rich proposal. He can't keep the PC Party of Ontario from stepping all over his talking points in his own home newspaper, the Windsor Star.

Why do the Liberals let this guy Duncan and his Mr. Dithers, business-Liberal, 99-important-priorities leadership ambitions continually embarass them? Here they are trying to con Ontarians into thinking the PC Party skipped the budget lockup, and then all of a sudden Duncan shows up and we learn that the Liberals may cause an election because they can't decide whether they're going to break their promise not to raise taxes for the millionth time.

Let me give you a bit of advice, Dwight: If you want to be Liberal leader, you are just going to have to learn how to treat the people with absolute contempt and how to pretend things are fine when they aren't. That may not have been how you did things in the business world, but this is the Ontario Liberal Party, and in the Ontario Liberal Party, the truth is always going to take second place to whatever it is that's going to keep the conservatives from winning the day.

The Wild Rose is going to win the Alberta election because the PC Party of Alberta were trying to be pretend Liberals as opposed to real, just-watch-me Liberals.

Kind of like you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Campaigns Should Focus On Facts

So I was fiddle faddling about on Twitter (as you do) when I came upon this:

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is not Opposite Day. That's an Ontario Young Liberal talking about how not focusing on deficits is a bad thing.

So, I'm going to type that again, in smaller chunks so people don't injure their brains trying to take it all in at once.

A Liberal.

In Ontario.

Who supports Dalton.

Talking about deficits.

Saying deficits are a bad thing.

(Of course she's talking about how the Ontario Young Liberal deficit is a bad thing.....but what about that other deficit in Ontario?)

*deep breath*

OK. That's it. From now on, every time one of Dalton's twitter people says something ridiculous like that, I'm devoting an entire post to it.

You hear me, OYL? Your cult-y tweets are going to provide entertainment for the Blogging Tories and PCPO crowd starting today.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to LOL for about four hours.

Two Solitudes

I figured I'd get this one out of the way now (a week or so before the PC Party of Alberta gets thrashed) because in a week or so, nobody's going to want to hear it.

In a week or so, all the talk will be about how the Wildrose is the new power in provincial politics, and everyone will be instant Wildrose fans. There will also be discussions at length about how conservatives in Ontario should follow their lead, and how the problem with the PC Party of Ontario is, and always has been, that they have the word "Progressive" in the title, and that there are too many "progressive" Red Tories in the party, and the solution is to get rid of both.

Unfortunately, purging the party of Reds is only going to solve part of the problem. There are at least three major differences I can think of that separate the Ontario political situation from that in Alberta.

First of all, from what I've seen, the PC Party of Alberta has completely taken this election on the chin. Faced with an angry electorate who wanted change, they immediately defaulted to howling about abortion. However, what is obvious to everyone, including Ontarians like me, is that the PC Party of Alberta doesn't really care about reproductive issues- they're just using them to distract people. And they're not even doing that good of a job of distracting people.

Secondly, the PC Party of Alberta seems to be liked by precisely no one. Nobody in Alberta is about to lose sleep over Alison Redford getting tossed. I don't see any Working Families Coalition ads painting Danielle Smith as a patsy for oil patch executives. I don't see the mayor of Calgary, or any mayors for that matter, standing up for Redford. (Come to think of it, Mr. Nenshi has been awfully quiet lately. Didn't he help install Redford as leader of the Alberta PC's? Hmmm.)

Finally, Albertans, to their credit, do not stand for wishy-washy government and are actively engaged in provincial politics.

I was going to write a few paragraphs showing how the situation in Ontario is different from the above, but I hardly think that's necessary. Suffice it to say that McGuinty and his cult believe that they have a God-given right to government, actively borrow from Obama's playbook and frequently treat his advisors as honoured guests despite the supposed unpopularity of that administration in the United States, will profit from Working Families Coalition largesse and a bunch of affiliated municipal people in the next election, and that it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone if most Ontarians think Bill Davis is still Premier.

Oh, and as far as asking whether McGuinty really cares about reproductive rights? That's the sort of question that only sillies like me would ask.

By the way, did you know that Dalton's dear old dad once resigned as president of an Ottawa Liberal riding association over Trudeau's position on reproductive rights? True story.

So: If the coming Wildrose victory finally gets the PCPO to stop trying to win over people who will never vote for them and start being conservatives, that's fantastic. But by itself, it's not nearly enough.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Red Whine

Wow. Suddenly the happy-go-lucky Liberals have turned into a bunch of cranky-pants.

We've got Liberal leadership contenders squaring off on the issues that matter, like what to do about spiking energy costs. Chris Bentley favours the time tested do-nothing Liberal approach. Dwight Duncan wants the mad-as-hell, sell-out-Liberal-principles business friendly approach. Naturally, Bentley carried the day, while Duncan continues to nurse his Paul Martinesque leadership ambitions.

This report suggests Deb Matthews has a looming battle with doctors, while Laurel Broten is trying to bully teachers back to the bargaining table. Even the firefighters- a bedrock Liberal constituency if there ever was one- are in a dispute with Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur over whether to allow sprinklers in seniors' homes.

Heck, even those ministers that are typically kept quiet are getting into scrapes these days. Take Minister of Consumer Services Margarett Best, who decided recently that protecting Ontarians from high cell phone bills would be a great way to show those mean ol' private businesses who's boss. (Understand, of course, that because the government gets a bigger cut of hydro rates and gas prices, they think it's perfectly acceptable for those to be through the roof.)

What could be behind this sudden reversal? Surely not a poll that puts the Liberals in 3rd place?

Do I dare to hope? Have Ontarians finally had enough of these bums? Or are they just going to keep on taking it?

Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

All The People, All Of The Time


"Horwath’s final “ask” is for a job creation tax credit for corporations that hire new workers. It’s tough for the Libs to turn this one down, since they had a similar measure in their election platform."

Yeah. That'd be that tax credit. Which they just now left out of their budget.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Perpetual Resurrection

It's Easter/Passover weekend and renewal and rebirth seem to be in the air.
The Quebec Liberals are in big trouble. The B.C. Liberals are in big trouble. The Alberta Liberals (oops, PC Party of Alberta) are in really big trouble.

We seem to be on track for another year of cross-country Liberal defeats. of these things is not like the others. You know what I'm talking about, fellow Ontarians.

No sir. There'll be no change here in Ontario. Things will continue as they always have.

In Alberta, as is the case in B.C. and Quebec, the people there want to be masters of their own fate. They aren't afraid to push back against unpopular governments. Think of the HST revolt in B.C., and the constant debates in Quebec about where that province is headed. The power centre in this country seems to be shifting westward, to resource rich provinces, a fact that is not lost on Quebeckers.

Ontarians? Pfft. Forget it. They don't want to be bothered with what their provincial government is doing. They don't want to engage in a debate about where their province is headed. They just don't care.

As Adam Radwanski uncharacteristically noted a few days ago, the Liberals quietly left out a tax credit for skilled immigrants from their budget. That would be the tax credit for skilled immigrants that got a ton of attention during the last provincial election. After lambasting the PC's for being against it, the Liberals decided that if it was such a big issue, they would just quietly drop it. And the people seem to be OK with that.

Then there was the Drummond Report. You all remember the Drummond Report, I presume? Silly me, I thought people were going to care about the Drummond Report and how much of it actually made it into the budget. But no. See, the Drummond Report would have required change, and Ontarians don't want any of that.

And then there's ORNGE. Yesterday, it was revealed that the Ministry of Health couldn't be bothered to properly oversee what was going on there. How Deb Matthews is going to continue her "I dunno" act after this is a mystery to me, but I'm sure Ontarians will find new and exciting ways not to care. She could strip naked and run around on the Queen's Park lawn screaming, "Yes! I did it!" and it'd probably make page 7 of the Star.

What are Ontarians preoccupied with? It would seem they are preoccupied with making sure their landscape changes as little as possible. Whether it's a casino on the waterfront in Toronto, a quarry up in Melancthon, an airport in Pickering, a power plant in Mississauga or Oakville, or LRT/subways all across the GTA, people are hard at work in Ontario organizing to make sure nothing changes. And that's not even touching pressing social issues like whether wireless Internet in the classroom gives kids brain cancer.

Out in Alberta and B.C. and Saskatchewan, they're busy exporting national resources that countries want to buy and profiting as a result. Here in Ontario, we have to read newspaper editorials from academics like Thomas Homer-Dixon telling us not to worry- if we suffer for an undisclosed period of time, we'll eventually reap the benefits of having a ton of universities and a bunch of green power producers. Both of those have to be massively subsidized now because they don't seem to be driving the economy, but so what? Going up to Northern Ontario and getting resources out of the ground is short sighted. And in making that argument, Homer-Dixon shows that he is no different from all the other old-fart economic nationalists who have been repeating the same arguments about keeping our resources inside Canada since the 1970's.

Consider this, readers-from-outside-Ontario: Ontario has huge swaths of undeveloped land bursting with natural resources that we're not going to use because unlike you, we don't want to be hewers of wood and drawers of water. We don't want competition. We don't want economic development. We don't want innovation. Innovation is a foreign concept. Three letters for you, readers: RIM. And also: who do you think James Moore is trying to impress by telling Target that they need to have appropriate levels of Canadian content? Well, amongst others, it would be people from Ontario who don't want to become pawns of the United States.

And you know what's even crazier? Despite all this griping, we have opposition parties- like this group of people calling themselves the PC Party of Ontario- and their membership spends their time complaining about stuff like how the party has the word "progressive" in the title! If this were Alberta or Quebec or B.C., the membership would be more concerned with doing stuff like holding EDA meetings and interacting with their party executive and proposing policy resolutions- without having to be told to do so by the party executive that they constantly gripe about. In short, they would get off their asses and make the party reflect their views. But we don't do that here, folks.

Because in a PC Party of Ontario in which the members debated stuff and tried to make things more conservative, they would eventually have to confront the fact that in order to fix this province, we have to have a spirit of competition and economic development. And that, as you probably know, would divide people. It would bring back memories of Mike Harris, whose policies were divisive even though people (inside and outside the PC Party of Ontario) have to be reminded of what the hell they were half the time. So, in reality, they are perfectly fine with the leadership doing whatever it is they're doing, and they don't make a peep until an election gets lost.

Canvassing in Toronto Danforth some weeks ago, I happened upon an older man with a Conservative sign on his lawn who told me he had a bone to pick with Hudak. (This being a federal byelection, I couldn't imagine why he was bringing Hudak into the discussion, but then I remembered Ontarians can't be bothered to remember the difference between federal and provincial politics either.) He didn't like the fact that Hudak wanted to sell the LCBO. His reasoning was that the LCBO was a major cash cow for the government, and therefore shouldn't be sold.

This was a man with a blue sign on his lawn. In Toronto Danforth. And he couldn't see why a conservative provincial party leader supposedly wanted more competition as relates to alcohol distribution. (I have to be very careful to say supposedly here, because, well, you know.) Oh, and he also admonished me for knocking on his door on a Sunday. Because we don't do that in Ontario either, as it's still the 19th century here. Maybe I should have told him that the LCBO operates on Sundays.

I would talk again about how the Ontario Liberals are a cult and therefore have no need for debate, but since their Education Minister just held a press conference where she asked one teacher's union to come back to the bargaining table because all the other teachers unions are doing it, it hardly seems necessary.

So understand this well, PC Party of Ontario supporters and activists. You- yes, you- are responsible for this ridiculous situation. Not Hudak. Hudak is doing stuff. You personally may not like the stuff he's doing, but he's doing stuff. You aren't. You're finding excuses like "The PC Party of Ontario has a P in the name." You're too afraid to talk up conservative ideas to your friends because they're going to look at you funny. Sooner or later we're going to be the only province in the country with a Liberal government, except for P.E.I. (and the PEI Liberals are so far to the right that they don't count) and it'll be your fault, because you were waiting for the leader's office and exec to do stuff for you instead of doing it for yourself. Like, you know, a conservative.

So in your honour, PC Party of Ontario activists who don't do enough because your friends will look at you funny, I'd like to show you "Oh! Canada: Our Bought And Sold Out Land." It's a video done by a kid from Oshawa that contains more than its fair share of economic nationalist arguments from the 70's and questionable production values, and it certainly does blame Canada's economic woes on the Bilderbergers. But hey: this kid went out and interviewed a bunch of politicians and made this video, and he's getting noticed for it.

If you worked half as hard as this kid at changing the political discourse of this province from "Governments are selling us out to big banks and corporations" to "We need to learn how to compete with big banks and corporations" instead of relying on other people to do it for you, then Dalton would be gone so fast his pointy head would spin. But he is still Premier, because he knows you're not going to do it. And then maybe we would be a little bit more like Alberta, and you wouldn't have to whine about how you wished you could move there.

Think hard about that.

Good night, Ontario.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day By Day

On Tuesday, the Liberals attacked Tim Hudak for wanting an election.

On Wednesday, they started to attack Andrea Horwath for wanting an election. (But did they say her idea to raise taxes was a bad idea? Nope.)

On Thursday, it was reported that the Liberals have started ordering lowly staffers to distribute press releases promoting their party's supposed plan for the economy during a Tim Hudak speech.

Which is....exactly the sort of thing they would do during an election.

How do these people do it?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ring Ring....Hello????

You know, I always thought the purpose of the media was to inform the people.

Wow, that doesn't sound good. Why would the PC's be ringing a bunch of bells? Sounds confusing.

Hold on, let me ask actual PC Party people about this, since Mr. Radwanski here didn't.


OK everyone: The PC's are mad about Deb Matthews dragging her feet on forming a select committee to investigate ORNGE. Now because people like Radwanski won't write columns about the foot dragging, they're motioning to adjourn the House repeatedly until Debbie Doubletalk forms that committee. Annoying, I know, but sometimes you have to be persistent to get what you want.

If nothing else, this is going to give the NDP lots of time to figure out how to back out of this budget mess they've inherited.

Also....something's been troubling me recently. Some Liberals have been complaining that the PC's met with ORNGE back in 2010. But Deb Matthews- the Health Minister- told everybody she had no idea what was going on at ORNGE. That she was unjustly lied to. Look! Even Adam Radwanski praised her for taking that line!

So if Deb Matthews supposedly had no idea what was going could anyone else know?

Isn't it sad when the Liberals get their wires crossed like this?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Exercise in Frustration

Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath presented Dalton with what should, in theory, be a poison pill choice for the Ontario Liberals: tax the rich, or fight an election.
I have to believe that even the most ardent Liberal is not going to argue that Dalton accepting this demand would be anything less than a violation of his oft-repeated promise not to raise taxes.

So did anyone hear Dalton say, "That's silly, I'm not going to raise taxes on the rich or put them in a new tax bracket or whatever" in response to Horwath's demand?


No way. Instead, you heard Dalton blame the PC Party of Ontario for wanting an election. Not anyone else- just the PC Party.

Let me break this down for everyone. At this moment, it is Andrea Horwath's choice whether we have an election. Andrea Horwath's. Not Tim Hudak's. If the NDP supports the budget, we don't have an election. If the NDP doesn't support the budget, we have an election. That's it. It has nothing to do with Hudak anymore. Dalton McGuinty doesn't seem to get this. Dalton McGuinty's supporters don't seem to get this.

Now, if Dalton agrees to Horwath's demands, he's raised taxes on the rich. Something he said he wouldn't do. But somehow, he doesn't seem to be able to do the math here either. Neither do his supporters.

A couple of days ago, Rob Ford remarked that there was a double standard as relates to how people react to cuts- Liberal cuts good, Conservative cuts bad. But His Worship the Mayor has only identified part of the problem. It isn't just a double standard. It is a way of thinking that is limited by the boundaries of what the Liberals deem to be socially acceptable. Outside those boundaries, nothing exists.

As of now, I cannot provide any other explanation for McGuinty's behaviour and the behaviour of his supporters other than to say that the Liberals are a cult, and they are incapable of seeing the contradiction here. I should say that I do not *want* to believe the Liberals are a cult. But I see nothing that suggests otherwise.

So I'm putting the word out, Liberals. I know you read my screeds. I dare any Liberal out there to convince me otherwise. You know I can be an open-minded guy. Hell, I pointed out that the outcome of the Trudeau-Brazeau fight made Conservatives look bad a couple of days ago. I, a conservative, pointed that out. Why can't you point out that McGuinty is wrong here?

Just one little comment saying, "You know what, Mr. J? You're right. The election hinges on Horwath's decision, not Hudak's." You don't have to criticize your leader. You can bash Horwath all you please. You can even say Horwath's collaborating with Hudak. I would have welcomed that from McGuinty.

I don't think it'll happen.


Is it because, as the War Room Boss said in his column a short while ago, you regard your hatred of Conservatives as "a purifying force"? Is this entire exercise in delaying the inevitable progression towards Common Sense Revolution 2.0 some twisted way of satisfying your consciences, that you did all you could to keep it from happening? Are you afraid of losing face?

What is it that makes you incapable of getting the joke here?