Sunday, October 27, 2013

Silence Of The Lambs

We have:

-reality-show style accusations that Mike Duffy was forced- under great duress and in a truly diabolical fashion- to accept more money than most of us see all year for expenses he racked up (and no doubt he was forced to rack them up, too!)

-a Native uprising in New Brunswick that gets neither the Natives nor the New Brunswickers anywhere except hating each other worse than they did before

-a Premier of Ontario who is so disingenuous that she announced an Open Goverment Initiative- not an Open Government Initiative, you see, but an Open Goverment Initiative- because the idea of providing transparency into some parallel not-real thing that isn't quite "Government" to distract people from That Power Plant is so typically Kathleen Wynne that it's hard to believe the damn thing was a typo and not intentional

-a by-election in Toronto Centre that resembles one of those movies where two rival dance crews battle for supremacy and where there is no real story and no reason why we should care about any of the "actors" involved and yet we have to go through the exercise of pretending to care, except instead of rival dance crews serving one another we've got Chrystia Freeland and Linda McQuaig seeing who can pretend to care about poor people more whilst doing nothing


-a recent provincial election in Nova Scotia where the Liberals won a crushing majority, because, well, Justin Trudeau

What is the common denominator? All of this insane behaviour is the result of panicked rushes towards or away from something. Kathleen Wynne REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to prove that she isn't totally disingenuous and just ends up drawing attention to the fact that she is totally and utterly and completely disingenuous. An entire province of people didn't want to think too hard about the election they were in, so they engaged in a stampede to the Liberals as an offering to Trudeau. Everybody you know thinks Justin Trudeau is just the tops. They can't tell you why. They just know everyone around them thinks so, so they'd better think so too.

Duffy and Wallin and Brazeau racked up expenses and jet setted around the country because, well, that's what happens in the Senate. Duffy, if he's to be believed, accepted the money because that's what you do, that's what's expected. It's all part and parcel and somehow all the shenanigans that have taken place in the Senate before these three got there, in which guys like Michel Cogger ended up with an actual rap sheet, don't apply. None of them seemed to have the first clue that something like this could happen to them before it was too late.

In Toronto Centre the NDP have concluded that they are 100% right on the subject of scrapping the Senate altogether, and they're going to pound their pointy little heads against that wall from now till the end of November to no discernible effect. One NDP greybeard actually came into my place of business today fresh from the campaign office and started yammering to everyone he could find on the subject of consigning the Senate to the history books. And though nobody disagreed with him, you can be sure that Dame Chrystia Freeland will be the next MP for Toronto Centre, thus continuing the long, long, long, long, long streak of above-it-all Rosedale Liberals in that riding notwithstanding any Liberal contribution to Senate sleaze over the years.

The brain trust advising Duffy, Wallin et al., the voters of Nova Scotia who hoped Prince Justin would favour them by booting the NDP out, the Natives out in NB who think the rest of Canada will rise up alongside them, the lemmings in the Premier's Office who are so eager to prove their commitment to transparency that they forgot how to spell the word "Government" correctly and the phony war between NDPers and Liberals who want basically the same thing in Toronto Centre all have one thing in common, and that is that they follow the leader and do what they're told, confident that nothing could possibly go wrong. They don't know what's happening, so they follow the person at the front of the line who looks like they know what's happening.

Something about huddling together in a room with like-minded individuals removes the ability to step back and say, "Wait a second, what we're doing here is totally kookoo bananas." That's all it takes to turn YOU into a sheep being herded with all the others.

And who's doing the herding? People who think they know what's going on, and don't. Issuing threats of death from above and "If you don't do this or support him or her, here are the consequences." Making people believe that their careers and the safety of those they care about are at stake. Getting people to terrify themselves into doing unspeakably dumb things, with these scandals being the result. Spinmasters at the mercy of other spinmasters who are at the mercy of other spinmasters.

What a shame for all of these nominally progressive people, believing in the basic good of humanity, to discover that they are motivated by fear of punishment and social censure by their fellow humans, pushed to extremism because they feel- and have good reason to feel- like no one will listen, rooted to the spot, terrified to move a muscle until some overseer cracks the whip and sends them scurrying this way or that.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Balls To The Wall

You mocked him in your cups for not being conservative enough. You accused him of being too wishy washy and too afraid to present real conservative policies. You sniffed at him for not differentiating himself from the Liberals and the NDP.

Now that Tim Hudak has said the he is absolutely, positively, no-way, N-O-T spells not backing down on yanking back the curtains on the unions, you change your tune. Whoa whoa whoa, says "the grassroots". Let's not start getting crazy here. This could be another faith based schools or worse. We don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Suddenly we are a divided party again, not two weeks after joining hands and singing Kumbaya in London. But then, we didn't really fool anyone, did we? 47% of us don't believe our own talk about being rough-and-ready conservatives who want to bring on Common Sense Revolution 2.0, because we're frightened of the big bad unions. So why should anyone else believe our talk?

And lest you think that these dissenters are the same bunch of Red Tories that have been ruining everything, I have not forgotten about how, while we were frittering away the days before the non-event that was London, the news broke that the King of the Principled Conservatives, that bold defender of the common vox populi Randy Hillier, was concerned that siding with Ellis Don would make us look like a bunch of uncaring bullies.

I had to read the headline three times to make sure the sun wasn't playing tricks with my eyes.

For this is Randy Hillier we're talking about here. The guy who believes in "non-violent civil disobedience". The guy who put a dead deer on Leona Dombrowsky's lawn, while the rest of us usually settle for a burning bag of poop or a ding-dong-ditch. The guy who ran Norm Sterling out of his riding is worried about the party handing unions a loaded gun that could be used against us in the next election. It is to laugh.

Let's refresh our memories with some of the policies Mr. Hillier put forward in his erstwhile run for leader of the PC Party of Ontario back in 2010.

  • Allowing Ontarians to vote to elect their senators;
  • Enacting a law, which he proposed to call the Freedom of Association and Conscience Act, which would allow health care professionals and other government-paid individuals to refuse to provide services to which, for religious or moral reasons, they were personally opposed (such as doctors and nurses refusing to perform abortions and marriage commissioners refusing to perform same-sex marriages);
  • Abolishing the Ontario Human Rights Commission and allowing all legal proceedings under the province’s Human Rights Act to be dealt with in the regular court system.
  • Allowing the sale of beer and wine in corner stores;
  • Restoration of the spring bear hunt;
  • Ending the closed shop in unionized workplaces;
  • Reverse the ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides;
  • abolition of the province's property tax assessment agency (MPAC);
  • Increasing the speed limit on Ontario highways;
  • Allowing the de-amalgamation of municipalities which had been forcibly amalgamated in the 1990s;
  • Cracking down on the aboriginal occupations in places like Caledonia

  • Had Hillier become leader of the PCPO (something the Principled Conservatives have wished for once or twice), instead of the guy we've got now, I'm sure he would have backed off on all of these fine Principled Conservative policies. After all, who wants to look like a bunch of hard-nosed, uncaring meanypantses by "ending the closed shop in unionized workplaces"? Not Mr. Hillier, that's for sure!!

    How did it ever come to this? What kind of a world are we living in when unabashed rural radicals like Randy Hillier get their knees-a-knockin' when the unions start talkin'? What kind of an epic letdown must it be to hype yourself up for the revolution only to find that the party of the bosses is more afraid of you than you are afraid of them?

    When 47% of the PCPO is afraid of putting their money where their mouth is on unions, then it's time to stop all talk of corporations being above the law. The Occupy people can stop mounting the barricades, because we've apparently decided that this union-bashing is just another silly game we play. We didn't mean it, honest! It's just really, really hard to let go of all this money. Please don't hurt us!

    You will note that nowhere did Mr. Hillier say that he was worried about handing the Liberals a loaded gun. He's not afraid of the Liberals. The Liberals are off babbling pleasantries about how they're not going to run a negative campaign......and for once, I have no reason to doubt them because we all know that that task will be left to the WFC. Unless the unions decide it's time for Premier Horwath. Or maybe they'll just kill us all and let God sort it out. Ours not to reason why.

    Everyone from Randy Hillier to Kathleen Wynne is terrified of the unions. Everyone understands that these people run the province. Everyone, that is, except Tim Hudak. Because you asked for it, the man is (I hope) going to take this ball and run with it as far as he can get. There'll be no cushy afterjob in the public sector a la Michael Ignatieff for Tim Hudak if he fails. He might have to leave the province altogether like Laurel Broten did.

    But dammit, he's going all the way on this one, or so he says, even as the PCPO wiffles and waffles around him. And for that, for a stand that might make him Premier or might be utter suicide, I say, Kudos to you, Tim Hudak! Shine on, you crazy diamond! And then won't we all feel guilty with ourselves for complaining about Tim Hudak's lack of conservative principles if he and the family he loves so much are made examples of by the unions so that none of us PC'ers ever take it into our heads to meddle in their affairs again.