The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
On Voting Liberal
I can't remember any time before where a leader whom I despised at the beginning of his office, and whom I actively campaigned against, went on to win me over, in a single term no less. Premier McGuinty has done just that. It seems that every time he's come up in the news over the last year, I've been strongly supportive of whatever he was saying and thankful that he was saying it. Here's the latest, on the need for a new gas power plant:
"In an ideal world, we could get to where we need to go through conservation and renewables like wind. But we don't live in that world. We live in this one."
From the T.O. Green belt, to dismissing Martin's handgun ban, to taking a stand against Sharia Law (when really, given that other religious groups had this right, was not an easy position to take), to campaigning with Great Lake Governors against new US passport rules (and getting results), to a myriad of other issues, he's made firm decisions and stood by them, even if they cost him political capital. Yes, the Health Care premium tax irked me, however given the horror stories I've heard from other Conservatives about the state of Ernie Eves' cabinet, I'm giving McGuinty the benefit of the doubt when he says he inherited a mess. And I didn't mention his campaigning against Ontario's outrageous fiscal imbalance because yes, that is a no brainer for any Ontario premier, but it's worth mentioning that he's done it exceedingly well, again achieving results.
Now, all this is to say that as much as McGuinty has gone up in my books, John Tory has gone down. I believe Tory to be a textbook "all things to all people" politician. I supported Flaherty in both of the PC's last leadership races when every other PC Youth went for the weak kneed Eves/Tory option ("But he can win in T.O.!") People I work with who cut big cheques for Harris wouldn't commit a dime to Eves, nor will they to Tory. Well, Eves was a disaster and Tory will be no different. At this point in time, McGuinty has impressed me enough that I feel he deserves a second term, and in the various speeches I've heard from Tory he's convinced me that the PC membership need to reevaluate what has and what hasn't worked for them in the past.
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Interesting take on McGuinty.
I believe that Mike Harris needed to take a more pragmatic approach to managing the ON economy. I also think that Harris sewed the seeds of the PC Ontario meltdown. Probably Tory actively contributed to this to serve his own ambitions. Eves contributed through his incompetence. The party itself through intransigence. My view of the Ontario PC party is that they are much like the Federal LIberals....not in policy but in the assumption of being the natural governing party of the Province.
Posted by: PGP | 2006-01-31 9:03:33 AM
Yes, Ernie Eves left McGuinty with a real big mess to clean up, but that does not excuse him from breaking his promises and selling the people of Ontario short.
During the election McGunity promised he would not raise taxes or run a deficit without first consulting the people of Ontario. He raised taxes, and instead of calling a referendum, as the law required, he repealed the law. I think that says something about a politician when they abuse majority power like that.
The Greenbelt is an unacceptable attack on the private property rights of the landowners it encompasses. It has lowered the land value of their land, because they cannot sell it to developers, all without compensation.
Finally, although I support our premier's war against the fiscal imbalance, in battle after battle with the feds, McGunity has been selling us short. Last May, when McGunity was negotiating with Martin he could have gotten a lot more. Martin's government was in peril (it was just before the confidence vote) and he was emptying the store. McGunity's deal ended up closing the 23 billion dollar per year gap by about 1 billion per year. He should have got us triple that.
Just like their federal cousins, McGunity is no stranger to scandal. His former finance minister, Greg Sorbara had to resign after it was disclosed he was under investigation, while the transport minister, Harinder Takhar (sp?)has been accused of various conflicts of interest.
Don't get me wrong, as much as I think McGunity is a second rate, tin-pot politician, Ernie Eves had to go two years ago. I am not a big fan of John Tory either, but one thing's for certain - McGunity's a one termer.
Posted by: Andrew | 2006-01-31 10:03:45 AM
Maybe we can "thank" liberal supporters by sticking THEM with the bill for the EH-101 helecopter lawsuit...along with all the other Librano public thefts that are uncovered in the coming years.
Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2006-01-31 10:09:21 AM
Oh man, of all the things I never wanted to read here. McGuinty is a rat. I have no respect for him after the "health tax" broken promise and never will. he messed up my family's entire budget that year. Not to menion the fact he continues with this charade of throwing taxpayer millions in a legal battle against 407 ETR he knew from the start he couldn't win. But on he pressed. Plus his defence of Takar is typical Liberal arrogance.
Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-31 10:48:03 AM
Ontario used to be the strong man of Canada. Is it possible that the giant has weak feet now?
I wish they would question themselves on their values.
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-01-31 11:17:54 AM
I don't understand this supposed fiscal imbalance. First of all, I come from Ontario and I don't support the redistribution of wealth that is, supposedly, so much a part of Canadian 'values'; in this country, we claim to support the socialist notion of the redistribution of wealth. How, then, can Ontario complain about the fact it doesn't receive back every dollar that it's citizens pay out in tax? If Ontario truly believed in the system to which it belongs , then it would accept that, due to it's enormous and 'disproportionate' wealth, it will inevitably be responsible for bearing the burden of supporting the disadvantaged of other provinces, whose ability to generate tax revenue may not always be commensurate to it's needs; this is one of the many benefits of our confederation.
Don't tell me you didn't know that Canada adheres to this one, binding, principle?
- From Each According To His Ability, To Each According To His Need -
Posted by: Clayton | 2006-01-31 11:19:43 AM
That must have been some strong kool-aid for people to still be feeling the effects two years later. I don't agree with much of what Eves did, including the so-called "mess" he left, which was in reality about a $1 B shortfall in revenue thanks to SARS and other catastrophes, plus $2 B in assets to be sold.
The McGuintyites could have balanced the budget but they chose not to, seeing an opportunity instead. McGuinty turned this $2-3 B potential deficit (there were 6 mo. left in the fiscal year) into a $5.6 B deficit, and every 6 months he has a different deficit projection. In his first budget, he broke his "no tax hike" election promise, which he was still saying he would keep less than a month before the budget.
In that first budget he and his finance minister Sorbara also tried to get away with an audacious accounting trick, by booking the elimination of energy-related liabilities over 15 years as $3.9 B in revenue in ONE year. The Provincial Auditor called them on that Enron-style scam and they were forced to re-jig their numbers.
Spending on education has skyrocketed, but mandatory teacher recertification has been eliminated, and the McGuintyites are going to lower the primary testing standards so they can meet their target of 75% of kids meeting the standard. And teachers and school boards still want more money.
Health: They spent millions "nationalizing" a handful of MRI and CT clinics that provide scans that are paid for by OHIP. Countless already-existing "private" clinics are still in business. They are now embarking on a scheme to impose something called Local Health Integration Networks across the province, which will cost millions in bureaucracy, consulting fees, severance payouts, etc. while the payoff in improved health care is questionable at best.
Ethics: Sorbara first came under a cloud in early 2004 due to RCMP, OSC and RevCan investigations into his former company, but refused to step aside. He didn't step aside until he was actually named in a search warrant last October. Even worse is the case of transport minister Harinder Takhar: he was found by the Integrity Commissioner to be in breach of integrity legislation for having a riding official as the trustee of his "blind" trust, but McGuinty refuses to remove Takhar from cabinet.
I don't have room to go into all McGuinty's broken promises and failings here, but check out the newsroom at www.johntory.ca for more info.
Granted, John Tory is not Mike Harris (I've worked for both) and he does not pretend to be, but I think it's too early to consign him to obliviion. The party is going through a policy process that will wrap up around year-end. Stay tuned.
BTW, when Tory ran for Toronto mayor, his platform included waste incineration and hiring 400 more cops. He was ahead of his time and odds are he will be running on some forward-looking stuff in 2007 also.
Posted by: Joan Tintor | 2006-01-31 11:25:03 AM
Oh, by the way : Check out the Freedom Party
do they have a chance? I don't care!
Posted by: Clayton | 2006-01-31 2:15:03 PM
Daltoon is simply a commie from top to bottom, and a lying commie at that. I'm sorry that you're "irked" by the health care tax, but I'm downright pissed about it. Not least because within a few days of it being announced, and hearing Daltoon solemnly declare that "every cent will be used to improve health care in Ontario", I started to hear a long list of non-health-care projects being touted as likely beneficiaries of the money. And because I feel like I've already paid double or triple for health care, but most of the money is sucked up by unionized bureaucrats' salaries and misspent on outrageously incompetent and corrupt capital projects.
Public education in Ontario is also a shambles. You can argue if you like about how much of that is due to Daltoon versus Eves or Harris, but the plain fact is, every new "improvement" that the pedagogical commissars in Moscow-on-the-Humber come up with only makes things worse. This is only continuing the trend that was well established back in my day when Bill Davis was "husbanding" the Ministry of Education. In fact idiots like Ernie and Daltoon are probably accelerating the destruction commenced in the 60s, no doubt because they're getting more and more desperate to fix what is so clearly a mess.
All of these problems are happening BECAUSE the services are managed centrally by politicians and bureaucrats. When you see politicians and bureaucrats in Cuba and North Korea trying to manage food production you are not surprised to find out that their people are starving. So why would you be surprised if Ontario's centrally managed health care and education systems produce waiting lists and illiterates? To sit here arguing about which of Daltoon "The Union's Puppet" McGimpy or John "Red" Tory could run these departments more efficiently is like trying to decide whether the shoe leather and bugs tasted better under Kim Jong Il or Kim Jong IIl.
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2006-01-31 9:11:44 PM
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