The Shotgun Blog
Sunday, October 14, 2007
A Note on the Recent Ontario Provincial Election
I had expected Tory's Tories to do badly, but not this badly, worsting Ernie Eves mediocre 2003 performance. The most important thing to remember from this election is a statistics: 31.64%. That is the percentage of the popular vote captured by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Under the leadership of Mike Harris the party captured 44.8% of the popular vote in 1995 and 45.1% in 1999. Hugh Segal, John Tory and the rest of the Red Tory crew, please explain yourselves. I, and many like me, are often accused of political nostalgia. We want Mike Harris, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to resurrect themselves. Times have changed and we must change with the times. Ontario and Canada face new challenges. Very true. So why, my dear Red Tory friends, do you keep proposing the solutions of the 1970s? If yearning for the happy days of Mike Harris is being stuck in the past what's trying to get Bill Davis II elected Premier of Ontario? Cutting edge? I want a conservative leading the Conservative Party of Ontario. The tactics are debatable, the values are not. As Maggie pointed out, the facts of life are conservative. Until Ontario's Conservatives re-gain the courage of their convictions we're stuck with Dalt the Default. There is one spot of hope in these dismal results, the election of Randy Hillier, albeit by the narrowest of margins, in his Lanark riding.
The trick for Mr. Hillier going forward is not abandon his convictions and to improve his manners. The outsider sometimes needs to heckle to get attention. Being arrested for civil disobedience is not something, however, you want keep up as an MPP. After the 1999 election debate I recall one journalist describing Mike Harris' performance as almost presidential. This journalist was no admirer of the former premier, but the redneck from Nipissing had transformed himself into a Canadian statesman, even to his enemies. During this election's coverage on TVO, the former Harris minister Janet Ecker made mention of the social changes that had taken place in the 905 area since 1995, a bastion of Conservative support at the time. Since then, noted Ecker, the 905's electoral behavior was beginning to follow that of the 416, stemming, she noted, from the increased urbanization of this region of the province.
The real gap, she continued, developing in Ontario and Canada is not between classes and regions, but between rural and urban. John Tory, who is Toronto down to his pricey loafers, was seen as the perfect vehicle to bridge that gap. No one seems to have bothered asking what exactly he was going to bridge that gap with, aside from his lovely smiling self. Randy Hillier's political theme thus far has been property rights. Hillier has insisted, despite assertions from his critics and some of his admirers, that he is not fighting for land rights, but for property rights as such.
The encroachment of government on the property rights of private citizens is a phenomenon far more keenly felt in rural areas, where the ownership and management of property is often essential to livelihoods, than in urban areas. Yet a curtailment of freedom, such as the use and exchange of property, harms us all. Rent controls and many zoning laws limit housing stock in urban areas. High taxes discourage investment. There is an ample and fertile field for Government to Back off in Toronto, Ottawa, London or Hamilton. Urban areas tend to lean Left not so much because they are more ethnically diverse, and therefore supposedly more tolerant - never is it asked who is tolerating who - but because of the economic nature of cities. The division of labour is far more intensive than in rural areas. Most urbanites perform very specialized and often quite esoteric skills to earn a living. It is easier for an urbanite to see themselves as part of a collective, less of an individual, than a farmer who is essentially a small - though sometimes big - scale entrepreneur. The best way to bridge the urban-rural divide is not with rather shallow positioning and image politics, but with clear, simple and good ideas. Freedom is as good an idea as it gets.
Cross posted at the Gods of the Copybook Headings
Posted by Richard Anderson on October 14, 2007 | Permalink
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Well, who didn't see this coming:
"Ready for more hikes? Ontarians already pay some of the highest taxes in the country, but more are to come"
By LINDA LEATHERDALE
Did you read his lips?
"We're not going to raise taxes," Dalton McGuinty promised.
Well, just like the lies he told us four years ago, that was before the election. This is after. So, here we go.
"Linda, rumour is high in the finance department at Queen's Park that after the federal budget reduces the GST by 1% and cuts personal taxes, the Liberals will introduce a 2% PST increase, with 1% for the municipalities and 1% for public transit," states an e-mail from a reader who will remain anonymous.
The e-mail went on: "They say this is why (Toronto Mayor David) Miller laid off in the provincial election."
As I've warned, we've been fooled again. Prime Minister Stephen Harper gives another 1% cut in the hated GST to 5%, and Premier McGuinty hikes the 8% PST to 10%, if this rumour is correct.
Well, no sooner did Flip-Flop McFly win another majority government than a congratulatory letter from the Toronto Board of Trade landed on his desk urging him to get on with funding public transit and reforming the provincial sales tax (PST).
The board is adamant it doesn't want higher taxes, but with a $500-milion budget shortfall at City Hall "we have to be realistic," spokesman Glen Stone said.
On public transit, the board wants a return to Queen's Park sharing the funding of both capital and operating costs of transit, plus increased support for the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority.
McGuinty has already promised to spend $11 billion in capital investment on transit in the GTA over the next 13 years. And with PST reform, the board not only wants municipalities to be exempt from paying the provincial sales tax -- but it wants the PST changed to a value-added tax, like the GST, meaning manufacturers would no longer pay the PST twice -- once on raw materials, then on manufactured goods.
Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 1:21:20 PM
Yadda yadda yadda
Just blow that high tax pop stand and come on out West where the real future of Canada is.
Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 3:06:56 PM
Geez Karolak,that's one fine post but I fail to see what it has to do with the topic at hand. Perhaps I'm a little thick but......
In any event, I have no intention of funding transit or any other goddamn thing that has to do with Toronto or any other "urban" area. The whole
thing is nothing but a ruse to keep the Left-Wingnuts in The Centre of The Universe voting Liberal.
McFriggin'Liar tries this crap and he's gonna see
his head on a pike. Pinky swear!
Posted by: atric | 2007-10-14 3:12:43 PM
Nicely written and very helpful forward thinking article.
I had to pick my jaw up off of the floor after reading your post.
I was going to ask or comment generally, something along the line of: "How on earth can you folks develop an oxymoronic political party name like "Progressive-Conservative?" But reading about "three parents" named on a child's birth certificate makes me almost just give up.
It's Sunday. I'll just pray.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-14 3:17:41 PM
Yeah, Conrad, pray, pray long and hard for the boneheads in Ontario, only 52% bothered to vote.
Pinocchio is back in his seat in Queen's Park Toronto. Toronto and environs is the center of the Ontario Universe as far as voting power goes, they love Liberals, Libranos, Lieberals, no matter.
It's just so precious that one child can have three parents, how about that for child care?
We have also our Anglican Church members voting in favor of blessing same sex marriages. They of course baptize the children of same sex couples, never mind how they acquire them. The child is blameless of course so it's the right thing to do.
Times they are a-changin'. Time will determine if it's for better or for worse.
Posted by: LizJ | 2007-10-14 3:53:19 PM
Publius: Great post.
Worth repeating: "The best way to bridge the urban-rural divide is not with rather shallow positioning and image politics, but with clear, simple good ideas". Beautiful!
Hope more than a few take note.
Posted by: Liz J | 2007-10-14 4:06:39 PM
Liberals vs Conservatives in Ontario (and elsewhere)
The problem is that modern day Conservatives are not only afraid to walk the walk, but they aren't even willing to talk the talk.
The result is we have the Spineless vs the Cowards.
It's a no win scenario
We continue voting for nothingness.
Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 4:08:08 PM
John: Those who run under the Conservative banner have to get past the idea they have to be Liberal Light in order to get elected.
Posted by: LizJ | 2007-10-14 4:50:07 PM
So - Liz and John - the answer is to abandon democracy? Is the problem that not enough Canadians share the conservative ideology? Or do you think that Canadians are really conservatives, hold those views but don't get represented at the ballot box?
Posted by: Rob Gilgan | 2007-10-14 6:17:50 PM
Abandon democracy? What the hell do you mean?
Those who have come here from non-democratic regimes are shocked to learn so many of us don't exercise our franchise. Sure we are free to vote or abstain but abstaining is not the act of a responsible citizen IMHO.
Posted by: LizJ | 2007-10-14 6:52:50 PM
The inference in your earlier posts was that we should be governed by an ideology supported by the minority of voters. That would mean abandoning democracy.
Posted by: rob Gilgan | 2007-10-14 6:57:05 PM
You mean like when the Lieberals ruled - or when Clinton became president with 43% of the vote - then 49% - but never with 50.1%.
Posted by: obc | 2007-10-14 7:00:56 PM
What we have now is Liberal called Liberal or Liberal called conservative.
More Canadians are conservative when they understand the difference between socialist liberal policies and what they truly mean, than you think.
Reality is a conservative concept and if one is allowed to glimpse at reality long enough to connect the dots, they will vote accordingly.
How you feel about USA, the global climate or the Iraq war is not what daily life is all about, but that is all we are fed so one cannot make sense of what is important in one's life when deciding where to put the X.
If we had real conservatives dealing with the real issues of having an opportunity to get a real education rather than an indoctrination by the left, to get real health care when you need it, to have real law enforcement and protection from street crime ... then Canadians would know what they are truly voting for.
Other than those who live in the fantasy of the workers paradise, you know the one that existed in Eastern Europe where they built walls to keep those euphoric workers home (no one defected to their side) ... in North Korea where the happy workers are starving, in Cuba where it has become respectable for mom and sister to work as hookers to feed dad and bothers, most people at heart are conservative.
That is what I am talking about. We have no real political choice in Canada because we have lying politicians who are so afraid to offend anyone that they all pretend to be soft and warm and fuzzy in the hopes that we may love them enough to give them access to the federal or provincial trough. When their they will do absolutely nothing to change the status quo.
Are you getting any of this ... Robbie?
Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 7:03:29 PM
I don't suggest abandoning democracy, my point was that we have mere shadow of what it is supposed to be and I blame everyone from the idiots who run for office to the idiots who believe their bullshit.
But then with the kind of educational system and socialist mainstream media we have nowadays, I suppose this is as good as it gets.
We need a revolution is what we need.
Posted by: John | 2007-10-14 7:07:49 PM
Sad commentary on the ON election. My take on things; running JT as "McGuinty Lite" was never going to work. Why would anyone vote for a clone when they can vote for the real thing? Maybe the provincial PCs need to be absorbed into a new party, like the way the Federal Conservatives absorbed the old Federal PCs.
Posted by: Eastern Rebellion | 2007-10-14 7:15:27 PM
"During this election's coverage on TVO, the former Harris minister Janet Ecker made mention of the social changes that had taken place in the 905 area since 1995, a bastion of Conservative support at the time. Since then, noted Ecker, the 905's electoral behavior was beginning to follow that of the 416, stemming, she noted, from the increased urbanization of this region of the province."
This is nonsense unless "urbanization" is code for mass third world immigration. The only change in the 905 is the size of the vismin population of which 70% vote Liberal. Combine that with 54% of a Catholic population that choses Liberal and voila, it's easy to see the reason for Tory decline in the 905. Demographics is destiny.
Posted by: DJ | 2007-10-14 8:56:50 PM
The key to understanding the vast Tory loss lies in seeing the effect of media conditioning on the voter.
Tory had this in the bag and nothing he did screwed it up...what happened was the Liberals had their palls commission BS polls which their media apparatchiks repeated endlessly the las 10 days of the campaign...people were essentially told that Tory could not possibly win because some partisan Liberal BS poll blasted in all MSM said so.
So if you are a typical gormless morOntario voter and believe all you are told by MSM..then what will you do when you are barraged with every media pundit saying Tory cannot possibly win??...if you are a swing voter you vote for the winner because you like winners...if you were a protest voter you stay home because you feel the result is preordained and your vote is pointless.
Thus we see the lowest voter turn out in Ontario history and the widest majority for a corrupt. inept government that the majority hated going into an election.
Issues had nothing to do with the result, Tory's policies had nothing to do with the result...it was pure calculated voter conditioning with BS polls and MSM doom saying...if Tory was JC hisself, he could not fight the influence of the liberal coopted media and their contrived "polls".
Posted by: Bill | 2007-10-15 9:56:49 AM
Re Publius' article- I agree that running another red tory nice guy was a bad idea. Maybe we can talk Randy Hillier into taking a shot at the PC leadership. We need not just a true conservative but one who can get steamed up enough to get VOTERS steamed up too!
DJ, I missed that bit about Ecker's comments but it is essentially what I've said elsewhere. Our demographics are vastly different than the ROC but time and again it is ignored when people try to analyze Ontario voting patterns.
Bill, I agree about the MSM.
Posted by: Larry | 2007-10-15 3:44:01 PM
No the reason JT failed is because he did not utilise the Sailer strategy.
"By Steve Sailer
Right after the GOP's tepid showing in the 2000 election, I wrote an article "GOP Future Depends on White Vote" that got VDARE.COM in general and me in particular banned from FreeRepublic.com, the self-proclaimed “Premier Conservative News Forum.”
JimBob and his enforcers apparently thought it was “racist” of me to point out the indisputable fact that whites cast 81% of the 2000 vote. I heinously added:
"Here at VDARE, we've discussed repeatedly how dire will be the long-term impact of immigration on the Republican Party. It's crucial to understand, however, that the long-term has not quite arrived. The GOP [can] save itself by changing the immigration laws. This can be seen by examining the 2000 election results closely. The reason George W. Bush struggled so much to eke out a 271-267 win in the Electoral College…is not that he got crushed in the minority vote 77% to 21%. No, it's that he commanded only a measly 54% of the white vote."
Tory tried to buy vismin votes and that strategy will fail eternally. Of course there are no exit polls to confirm this position, naturally.
Posted by: DJ | 2007-10-15 4:11:35 PM
Good points - all true. One thing missing. New Canadians, especially those from the Third World but also many from the Second World. It will take two generations for them to come around to a different point of view than "Liberals like immigrants. We are immigrants. We're just happy to be here. Vote Liberal." By the time their grandkids turn 18 and perhaps develop a different point of view, the Liberal populace will be replenished by newer arrivals.
Posted by: Cynic | 2007-10-15 7:40:25 PM
. . . but not by births because Lieberals are killing off their natural offspring through abortions.
Posted by: obc | 2007-10-15 7:50:02 PM
Posted by: runescape gold | 2008-04-07 1:18:05 AM
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