Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ugh, not another Mike Harris

Mike Harris made me a Liberal. I have always been a liberal but it was Mike Harris who made me become a partisan for the Party. Before Mike Harris I voted for whoever I thought would do the best job regardless of political affiliation.

However, when I saw him importing the ideology of Newt Gingrich and his merry band of wingnuts into Canada I knew I did not have that luxury anymore. His idea of blaming the poor for the last recession and punishing them for it just grated against all that I thought was right. Nobody chooses to be poor and they are a symtom of economic problems not the cause. So, I looked for and found a political party that generally matched my view on the role of governments in society and began working for them. Needless to say that was the Liberals. (Although, the LPC's treatment of Mr. Dion has caused me to reconsider that at the federal level.)

So, when I saw that Tim Hudak won the leadership of the Ontario PCP I shuddered and thought not again.

Certainly, everybody believes that Mr. Hudak has little chance in the next election but they said the same thing about Mr. Harris.

He was leading a third place party that had an ideology that went against the progressive instincts of the majority of Ontario voters. I like many others believed that Ontario voters would not buy his blame the poor philosophy nor would they fall for the promise of deep tax cuts while maintaining government services.

My was I and everybody else wrong. The recession of the 90s changed the progressive nature of Ontario voters and the electorate was ripe for the lie of low taxes and gold plated government services.

We now find ourselves in another recession. Ontario is being particularly hard hit so we are setting up the 1995 scenario again for 2011. This time however the PCPO is in second place and the Ontario electorate has demonstrated a few times since 1995 that they are not nearly as progressive as they were beforehand. As well, we have seen on more than one occasion in more than one jurisdiction that the electorate is willing to buy the lie about low taxes and good government service, Ontarians demonstrating it at least three times since 1995. Finally, Dalton McGuinty will be seeking his third mandate and fighting his fourth election. That is difficult when times are good so I can only imagine how difficult it will be in the aftermath of one of the worst recessions Ontario has ever experienced.

I would urge Ontario Liberals to not underestimate Mr. Hudak or overestimate the progressive nature and political awareness of the Ontario electorate. They are going to have to find another argument than he is a Mike Harris "clone". That argument will not work. We have former Harrisites in the Federal cabinet, put their by the voters of Ontario, twice. Mike Harris will never be forgiven by Liberal and NDP partisans for what he did to Ontario but that attitude is not shared by Ontario voters at large so you had better come up with a counter to Mr. Hudak that does not involve vilifying Mike Harris.

You have two years, I suggest you get started.

13 Comments:

Blogger Prairie Kid said...

I am sitting in the West and in Saskatchewan (right-wing government) and in Manitoba (left-wing government) I don't see any signs of a recession. Maybe you should rethink your political affiliation somewhat. And to make matters worse, Ontario is projected to stay in recession for a while. And Manitoba and Saskatchewan are projected to fare better than the rest of Canada.

June 28, 2009 1:15 PM  
Blogger Lizt. said...

Ontario is mainly manufacturing, and that is the difference between Ontario and other Provinces,you mentioned.Tell me what would a Right Winger do for Ontario? Manitoba is not Right Wing.

June 28, 2009 1:24 PM  
Blogger Prairie Kid said...

Ask yourself this question.

Is Ontario better off today than when Mike Harris ran the province?????

June 28, 2009 2:11 PM  
Blogger Lizt. said...

in many things yes, schools, hospitals etc.. and as you say. we are in a recession. before this,we were much better off, than when Harris was in.

June 28, 2009 2:39 PM  
Blogger RuralSandi said...

Which government Prairie Kid has nothing to do with the recession and you obviously do not understand what Ontario went through in the Harris years. You're just a western partisan that's trying to scare or convince us it would be better if Ontario were right wing - it didn't work then and it won't work now.

Also, there's much more to it than the economy - it's other damaging policies that Ontario's right wing nuts have

You see, Hudak has no more chance of bringing back manufacturing or cleaning up a "world" recession than anyone else.

Unless you understand it, you shouldn't be commenting.

June 28, 2009 4:31 PM  
Blogger Prairie Kid said...

Ruralsandi . . . If governments have nothing to do with the recession, why are Liberals blaming Harper for the recession? You can't have it both ways.

June 28, 2009 5:14 PM  
Blogger Dante said...

There are many of us who look on the Harris years with nostalgia.

There are many of us who went to sleep after successive red tories were put in charge of the party.

There are many of us ready to dig deep should we ever see a candidate worth motivating ourselves.

The neo-fascists who dominate the liberal party and has strong representation in the PC Party need to be answered. Creating law after useless law is not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for someone who will dismantle the government in a substantial way. I want nuisance laws and regulations to be stuck from the books. I want cops to go after real criminals instead of spending all of their time and resources into finding speeders or persecuting drivers who had the gall to drink one beer.
We are way over governed and that needs o stop.

June 28, 2009 5:17 PM  
Blogger RuralSandi said...

Prairie Kid - I see you're everywhere today - it's not the cause the recession - it's how it's handled - duh.

And, some of the other views and policies of Hudak are alarming.

June 28, 2009 6:29 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

PK:

You do not blame Stephen Harper for the economic problems in Canada but you blame Dalton McGuinty for the economic problems in Ontario.

Intellectually consistant much?

Dante:

So I guess that you must really dislike the Conservatives as they have a very large segment of the party that would just love to bring in unnecessary social laws covering a whole host of issues including marriage and abortion?

Indeed, both Mr. Harper and Mr. Hudak have made statements about these kinds of issues in the past.

June 28, 2009 6:42 PM  
Blogger Lizt. said...

Neo-fascists are to the very right of the political spectrum...it is not the Liberal party!

June 28, 2009 7:00 PM  
Blogger Dante said...

ottlib

Make no mistake...the Conservatives are losing my support daily with their draconian crime bills.
Their crackdown on pot is crazy. Why put considerable resources to prosecute people doing something many MP's have done themselves?

Lizt...get a clue. Partisan politics is an illusion that is constructed to get people yo think that there are choices. These guys are all the same or at least become the same over time. You are already in chains and you don't even recognize it. The whole system has been moving towards classical fascism for some time. Government controls every facet of our lives from how we should raise our kids to how our assets are disposed of in death. We can't stand on a corner drinking a beer with a neighbour nor idle our cars in frigid temperatures. We can't fish without a license nor can we buy eggs or milk from a local farmer. I could go on but I'd be writing all night. Liberty and freedom once had some meaning. Our governments now spend all their time figuring out how to erode the very concept.

June 28, 2009 9:19 PM  
Blogger Lizt. said...

Some of those things according to my grandmother, you could do when she was young it is not new..when could anyone sit on a corner and drink beer..are you nuts?
Since when can't you buy your eggs and milk from a local farmer...just go to a farmer's market. Idling a car is not good for the car, nor the environment.
The Cons in Ottawa are taking away our freedom of the Internet, among other things.

June 28, 2009 10:55 PM  
Blogger sjw said...

"Mike Harris made me a Liberal."

As did Stephen Harper for me. When I discovered in May 2007 he was an evangelical christian I immediately joined the Laurier club. Last month I joined the party. I would like to become more actively involved, but my local riding association is proving to be a tough nut to crack. That actually may be alright by me as some of the folks at the grass roots level aren't exactly my cup of tea. Besides I like being on the sidelines doling out cash. ;-)

June 29, 2009 3:31 PM  

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