Ontario sleepwalkers: Ready to give another mandate to “sanctimonious and smug” Dalton McGuinty

The province of Ontario should be able to do better than Dalton McGuinty as Premier. We’ve suffered through four years of absolutely pointless, amoral, non-leadership from this Liberal creep, and it appears the sleepwalking zombies of my home province are ready to reward him with four more. Wednesday looks like it will be a sad day for Ontario.

Columnist Christina Blizzard was in on the Toronto Sun’s editorial board conference call with McGuinty Saturday, and came away feeling sickened by his impending victory. Read the entire column here.

McGuinty was so sanctimonious and smug, so settled in the groove of his message track, you know he’s on cruise control until Wednesday. That’s when voters will obediently do the knee-jerk thing and send him back to Queen’s Park.

Ask McGuinty why people are about to give him a new mandate, despite his broken-promise record, and you get this: “We have kept the overwhelming number of our promises.” Huh? Coal plants? Tax hikes? Autistic kids? Tolls on the 407?

…The most offensive part of his message track was his response to my colleague Michele Mandel, who asked about the way he has criticized parents who put their children in faith-based schools — other than Catholic ones — as “segregation and sequestration.”

Again, he was back on track.

“I don’t think it’s right to divide our kids. I think we should bring them together,” he said. Well, that’s not quite answering the question. The Liberals are the ones who have successfully positioned this as a divisive policy — and this province’s large Jewish community, along with Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and any other group that would like to educate their children in their faith are collateral damage.

Asked if he would apologize to the many Jewish groups that are deeply wounded by his statements about their schools, McGuinty came perilously close to a “some of my best friends are Jewish,” kind of response.

“I have got a great working relationship with Bernie (Farber, spokesman for the Canadian Jewish Congress) and the United Jewish Appeal. The fact is we don’t see things the same way,” McGuinty said.

Well, there are ways of saying that without tossing grenades during an election.

Just as good is David Warren’s Friday piece from the Ottawa Citizen, “A miserable choice for Ontario”. Some highlights:

Frequent readers of this space will guess I usually vote Conservative. The more attentive will recall that I bear something approaching ill-will towards the sitting Liberal premier, Dalton McGuinty, the apostate Catholic whose government has never done anything that did not annoy me. It began with their big fat lie, promising not to raise taxes before the last election, then raising them substantially the moment after they came to power, and trying to pass it off as an administrative technicality.

This is a government whose principal legacy will be its refusal to enforce the Police Services Act, and direct court orders, at the Caledonia native land claim stand-off, effectively withdrawing police protection from Caledonia residents being intimidated by politically motivated thugs.

But every day and in every way this government delivers itself of smug, posturing, politically correct, profoundly cynical, minor affronts to tradition and public order.

And in typical Liberal-machine fashion, they launched into their re-election campaign by tossing a big red herring on the table, making the central issue John Tory’s proposal to provide government funding for certain private religious schools, with lockstep support from the liberal media. An easy distraction from any serious discussion of the government’s appalling record.

Yet Mr. Tory’s proposal was itself a cynical gambit, to capture a conservative, rural constituency that he does not understand. (blogger’s note: I believe this sentence would be more accurate if the word “rural” was replaced with the word “ethnic” – as in, the influential Jewish community of Toronto).

He is a typical “technocrat” candidate for premier, with his senior executive background in a heavily regulated industry, who swims with the tide when he can find it. I have no confidence that he has any principles beyond his own desire for visible personal success, and am hardly alone in doubting that he believes in anything he says….

I advise others to vote for whichever candidate is likeliest to defeat the Liberal. Meanwhile I advise my reader to vote “early and often” against the noxious “MMP” referendum proposal, about which I wrote last Sunday. Killing “proportional representation” as dead as possible is, I think, the closest we can get in this election, to exercising real civic responsibility.

Our “first-past-the-post” options are ugly enough, without letting the political parties stack safe party lists with candidates who are even uglier.

Here’s where I stand: like Blizzard, I am shocked at how this sorry excuse for a Premier could possibly be fooling Ontario voters again. Like Warren, I’m not a Tory fan at all, and am frustrated that he’s the “conservative” choice. But given the choice, I’m voting for my PC candidate all the way, simply because Tory is our only hope of getting rid of the Libs. And, like Warren, I’m voting against the MMP voting proposal, because we certainly don’t need to make our Provincial legislature bigger and less accountable, while empowering more fringe whackos and party hacks.

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