I read Jim Bertram’s comments on my recent letter regarding the upcoming provincial election with some bemusement. I have the greatest respect for Jim, but, in my opinion, he is backing the wrong horse if he expects things to get better here in Ontario under Doug Ford.
I was also puzzled by Jim’s expectation of getting backing from the Liberals or the NDP for his projects, when, as I have pointed out in a previous letter, this riding has voted Conservative for the last 184 years. Why would you expect any help from any party that this community has voted against for almost two centuries? Sorry, Jim, but that defies logic. That he gets support from Steve Clark should be expected. After all, it is in his job description.
I must say that it was also a bit of a disappointment to see Jim trot out the same old Conservative diatribe against two of the opposition parties, but then, I know a lot of Conservatives who buy into this form of political and character assassination. It reminds me of the support that Doug Ford got from his “Ford Nation”, when all he had to do was to fix a few potholes to get their undying gratitude. Not “big picture” people.
Jim did forget about the Green Party though, although he is far from alone there. I see that the media are again excluding the Greens from the party debates, even though they are as qualified as the other three parties to be in these debates. That they get the same level of government funding as the other three parties is proof of that, and from what I see in the newspapers, it is only the Conservative party that is holding out from giving them a seat at the debate table. Still, what can you expect from a Party that cannot even hold a democratic leadership race, and then allows the winner to rewrite their policy?
Jim goes on to wax eloquent about Steve Clark’s attributes. Now, I am sure that Steve is a good man, judging from all that I have heard about him; but, for me, he is in the wrong party. It would seem that Conservatives in this riding don’t seem to mind that Doug Ford has tossed out the Conservative Party’s platform, known as the Peoples Guarantee, and has substituted his own narrow-minded (my opinion) agenda for this province. If Steve Clark is half the man he is purported to be, I suspect that he may have a few problems trying to rationalize how Doug Ford can be allowed to foist an agenda on this province which runs so counter to what the Conservatives were going to present prior to Patrick Brown’s demise.
I have read reports that this leadership race and its results have thrown the Conservative Party into internal chaos, shown by the fact that nobody appears to be capable of reining this guy in. You have to wonder about their ability to govern when one man, alone, can influence everything that a Party stands for. But then, we have a prime example of this on display just south of the border.
What we are witnessing here in Ontario is an attempt at a form of authoritarianism, which in itself is a subversion of the democratic process. This is what happens when good people fail to notice what is happening, and, in turn, fail to try and curb the excesses. People have been blindsided by the populism that Doug Ford espouses, but, make no mistake, he will throw the proletariat a few crumbs to appease them, then make sure that his corporate friends are well looked after, usually to the detriment of the people he purports to speak for.
I look around me, and see people whose hatred of the Liberals is blinding them as to what a government under Doug Ford will do. My caution to you is: be careful what you wish for.