The chronicle of the Ontario government’s misguided policies is a how-to manual on screwing an accommodating, supine population. It details how to openly bribe segments of society in exchange for votes. (See JK, and tuition refunds.) It shows how to lie enormously because voter memory has a half-life of 24 hours. (See health tax and HST.) How to burn money if that’s what it takes to con the voters. (See cancelled gas powered generators.) How to embark on a huge energy boondoggle at enormous cost to the province, while cooing to the willing suckers about “clean air for their children”. (See Green Energy Plan.) How to fatten the wallets of teachers and other public servants – even as the rest of Ontario was bailing out from the Great Recession – in exchange for voter loyalty. (Teachers salaries have risen nearly 40% during McGuinty’s reign of error.) How to turn the engine of Canada’s economy into a beggar province. And on, and on…
I live in Windsor but I was not among those who were awaiting the coming of premier Pupatello, with breathless anticipation. She did nothing to deserve the title, nor did any of the others. Their records recommend them all to retirement, and like the breathless elite of Windsor, condemn the population of Ontario to democracy’s purgatory. The mugging of Ontario by these, in full view of the passive electorate, implies that our concept of democracy is broken.
There is no need to search the ruins for lessons learned. The phenomena that caused it have been on display since the word liberal was invented. But it will come as a surprise to see our face on the cover of the book. We are the stars. We swallowed the lies (“no new taxes”) and did nothing. We let them divide us from society in small segments (smokers, social drinkers, dog owners, young drivers, junk food snackers, etc.) and looked the other way. We let them double our hydro rates (more to come), and bribe us with a small token taken from our pocket – and we have yet to react. And on, and on.
Finally they will remove from their banners the picture of a man who ultimately was revealed as a coward, and replace it with one of his clones. Soon we will be tempted to conclude that everything is new, and ok. The fools among us will believe them. Those who are bribed again, (teachers?) will again jump at the bait. Almost half of the electorate, will stick with hockey, dancing with stars, Canadian idol, etc., as their opiate, and leave democracy to others.
Can you blame the bribed for their luck, or the indifferent for ignoring our fate, or the gullible for endorsing looney ideas, or fools for believing at face value their voting directions. Emphatically, yes! They are responsible when democracy fails in its promise. They fail in their duty when they are unaware of the issues, or take someone else’s word for who to elect. They cast shame on our treatment of the gift of freedom and the right to vote, when they lose that right through their ignorance and indifference. They have demonstrated by tolerating nine years of stumbling leadership, that they are not worthy of democracy.