This is not my father’s Conservative Party. Don’t be conned

One year and 134 days. That’s how long Trump has been disgracing the office of the U.S. presidency. There’s a countdown timer on the internet; in fact, there are tons of them. I’m not the only one tired of waking up wondering what fresh hell has been unleashed overnight by the feeble-minded racist with the attention span of a toddler who is determined to reduce the country he leads to a pile of ashes.

But my anxiety is more for our country. I’ve watched a vile underbelly here rise up, emboldened by the actions of those to the south who are capitalizing on a terrible moment in history, one most of us thought could never be revisited. Pure hatred pours out of our headlines; what the hell is wrong with people?

I thought it couldn’t come here. I thought Canadians were better than this. I’m wrong. I’m watching an alleged former drug dealer who has proven he has zero grasp of how government works be nominated to run this province. And where once I might have been convinced that a terrible leader like Doug Ford could at least be surrounded by decent people to steer him right, I realize that is simply wishful thinking. Who stands proudly beside a man who, in his brief and shambolic political “career” at the municipal level (and he has exhibited little knowledge of knowing what each level of government is actually responsible for) repeatedly voted to cut the very things that a great city needs? Infrastructure, libraries, child care and water treatment. Remember Walkerton, anyone? Hey, let’s do that again.

Ford is a fan of restricting women’s right to choice, welcoming his caucus to go there. Bill 163, which finally blocks those who protest and harass women at abortion clinics, had total support from all parties (except for whackjob — sorry, “fringe” — MPP Jack McLaren) but still, to woo the religious right, Ford proudly (or cowardly; your call) came out against it. Getting rid of a health curriculum that is based on teaching our kids about consent and respect is high on his hit list — a program that brings Ontario up to date, not down some Marquis de Sade rabbit hole.

What are Ford’s foot soldiers — those MPPs who stand to get elected under his banner — going to do as their leader changes his mind depending on his audience? Will they have the stones to stick to original commitments or will they, like their counterparts in the U.S., instead stand for looking as inept as the man they support? Remember: many of those candidates made it onto the ballot over local riding objections. Imagine working years for a democratic process then having Mike Harris’s son be installed.

Forget the “but he’s a businessman” rhetoric. Citizens are not customers, and that is where the truly foolhardy get confused. If Doug Ford ran a restaurant, who do you think he would treat better? A well-heeled customer who dropped a lot of money in his establishment regularly, or someone who popped in and asked to use the washroom? A responsible government must be fair in its advocacy of doing the best for the most. Doesn’t make everyone happy all the time, but that is why it is work. Ford showed up for his last political job less than half the time. I wonder if he golfs.

You should care that his idea of a platform is, loosely, that he’ll figure it out as he goes along. We have a front-row seat to how that’s working. A week before the election, he finally offered some numbers on what his promises would cost, but not how they’d be paid for. That’s not a budget, that’s not a plan. That’s filling up your cart and getting to the checkout and clutching your pockets, surprised you have to pay. There is nothing more dangerous than ignorance and arrogance holding hands, and that is Doug Ford. Even as the U.S. provokes an all-out trade war with Canada, Ford remains “unwavering” in his support of the worst president in U.S. history. He will tie us to a regime that is going down, and most likely to jail.

I have always been a huge believer that people should vote. Become engaged, learn, vote, whoever you vote for. This time around, I have to wonder what kind of people can be bought with cheap beer.

He’s insulting you.

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7 responses to This is not my father’s Conservative Party. Don’t be conned

  1. Janet Simpson says:

    I love this post and agree 100% and I am assuming this was written before the latest news emerged about the lawsuit Renata had to start to fight the bully that is Doug Ford!

    P.S. I love your blog ;)

  2. Pat says:

    Great Article Lorraine! Doug Ford makes Trump look like a nice guy, almost.

  3. Sandy says:

    I totally agree!
    More than any other I can remember, this election really scares me.
    I never believed that Trump would ever win the nomination, much less the election so as crazy as it was that Ford won the leadership, the thought he could win this election is frightening.

  4. Zena says:

    Rant on.

    I completely appreciate this, but I honestly don’t believe it’s going to make any difference whatsoever. People are simply not listening. Disheartening as it may be (and as much as we like to trumpet it in all the classrooms), character does not matter. Integrity does not matter. Honesty does not matter. Lawfulness does not matter. Vision does not matter. Solidly formulated and laid-out plans do not matter. Longterm repercussions do not matter.

    Politics is really all about who gets to control the pot of money. And who benefits from its distribution. And who talks the prettiest lies in the most “aw, shucks” language. This province is not bankrupt. It will never be bankrupt. It’s just now going to be in control of the people who think the money should be distributed amongst their own select group of hucksters and cronies and corporate shills.

    And the rest of us can just shake our heads and hope we survive this latest upheaval while we wait for the next round of hucksters and their cronies to take over.

    I remember Walkerton. I remember Dudley George. I remember Kimberly Rogers. And, right now, while people are slavering over the prospect of a few dollars worth of tax cuts (which is all it will amount to for the average family when all is said and done), the people of Grassy Narrows are still being poisoned by the criminally high levels of mercury in their drinking water.

    Human beings are shameful creatures.

    Rant off.

  5. Zena says:

    Rant back on.

    No, wait—I can’t think of any acceptable words to express my anger and dismay. I’m just going to sit and stare at the wall for a while…

    Rant off.

  6. Colin Leyburn says:

    I just saw John Tory post a sign,”TTC for Sale, $100 Billion”, $1/beer, that’s 1980’s prices, reduce gas taxes, so much for cities getting money for public transit. How many of the other promises is he going to renege upon? I’m certain the media will be keeping a scorecard.

    We have seen this play out south of the border, he is going to hire is family members as senior advisors, his daughter played in the Lingerie Football league, so she is qualified to advise on many of the Ontario Ministries.

    My prediction is that he will be the first Premier to be ousted by their Party while Premier. I’m not a historian, so I don’t know if that has happened in Canada.

    He now controls a budget in the hundred of billions of dollars, a few million here or there, isn’t his problem.

    Ontario open for business, which means screw workers, the environment and Ontarians, as there will be winners and losers, and he doesn’t care about those folks.

    Ontario has just become a meaner Province with a bully in charge.

    Colin

  7. Pat says:

    Could be worse, could be Mike Harris.

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