The Globe's Gary Mason is another born and raised Ontarian turned remote observer and on this election day he offers his own thoughts that eerily parallel my own.
It seems like forever since the rest of Canada sat up and took notice of a premier that an Ontario vote produced. From the perspective of the West, at least, that might have been Progressive Conservative Mike Harris, author of the Common Sense Revolution and ideological soulmate of Alberta premier Ralph Klein.
But Mr. Harris eventually gave way to his Tory successor, the forgettable Ernie Eaves, who easily succumbed to Liberal Dalton McGuinty’s alluring message of hope and change. Although smart and affable, Mr. McGuinty had troubles in his decade-long tenure, and is notable for a legacy of unfathomable debt and questionable public policy decisions that left his successor, Kathleen Wynne, to clean up nearly insurmountable messes. She led the Liberals to re-election only because her main challenger, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, was a disaster.
Mr. Hudak gave way to Patrick Brown, whose political career exploded spectacularly amid sexual harassment allegations. This paved the way for, well, the person who could be the next premier – Doug Ford. Is it something in the water? Clearly, this is not the province of John Robarts and Bill Davis anymore.
The decline in Ontario’s political class has mirrored a ceaseless deterioration in the influence the province once yielded nationally. As the country’s most populous jurisdiction, Ontario still has plenty of weight to throw around. But in many ways, economic and political power in Canada has been shifting westward, along with people. Ontario no longer has the voice everyone must listen to in the federation. Toronto is still the greatest city in the country, but beyond its borders, the province’s landscape is littered with towns and cities in deep, deep trouble.
But it is amid this despair that Mr. Ford has, in part, found his support. His promise to make Ontario great again may echo Donald Trump, but it resonates with those who don’t necessarily pay attention to the finer details (or lack of them) of a party’s policy platform. Mr. Ford has spoken to hard-hit areas of the province in the same way Mr. Trump did to the rust belt in the Midwest. The Conservative Leader’s charge that the province’s standing in Canada, its clout and prosperity, have been undermined and squandered by corrupt elites, strikes home with people.
...As someone born and raised in Ontario, it’s sad and perplexing to see what’s happened to my former province. The country is stronger when Ontario is stronger. The country is better when Ontario’s political leaders aren’t consumed by scandal and crisis and the fallout from major public policy misfires that have burdened future generations with debt levels seldom imagined.
Ontario was once known for its stable, dependable leaders. It was a powerful and indomitable force that in many ways guided the political affairs of this country. Not these days. Today, from the outside at least, it looks like a province that has lost its way.That's not to say that the rest of the provinces have been all that much better. Ralph Klein, "Special Ed" Stelmach, Alison Redford or Glenn Clark, Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark and let's not forget the criminal enterprise known as the Grant Devine Conservatives. But they were never Ontario.
The legends who built Ontario are gone and, from what we've seen spread over the province at least since the 80s, they're probably not coming back. They'll be nowhere to be seen when the votes are counted today.
"Thoughts and Prayers" Ontario.
Voted for the NDP today. My second choice was the non of the above party, but they lacked a costed platform much like Doug Fords'. It doesn't matter much as Mississauga has always been purple. Sign wise in my riding it was 6 blue signs to 3 red to 1 orange.
Not too many socialists in the 905 methinks
We shall wait in trepidation, Willy. Good luck.
My,oh, my what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way...
On my way to the polls!
How are you getting there, Cap? Are you driving or are you dancing to the polls?
Walking, that's why my typing was so crappy! Alea iacta est as they said in old Rome. I hope my fellow citizens keep that flatulent Ford far away from the levers of power.
.. prediction - Doug Ford - Majority
like Jason Kenney he can't wait
to screw with school curriculums
and set back women's rights
Good one, Cap. I was relatively fluent in Latin - about half a century ago. That was passing. Good to walk to the polls. At least you'll get exercise for your efforts. Good Luck!
The nation's eyes are on you and your province, Sal. We too wait. Good luck and I so hope you're wrong.
I hate this Fake News weasel. And all the others saying Ontarians have no choice in this goddamn election. (Canadian Weasel News is even more disgusting than CNN.)
Andrea Horwath is a moderate. Her platform is simply about investing in people after 30 years of Fake Liberals making big promises and delivering nothing but incompetence, corruption, cutbacks, corporate tax cuts and lies.
God forbid the pendulum swings back towards the post-war Keynesian center of Lester Pearson for one or two election cycles. God forbid upper-crust moochers have to stop looting for one or two election cycles.
This British Colony is an absolute disgrace to the world. The phoniest idea of a country with the phoniest international image. One day it will be exposed.
Love Andrea! A real woman of the people. Great Canadian hoser accent! If Canada was a democracy, she would've got her well-earned shot at bat. But it is not.
But on a better note, can't wait till Trump kicks globalist butt at the upcoming "G6 + 1" summit (in said British Colony.) 6 bribe-takers vs one real man of the people. Let's see who comes out on top. (My money is on the King of All Media! Any takers?)
Here's some MOAR Gary Mason bootlicking gold:
Sorry, Vancouver: The rest of Canada needs pipelines
F*%k! A Ford majority. That's it, I'm moving to BC!
On second thought, I was in YVR last month when JT nationalized the pipeline. I was surprised at all the callers to the CBC afternoon show who were pleased by the move. "Good, they'll finally get it built!" seemed to be the sentiment. There's no shortage of morons wherever you turn these days.
There was money in Ontario in the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s all right.
It was called the branch plant economy, supported by tariffs and the Crow's Nest Pass transportation rates.
I worked for one such company, one that made electricity meters at double the cost of US product. Gillette had a shed turning out razor blades at high cost in Canada. And so on and so on.
The 1988 free trade agreement with the US began to end this oasis of false prosperity. NAFTA nailed the coffin lid shut
When we sent meters to the hinterlands outside Southern Ontario (or Montreal and Quebec City areas similarly privileged), preferential rail freight rates meant that if a batch were rejected at a utility by Industry Canada inspectors, it cost 4 times as much to return as to send out from Toronto.
The provinces knew that opening manufacturing plants outside Southern Ontario they would face RIDICULOUS freight costs. The West in particular complained, and with justification.
Ontario had the country sewn up.
How soon we all forget.
If you forget ACTUAL FACTS like this, and merely pine for the good old days, it surely means you were unaware of the disparity, just plain forgot, or don't think it matters.
But I remember it quite clearly - the Ontario unfair advantage. No wonder old pipe-smoking Bill Davis could afford to sit back and have a contented puff with his slippers on. All was fine in his world.
So let us wax poetic about an unreality paid for by the rest of the country. For that is what it was.
Makes perfect sense to overrule the super-majority and give a minority party absolute power! Crazy Brits have no taste, no culture and no soul; but they do excel at Orwellian double-think!
This lost battle can produce some big wins in The War:
1) The PC neocon brand gets totally trashed because Ford is way worse than Harper at a time when Canadians are fed up to the teeth with freaking Stephan Harper. (Stick a stake in him and Mulroney. Burn the bodies. Put the ashes on a rocket ship and fire them into the Sun! Whatever it takes!)
Ford's Ontario White Proud base - who look like religious fanatics witnessing the Second Coming - have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. They will all drag each other down.
2) Seeing Ontarians fed into the wood-chipper might light a fire under BC. Get voters to finally pass goddamn electoral reform. They have it in over 100 countries. Togoland is doing party lists! If it gets in BC, it can spread to other provinces: i.e., real democracy.
3) If the NDP sticks with Horwath they can displace the Liberal party in Ontario, like they did in Alberta and BC. She's a known quantity. Very likable. And she will lead the charge in tearing apart Ford's incompetence. (Who is not a likable person in the slightest - outside of his racist cult following.) She can drive right up the center to a fake majority in 2023 and bring electoral reform to Ontario.
4) The Neo-Liberal brand took a huge hit - again. The OLP lost official party status. LOOKS SO GOOD ON THEM! Will they ever learn?
Overall: looking good!
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