Thursday, October 11, 2007

Business as Usual in Ontario

Well, Dalton McGuinty's Liberals got a majority government from a turnout of 50% of the electorate. And Mixed Member Proportional voting got rejected by roughly 60 % of that 1/2 of the electorate that voted.

Not exactly a good day for democracy in Ontario. But then again, no day is really a good day for democracy in Ontario. We have a asinine media system, we have a political culture dominated by two pro-capitalist political party, and we have an electorate of uninformed chumps or bitter, apathetic communities.

(That's supposedly the "elitist" in me. Calling people who welcomed the Harris tax cuts but who couldn't make the connections between those tax-cuts and the higher property taxes that Harris's bullshit finance ministers made inevitable through downloading of provincial responsibilities to the municipalities. That makes them uninformed. They paid just as much, if not more, in property taxes and user-fees, as they saved in Harris's tax-cuts. That makes them chumps. The fact that McGuinty then slapped a "healthcare premium" - that doesn't go to healthcare but to general revenues - and delisted more services from OHIP makes them even bigger chumps than before. I guess it's "elitist" of me to tell the truth.)

When I try to think of the good that the McGuinty Liberals did (aside from being not as destructive as the Harris/Eves Tories, which isn't an accomplishment so much as being what you'd expect from any human being) all I can think of is the Greenbelt legislation.

After that, all I've got is the healthcare premium, the $40,000 a year pay increase, allowing the Caledonia First Nations protest to fester, making the Special Diet Supplement much harder to get (after people started trying to use it), support for corrupt "Public-Private-Partnership" scams and, basically, maintaining the ridiculous provincial-municipal financing that the Harris troglodytes set up.

Not really much of anything. But a lot of Ontarians are still pretty comfortable. And that's the mark of a political-economic system, isn't it? I'm prepared to give this system it's due in that regard. But what's always been important for me is that this system is founded on cruelty internationally, injustice and inequality locally, and ecological unsustainability. And, truth be told, it wouldn't be all that hard to just make it a little bit better.

People in Ontario pay more in taxes than they need to for the amount of services they receive. And we continue to pile on the deficits in either monetary or infrastructure terms, as McGuinty gets to coast on being not a complete ham-fisted monster like Mike Harris was.

I suspect that the turnout was so low because a lot of Ontario PC voters stayed home rather than vote for the imbecilic religious pandering of John Tory, or, more accurately, the "whiz-kids" who base their strategies on the US repugnican vermin who gave bush II two lost elections and who have alienated 70% of the US electorate. These Ontario "whiz-kids" lost sight of the obvious reality that Ontario is not the United States, and John Tory and the Ontario PC's have paid the price.

I think a lot of other people stayed home because they don't think their vote matters. And they're right to an extent. But apathy also serves the status-quo, and the elite strategists know this. That's why they work so hard to engender resignation and apathy among the population.

McGuinty set the MMP referendum up to lose. It had an impossibly high bar to jump, and there was nowhere near enough time to adequately debate the issue. Besides, first-past-the-post works wonderfully well for the two mainstream parties, so why would they seriously consider abandoning it.

My prediction is that McGuinty has restrained his neoliberal arrogance in his first term, unsure of which way the wind was blowing. With this mandate from 1/2 the eligable electorate looking like a powerful majority on paper, McGuinty is going to think that the people really like him, and we're going to see these Liberals inflict more utter crap, Paul Martin, Pierre Pettigrew type stew, on the province.

Then the people aroused, will "throw the bums out" and vote Progressive Conservative. It's going to have to get a lot worse before it gets any better.


Wayne said...

"Then the people aroused, will "throw the bums out" and vote Progressive Conservative."

That is my dream as well. :)

thwap said...