Monday, December 8, 2008

Double Standards

I don't like Bob Rae because he stupidly infuriated the labour movement, and basically panicked when premier of Ontario, and bought into all the neoliberal, capitalist bullshit about how social justice, the arts, the environment, etc. are all just frills, to be afforded when the capitalist economy is doing well.

At the same time, I've said on numerous occasions, the ONDP was the best party the province could have had during that lengthy, Bank of Canada (and then Allan Greenspan)-caused recession. The plodding oafs in the Ontario PC or the Ontario Liberal parties would have been more than happy to impose catastrophic spending cuts, doing more damage to the province's social fabric.

However, to this day, the ONDP and its former leader Rae receive condemnation for their "disastrous economic record." I've never heard of any other party or any other leader receive such constant, perpetual mention of the economic conditions during their government. It's as if no other party ever had a recession; no other leader ever had deficits!

To see the unjust double standard here, just look at the media treatment of incompetent asswipe finance minister Jim Flaherty. He's the same bungling idiot today in Ottawa that he was as Ontario finance minister in the 1990s. During the middle of the Clinton prosperity (mostly a mirage, but with good economic indicators nonetheless) Flaherty managed to reduce the deficit, but only by breaking the backs of the municipalities, many major schoolboards, selling the province's assets to friends in business at fire-sale prices and through vast, cruel social service cuts. Even then his record was unimpressive compared to many other provinces.

But even after his rock-headed economic statement, which is universally condemned as a disaster, there's no historical context for people, to help them understand that this stupidity is really the best that Flaherty can do.


janfromthebruce said...

Wow, great post. Bob's problem is that he seriously pissed off his base of supporters, and the ONDP has never been able to recover from it. The ONDP is still paying for Bob's huge strategic mistake, in this regard, and by extension the federal NDP.
You are right - every single prov govt was in deficit and also the federal conservative govt, but the narrative of "deficit Bob" perpetuated by the libs and also the cons now, lives on.
No matter that the 1st govt to "balance the budget" was the NDP govt in Sask.

thwap said...

Yeah, pissing off your base to receive the tepid praise of the Glib n' Stale editorial board isn't smart politics.