You’re still spouting this nonsense about being fiscally conservative while insisting that the GOP is the problem. You buy into the media’s anti-Republican hysteria no matter what the facts are. Heck, you even believe it when Obama suggests he’s like an Eisenhower Republican.
Well, let’s talk about Eisenhower, your kind of Republican. Did you know that in his famous farewell address he warned about the debt? “We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage,” he said. “We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”
And we learn that Mr. McGuinty, upon entering politics after his father’s death, was widely seen as cut from the same cloth: “the odd duck from Ottawa South with the socially conservative views [who] could have fit quite comfortably into the [Progressive Conservative] caucus,” as Mr. Coyle puts it. He was the guy who voted against same-sex spousal benefits in 1994, bemoaned Ontario’s soaring debt levels and preached self-reliant smaller government.
“Too many people today have come to view government as the first resort instead of the last resort,” he wrote in a 1994 op-ed. “Most forget that our first schools, universities, hospitals and all forerunners to our modern social programs were not run or even funded by government. These services were provided by individual volunteers and charitable organizations.”
What politics does to a man. At least a certain type of man. We learn from Chris Shelley's piece that Dalton McGuinty's father, Dalton Sr, resigned from the Liberal Party when it liberalized abortion and scrapped anti-homosexuality laws. Can you imagine Dalton Jr resigning over a matter of principle? Any principle at all? He leaves office now, having added a hundred billion to the provincial debt, out of political necessity. Just shy of a majority government and with little chance of obtaining one in the foreseeable future, his time has run out.
There is a recurrent theme in Dalton McGuinty's political career. It can be summed up by one word: Cowardice. Through out his time in office the Premier has avoided making the tough decisions. Whether it was public funding for private religious schools, dealing with teachers unions or coming to grips with the province's fiscal crisis, the Dalt has been MIA. Bill Davis, the man who McGuinty is so often compared to, was fond of saying that the buck stopped with him. Nothing could be further from the truth with his successor.
To casual observers of politics the transformation of Dalton McGuinty from a so-con sounding pol into a progressive squish seems like an astonishing volte face. The reason for the shift is easy enough to explain: He's a wimp who wanted to be a big shot. Men with even a modicum of integrity do not conduct themselves as Dalton McGuinty has. Shrewd politicians often have to be evasive and cynical. They understand that even the best ideas need to be sold in a certain way and at a certain time. There is the ordinary pragmatism of those who seek office, then there is the ultra-pragmatism of Dalton McGuinty. If the typical pol has convictions made of Jello, the Dalt's convictions are made of the stuff used for those old Stretch Armstrong dolls.
He has been the useful man. A vessel into which this province's rent seekers and low grade ethnic wardheelers could pour their aspirations. Perhaps this is the truth behind the mystery of his career and his odd success. There is no Dalton McGuinty. He is a figment of our collective imaginations. The Left conjures him up as a respectable and inoffensive cover for their operations. The Right perceives him as the human embodiment of the modern day Canadian Leviathan. Not a terrifying monster intent on destruction. Not even a Big Brother. Just a nebbish creature with an awkward gait and vaguely positive intentions.
This is how Ontario ends. Not with a bang but with a McGuintyesque smirk.
Ontario Liberals made history twice over Saturday in choosing Kathleen Wynne as their new leader: she will become the province’s first woman premier, and the country’s first openly gay premier.
Wynne defeated front-runner Sandra Pupatello on the third ballot by 1,150 delegate votes to 866 at the Ontario Liberal Party’s leadership convention.
The MPP for Toronto’s Don Valley West riding is a former minister of education and transportation. Until resigning from cabinet to pursue the party leadership she was serving as minister of municipal affairs and housing, and of aboriginal affairs. She will replace the resigning Dalton McGuinty to become the 25th premier in Ontario’s history.
Is there another 59 year old woman in this country whose sexual inclinations are so eagerly discussed? Does anyone care who Christy Clark or Alison Redford is screwing this evening? I mean aside from the voters of their respective provinces. Didn't think so. The Left, ever eager to place us into racial and gender cubbyholes, has hailed the election of Canada's first lesbian premier. A bold new age has now dawned!
As we are about to see race, gender and class do not matter as much as ideas, or the lack thereof. The Ontario Liberal Party has replaced its nominally Catholic leader with an openly lesbian one, yet intellectual both are different sides of the same debased coin. Dalton McGuinty preached not so much socialism, Liberals have nothing approaching a coherent ideology, as a militant habit of fiscal incontinence. There was no plan or direction to the McGuinty years. If someone felt pissed off because of Mike Harris' policies they got a check. Given that Mr Harris pissed off about half the province that meant a lot of checks and consequently a near doubling of the provincial debt.
This is the mess that Kathleen Wynne both inherited and had a hand in creating. She has sat at the cabinet table since 2006, spending most of her time as Minister of Education. By all accounts she is not only further to the Left than Sandra Pupatello, the second place finisher, she is also considerably to the Left of Dalton McGuinty. Since the Liberal Party's operational principle is bribing voters with taxpayers money, this means that Ms Wynne is implicitly promising to spend more money than the outgoing McGuinty government.
Having dug the province into a vast fiscal hole, the Ontario Liberal Party has decided to elect someone who is promising to keep digging but at a more frantic pace. This cannot continue forever. Modern governments, because of their size and scope, are only partially accountable to the electorate. In the end the only real check on a spendthrift government is the global bond market. At the moment it is unlikely that Ontario will suffer a major credit downgrade, at least so long as it is assumed that the financially stronger federal government will bail us out in a pinch. This will not go on indefinitely. At some point the money is going to dry up and the provincial government will hit a wall.
No matter how progressive the politician, or sympathetic the media, the math at some point will become very hard. This doesn't mean that Ms Wynne cannot win re-election. The voters of Ontario have proven themselves to be Grade A suckers, having accepted the Dalt's lies and incompetence for nine astonishing years. It is entirely possible that they will fall for the oldest trick in the political book, changing the leader while keeping the policies and much of the personnel. However long a Wynne government lasts, don't expect a radical sea change.
Ontario is about to discover that lesbians can screw things up just as much as straight people can.
Those jobs have largely disappeared in recent years from The Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Company, and Mr. Mayer faces a situation familiar to many publishers around the country as their staffs shrink. While most newspapers lack cash, employees and a clear strategy for finding greater profits in the digital age, they do not lack for office space. Mr. Mayer embarked on a search for creative ways to use that space.
As a result, The Globe has turned its empty offices into a public community space, bringing in start-up technology companies, bands visiting to perform for the company’s Internet station RadioBDC and special events like the programming code marathon it held for technology enthusiasts. The projects occupy what looks like a re-created living room, where a colorful mix of young entrepreneurs, gray-haired journalists and bands with names like the Street Dogs and Animal Kingdom pass through. Steps away, Globe reporters and editors pore over articles.
I eagerly look forward to the day when I can attend a jazz concert at 1 Yonge Street.
We take a break today from the usual political chatter for a review of a new film.
There is a scene at the beginning of Sean Corbett's latest film, Artifacts of Idealism, where, amidst the 2011 Occupy Protests in Montreal, an old copper statue stands on a high plinth. It looks to be of a young Queen Victoria. Her face is covered by a Guy Fawkes mask. Hung from her left arm is a large sign reading in both English and French, "Moving Forward" along with the huge lettering of "ZEITGEIST." On her right arm is a flag that is impossible make out. Further down the plinth there is a tapped on sign reading "un peuple uni jamais ne sera vaincu." It translates as a united people will never be defeated.
According to Mr. Corbett it was a coincidence that he was shooting a film at the same time barbarians had decided to seize control of public parks across the continent. It was one of those of real life touches that can make fiction sometimes pale by comparison. The real Queen Victoria, even in her youth, was a homely girl. When statues of her were erected across the empire they showed her likeness certainly, but it was a likeness that was improved by the sculptor. The Victorians, from the sovereign on down, believed that art was intended to inspire and uplift. Not to show men and women as they were but as they might be.
It's about as good an establishing shot as one could find for this movie and its theme.
What follows over the next hour and a bit is an unusual amalgam. An eccentric retiree obsessed by a copy of a Rosetti and the model used by a local artist. He hires a private detective agency to find the model and establish if she is real. A young PI is assigned to the case, every inch the awkward and earnest young man, who is able to track down the girl working at a local bakery. The retiree and young man bond over the girl and their ideas of beauty. For both of them she becomes an ideal in a world that seems increasingly vulgar. In the background are a pick-up artist friend and the trite politicking of the modern Left.
One of the recurring themes of this blog is an attempt to find the permanent in the fluid. The ideal that lasts amidst the ephemera of modern life. Thus the name The Gods of the Copybook Headings. While the blog's focus is overwhelming on the back and forth of daily politics, I try to link the passing parade with wider principles and historical context. My educational background is politics, history and economics. GCH reflects that. Art, however, is not absent. Through the Scenes From the Imperial Capital series of posts I try to present some of the more agreeable and interesting aspects of Toronto architecture. The nightly film clips try to take the reader out of the hum-drum of daily life. While not an explicitly political film, Artifacts of Idealism projects in its own way the permanent in the fluid. The beauty and good in the ugliness that often surrounds us.
Most of this blog's readers are political junkies. A point I don't make often enough is that art is more important than politics. Art defines what man should be. Is man confident, intelligent and capable of dealing with the world? Or is he a craven monster driven by crude instinct? That latter image of man is what allows for the politics of statism and collectivism. It is what makes it seem right and proper that young people should live in public parks, refuse gainful employment and deface historic monuments. If you think man is nothing more than an animal grunting after sex and food, soon enough you'll start behaving like an animal grunting after sex and food.
The film's creator, Sean Corbett, does not believe in intellectual property rights. For the record I do and emphatically so. That's a separate discussion beyond the purview of this post. His attitude leads to two things. The first is that this film is an indie production made with amateur actors on a shoe string budget. That he has produced a film far more interesting and entertaining than the $100 million McMovies that control the multiplexes of the nation is a testament to Corbett's skill, and another point of damnation for modern Hollywood. The second consequence of Mr Corbett's aversion to copyright is that you can pay what you wish for the film.
For the record I paid $20.00.
The film's website is here. The IMDB entry is here. You can purchase and download here. The film appears much like any film you'd buy off iTunes. I ran it through my Apple TV without difficultly. DVD copies are also available.
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s public pursuit of her cause is “becoming a concern” and could make it harder for Assembly of First Nations representatives to do their jobs, one of the organization’s leaders says.
Roger Augustine, regional chief for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, made the comments after Ms. Spence appeared on a political talk show Sunday morning.