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Not a cure, but but a good start

By Jason Hayes
web posted June 7, 2004

While it makes me nervous to admit it, Lorrie Goldstein is correct when he notes that Ontario holds the power in the upcoming federal election.

Given how political support for the parties is shaping up across the country, Ontarians could exercise the kind of power in this election traditionally held by Quebecers, who are Canada's most strategic voters.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has been doing no favours for his federal Liberal counterparts
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has been doing no favours for his federal Liberal counterparts
Ontario's power makes me a little nervous because Ontarians - despite ample warning about his failings and tendencies toward truth bending -- sent Dalton McGuinty to his current position of power in the last provincial election. The federal election presents a similar kettle of fish -- Ontarians know Paul Martin and the Liberals are liars and blameshifters not one of them can claim they have not been warned, and yet, their track record keeps taking the entire country right back down the Liberal path. Sadly, I can easily envision Ontario voters, in five years, acting out the part of the cancer ridden, two pack-a-day smoker who is suing big tobacco for 'tricking' them into smoking for the past ten or twenty years. We have all seen this person, pitching their case to whoever will listen, trying to convince the world that, despite overwhelming evidence they "just didn't know that smoking could kill them."

Anyone who has not been comatose for the past decade is fully aware that smoking predisposes them to developing lung cancer, but people still do it. Not surprisingly, when they do they often get lung cancer and die.

In the same vein, anyone who has not been comatose for the last decade knows that voting the Liberals into power ensures the publication of headlines proclaiming a new age of fiscal responsibility while behind the scenes, lavish government spending that either bankrupts the country or forces spending onto the backs of provinces and municipalities continues unabated. Voting Liberals means rapid and continued expansion of the federal bureaucracy. Voting Liberal means the continuation of morally and fiscally bankrupt policies that drove the Firearms registry, the AdScam controversy, the HRDC scandal, the emasculation of our military, the destruction of our (so-called) justice system, and the slow lingering death of our much vaunted public healthcare system.

Just like lighting that next cigarette almost inevitably promotes the growth of that life sucking mass, so voting Liberal ensures the growth of the cancerous plague of sloth, avarice, over spending and scandal that currently infects all levels of our federal government.

One hopes that the mass of evidence will lead Ontarians to 'but out' or 'just say no' when they approach the ballot box in June. One hopes that they will seek out effective treatment and excise the mass before it becomes terminal. One prays that five or ten years from now, we don't see Ontario's voting public in front of the cameras decrying the cancer that has consumed their economy and wreaked havoc in their lives and claiming that they were tricked into believing Paul Martin's slick presentations.

One hopes that we don't have to hear them crying that "they just didn't know" voting Liberal could be so devastating.

Our one ray of hope is that, just as many who lose family members to lung cancer are brought to the reality of their own mortality and are subsequently scared into quitting their own smoking habit, so may the provincial Liberals recent lies and deception scare Ontarians into quitting their 'voting Liberal' habit.

Now I understand that breaking an ingrained habit can be a tough slog; breaking the habit often requires baby steps or partial measures before a final break can be made. However, there is hope.

With Stephen Harper now trying to out Liberal the Liberals on a few key policies, by promising increased health care spending and his dancing on the edges of supporting the pork laden official bilingualism policy, those who would normally vote Liberal could instead choose Harper. In doing so, they could rest, safe in the knowledge, that with some $34.8 billion in new health care funding on the way, they would not wake up to find out they had become Americans during the night.

So while Harper will not be cure for the cancer of government spending, he is honestly the closest thing to the Patch that recovering Liberals could hope for.

Jason Hayes is a Calgary-based consultant who specializes in environmental, policy, and tech issues. His blog is located at http://www.hayz.ws/blog.

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