Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No Discretion, No Valor

There was a time when all parties welcomed a new party leader with a standing ovation. There was a time when all parties allowed that leader time to adjust to his or her new position. That time has passed. These days there are no honeymoons.

On the day after Kathleen Wynne was elected leader of the Liberal Party, Tim Hudak -- following the pattern set a decade ago by his Uncle Stephen -- launched attack ads against Wynne. Andrea Horwath  demanded a public inquiry into the cancelled gas plants.

Martin Regg Cohen points out that:

The auditor general will report on the government’s waste of public funds in March. And MPPs now have more than 50,000 documents to wade through in a legislative committee, which is part of their job description.

And Tim Hudak can't wait to make another strategic blunder:

Hudak faces a different challenge. As a perceived progressive, Wynne opens up space on the centre-right that his Progressive Conservatives would dearly love to reclaim. Trouble is, he has been tacking hard right for a year, issuing provocative “white papers” proposing to privatize electricity generation and unravel union rights. Many centrist voters who might have been up for grabs may be scared off.

Shakespeare's Falstaff proclaimed that discretion is the better part of valor. One wonders if the leaders of the opposition have read Shakespeare.


thwap said...

I disagree Owen. Dalton McGuinty and every Ontario Liberal MPP who went along with his stephen harper-inspired contempt of the legislature tactic deserves to be raked over the coals.

I know you're a long-time Liberal, and you can criticize me when I let partisanship take precedence over democracy, but you can't talk about traditions of goodwill to new leaders when this party desecrated a 200+ year tradition of respecting the rights of the legislature.

McGuinty wasted at least half-a-billion dollars to placate voters who did not want power plants in their ridings. Since then he has refused to account for this blatant waste of the people's money to the majority of the people's representatives.

This is harper-level sleaze. And Regg-Cohen sounds more and more like a Liberal hack. MPPs should not have to wade through 50,000 pages from a harper-style document dump to find out how much the government knowingly wasted for electoral gain. That's NOT their goddamned job description.

If Dalton McGuinty simply stole public funds to bribe the people of those ridings to stay Liberal you would be outraged. Well, that's basically what he did. And he tried to get away with it and he had to do a harper-style prorogation to try to do so.

Owen Gray said...

I can't defend McGuinty's government, thwap. And I agree, his management style was a lot like Stephen Harper's.

The wrath you and most Ontarians -- including me -- feel toward him is well earned.

I doubt that Wynne will be premier for long. I worry that she might be replaced by Hudak. I think I could live with Andrea Howarth.

But I'm disappointed by what has happened to our politics. We had visitors over the weekend. A friend and his wife dropped in. He said that, back in the seventies, he used to pop in during Question Period, when Trudeau led the Liberals, Stanfield led the PC's and David Lewis led the NDP.

When each leader spoke, he said, the others would give him their undivided attention. And, despite their significant differences -- once in awhile -- you got the impression that they actually liked each other.

Those days are gone.