Wednesday, May 21, 2014

They Don't Know What They're Talking About

Yesterday, Tasha Kheiriddin announced that she would not be voting for Tim Hudak:

I have been a life-long small-c conservative. I supported the Common Sense Revolution of Mike Harris. I believe in balanced budgets, low taxes and value for money. I like the PCs’ plans for ending corporate welfare and encouraging job creation.

I am also the parent of a four-year-old child with special needs in Ontario. And that’s why I cannot vote for you, Tim Hudak.

For kindergarten, we were looking at private, and much more expensive, school options, in large part because the public classes in her district school have 30 kids. She can’t handle a class that size. She won’t be able to concentrate or get the assistance she needs to stay focused. And it’s not just her; a lot of neurotypical children her age do better in smaller groups, with less distraction and more attention.

Ms. Kheiriddin wasn't a parent during the Harris years. Perhaps that's why she doesn't remember what Mr. Harris did to education during his time in office. Perhaps she remembers Harris as a former teacher -- who put three years into the profession and then left.  Perhaps she forgets that Harris' first minister of education was John Snoblen -- who dropped out of school in grade 11 and never returned.

Snoblen, however, was a fortunate son. He inherited his father's waste management company. And, when he was appointed Minister of Education, he applied his talent for managing waste to managing education. Snoblen cut programs -- beginning with grade 13 -- and jobs. He proclaimed the way to change education in Ontario was to "create a crisis." And he did just that.

On Hudak's proposed changes to education, Kheiriddin writes:

Thirty children. That is the normal JK and SK class size in the entire region where we live. Have you been in a class with 30 four or five year olds, Mr. Hudak?  How about 32 of them? Some classes already have that.

You propose to increase class sizes by “two or three students.” So you want there to be 33, 34, 35? With your proposed one-to-20 teacher ratio, that means what, 1 ½ teachers per class? How does that work? Do you really think little kids will learn anything in that environment? Do you think they are learning enough now?

The fact is, we've been there before. We got there because, when it came to education, neither Mr. Harris nor Mr. Snoblen knew what they were talking about. After Mr. Hudak received his Master's degree in economics, he worked for Walmart for two years, then was elected to the legislature. That's the extent of his real job experience.

You get the picture. When it comes to policy, the Conservatives don't know what they're talking about.


Lorne said...

It is I guess a lamentable fact of human nature, Owen, that so many find it so difficult to interpret events beyond their personal context. While it is good that Tasha Kheiriddin has come to discern that Hudak's fiscal strategy translates into hardship for many, we can assume that she would never have come to this insight were it not for her special needs child. That seems to be the key to neoconservative strategy - think only of yourself, not of others. In this case, it has not yielded the hoped-for result.

Owen Gray said...

Like me, Lorne, you probably taught To Kill A Mockingbird to your students. Anyone who has read the book will remember Atticus' advice to Scout:

Life is easier to deal with when you learn how to get inside someone else's skin and walk about in it.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Lorne said above. One of my Cons friends has finally said that Harper has lost his vote because he had increased his retiree premiums for his health insurance. That was what it took for Harper to lose his vote: a personal setback, not what Harper was doing to others, or to the country. I believe this is very typical of Cons voters.

As for Tasha, did you notice how she said she believed in low taxes and in value for money? I take from this that she thinks her taxes (and those that others pay) are well spent on special needs education for her child. However, her taxes being spent on the needs of other children, even though more pressing than hers, would not be money well spent. Again, something rather typical of Cons thinking.

Owen Gray said...

It's all about looking after your own needs first, Anon, and the devil take the hindmost.

e.a.f. said...

Ontario had best not vote for Hudak, if that is his plan for education. We have it here in B.C. with the right wing party of anti education. It isn't working. 30 kids, no teachers aides and up to 4 kids per class with disabilities. The kids with better grades get to "volunteer" to help the teacher. Many parents, if they can, are simply home schooling.

Owen Gray said...

You get what you pay for, e.a.f. And when you refuse to pay for education you get chaos.

Anonymous said...

You guys are making too much out of all this! It's this simple:
Oligarchs and plebes. Any questions?

Owen Gray said...

They may be plebes, Anon, but they sit atop dead money.

askingtherightquestions said...

Owen, Ms. Kheiriddin has a history of writing conservative pieces from that special place only 18-30 year old CPC idealogues can reside, yet over the past year or so I've noticed a pleasant, nuanced softening (maturing?) of her views. Having a special needs child can certainly do that. But the greater question for Mr. Hudak remains do you have ANY thoughts or policies that are your own and really reflect governance suitable for Ontario? "Right to work" legislation, "austerity economics" (including public service destruction) in the face of a a moribund demand economy, (mystical) job creation by corporate tax reductions have ALL been proven to be destructive or ineffective in the American states where they have been tried by American Enterprise Institute (Koch Brothers funded) backed republicans. This crap does not deserve to be imported!! Where is the COMMON SENSE that provides a balanced economy for all Ontarians?

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that Hudak has never had an original idea in his life, Asking. But he is into recycling other peoples' ideas.

He's not appear to be a creative problem solver.