In response to: Ontario has lost its political centre, a column by John Ibbitson
There’s a bit of fear-mongering here, even though there is a pretty strange line-up of candidates for the coming election.
The Liberals have been in power for too long, with all that entails for any party, and so are not the popular candidates for this election.
The Conservatives were the likely winner until Doug Ford came into the picture. Now many people who may have voted Conservative are probably not going to.
The NDP have a great edge because either people are planning to vote for them to avoid a Doug Ford win, or they’re getting votes from disgruntled Liberal voters.
I don’t see any ‘populist’ upswing really going on here, nor do I believe the political ‘center’ is dead. Rather this lineup of political options is an example to me of a real problem with modern democracy: a paucity of leaders and political will to change what actually needs to be changed and keep what doesn’t.
Personally I’ve no idea how I’m going to vote or even can vote at our coming election.
In order to pay for all their promises the NDP intend to take on more debt, which is not necessarily unique these days federally or provincially. However she also intends to raise individual and corporate taxes. Higher corporate taxes could mean that some pull up stakes and move elsewhere, or stay and pass the costs onto the consumer where possible. But the big one in all this is the NDP saying to the voter, vote for us and we will raise your taxes. Carbon taxes are coming our way, the health premium which is a tax by another name is not going away and now a party wants your vote with a plan to tax you even more. Doesn’t seem difficult to choose what to do.
I think the problem isn’t a lost centre but a loss of common sense. We can have lower taxes or a deficit if we are prepared to cut services. Voters want benefits, but don’t want to pay for them. This is nonsense and it is reflected in all parties’ platforms especially the non costed OPC’s platform.
Voters have rejected austerity but conservative voters are not willing to accept that. Conservatives policies are logically inconsistent: no cuts and lower taxes/deficits. That isn’t credible.
Also being discussed:
An aspect of this story that is certainly unreported is the ‘dumping’ of Chinese steel. In late May the Prime Minister announced increased funding for inspections of country of origin on steel products. It was clearly done to head off these new tariffs. The Americans clearly believe that China is using Canada as a conduit for this practice. (If you google: Chinese steel dumping, you’ll find that the Europeans are equally concerned.) So it seems to me that it is an attempt to prevent cheap (below cost) Chinese steel finding its way into the U.S. market. As far as the national security clause goes, everyone including Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland understand it is just a tool for Mr. Trump, so the faux offence they take is just a tool they’re using. Clause 232 is just the vehicle Mr. Trump is using to get to where he wants to go. I wish the Globe and Mail would do some background reporting on the issue of Chinese steel dumping so that we could be better informed on this story.
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