Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Open season on name-calling

I've been trying so hard lately to refrain from calling politicians names, because I feel that it detracts from the argument but gosh darn, Christina Blizzard shot down all my resolve with today's column, "The coward's way out".

Sneaky, slithering Dalton McWimpy has been exposed for the shifty cut-and-run con artist that he really is. I've noticed that the Sun links tend to die after a while, so I'll post the highlights here:

That's how the 38th Parliament ends, then.

Not with a bang, but a wimp-out. Funny, isn't it, that when politicians want to hike their pay by 25%, they are happy to work an extra few days -- as they did just before Christmas. But when they're under fire in the Legislature over scandal upon scandal and there's an election round the corner, they cut and run like scared rabbits...

...They left by the back door -- leaving on the order table scores of private member's bills. It is painfully obvious why Premier Dalton McGuinty and his Liberals took the coward's way out of this particular session.

The last two months have been the most damaging in the almost four years the Liberals have been in power. First, they were battered over the lottery scandal. Then they were bruised by the so-called Colle-gate scandal, where Citizenship Minister Mike Colle was on his feet every day in the House explaining how millions of dollars in grants to ethnic community groups went out the door with no accountability and no follow-up as to how the money was spent.

Well, Blizzard omitted a few things, but never mind - The Star (oddly enough) comes to the rescue by quoting Howard Hampton who charges that:

...McGuinty cut the Legislature short because he's "desperate" to avoid criticism over thousands of lost manufacturing jobs as the Canadian dollar continues rising, and over Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle's scheduled appearance before a legislative committee, where he would have faced tough questions over the so-called "slush fund" scandal.

In fact, the Globe reminds us Colle was scheduled to appear today:

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle was to appear before the standing committee on estimates today.

With the legislature shutting down, Mr. Colle will no longer have to answer for the "slush fund" he has been running out of his ministry, said Progressive Conservative House Leader Bob Runciman. "It's clear that that's the real reason Dalton McGuinty is running out the door."

New Democratic Party Leader Howard Hampton said the McGuinty government decided to "cut and run" because it is "desperate" to avoid having Mr. Colle answer questions about the grants handed out by his ministry.

How convenient. And of course, with a majority government, McSlimy can do anything he wants - get a big pay hike, start summer break early, obfuscate and obstruct democracy...

But the Post's Andrew Coyne probably had the best column this morning -Policy is the best honesty:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty promised yesterday that he would not raise taxes if he is re-elected this fall and insisted he means it this time. -- National Post, June 4.

You really can't do anything with this. Satire is impossible. The one thing one felt could be said with certainty in this universe is that, having issued more than 200 promises in the last election and broken nearly as many, the last thing Mr. McGuinty would do this time out is make any promises --least of all on taxes, the ne plus ultra of McGuinty whoppers...

Coyne catches McLiar red-handed with his little fib about not being aware of the fiscal state of the province when he promised not to raise taxes:

Indeed, everyone knew Ontario was headed for a deficit in 2003, and a large one. The Fraser Institute issued a report, mid-campaign, predicting the deficit was on course to hit $4.5-billion. At the time, Mr. McGuinty would not say precisely how he would adjust his plans in that event, other than to suggest he might delay some of his spending proposals. But there would be no tax increase: on that he was clear.

So he knew there were problems, but he said in effect, 'Read my lips - No tax increase!

Coyne goes on to explain how this "serial mendacity" (isn't that a great phrase?) hurts all politicians and he suggests that there should be some kind of legal liability or consequence when a politician breaks a promise.

I recently read an editorial in the Record (which I can't locate at the moment) that recommended politicians refrain from making any promises at all - Better to talk in terms of 'objectives' or 'goals' or 'targets'.

Personally, I think elections should be approached like a job interview: "Here's how my skills and the skills of my team can help you!"

And maybe they should have a three month probation period too.

Once thing is clear - The gloves are off now, Premier McSwarmy.

* * * *

Update: To get a sneak preview of the upcoming Dalton spin cycle, check out Warren Kinsella, June 5. Sandy has started fisking it here.

And speaking of spin, the Star's Ian Urquhart does not seem very impressed (Dalton dizzy over no-win spin).


Lemon said...

Great Post Jo.
As far as the make no promises policy - that's David Miller to a Tee.
Then he can intro new taxes without ever breaking the no tax promise.
Can increase prop taxes by twice inflation despite his inflation rate target.

Ruth said...

I love your labels for this post. They are too funny.

Roy Eappen said...

Great Post Joanne. Lying Mcguinty is really getting on my nerves. His tax promise is beyond funny. The people of Ontario must see this incompetent for exactly what he is an Ontario fiberal.

Clive said...

Satire might be impossible, but I had a go...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Lemon, Ruth and Dr. Roy - Thanks. We have to keep this in the forefront around election time.

As far as the make no promises policy - that's David Miller to a Tee.

You'll get a kick out of this letter in today's Sun:

Taxing by proxy

I had to laugh at Premier Dalton McGuinty's promise not to raise taxes if re-elected. Not only did he hit us with the new, massive health care tax, but he also changed the provincial law so Toronto's socialist city council could hit us with new taxes. McGuinty will blame the first tax on the former P.C. government, but how is going to explain the municipal tax increase? Is he going to say it isn't his fault? Giving the Toronto council more taxing power is like giving an arsonist a flamethrower.

Jeffrey W. Tighe


(Impressive, blaming McGuinty and Miller in one swoop) - ed.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Clive, that was brilliant!

PGP said...

Mendacity - Perfect description of Liberal Premier.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - Yes, it suits Premier McDastard very well indeed.

PGP said...

Mandacity :
1. the quality of being mendacious; untruthfulness; tendency to lie.
2. an instance of lying; falsehood.

Hopefully the voters of Ontario will find themselves with the good sense to make McGuinty and his cohorts Mendicants.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - I just looked that up. lol!

Premier McBegger. Hah!

Anonymous said...

Dolton McLiar will smile and screw over the average Ontario taxpayer. Taxes will go up and property will be worth less, but because of the millions he pumps into special interest groups he'll get good press and people will vote for him. 'Journalists' love big spenders.

Red Tory said...

'Journalists' love big spenders.

Um, like the Conservative Party of Canada?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hel-lo, Red.

Joan Tintor said...

I find "Premier Pinocchio" to the point.

Red Tory said...

Hi. Sorry for interrupting your McGuinty-bashing.

I liked Coyne’s suggestion. It’ll never happen of course, but it would be nice.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It’ll never happen of course, but it would be nice.

Agreed. They should all just give up with the promises though. Tell us their vision or something, but don't insult us with promises. I'm talking about all of 'em.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I find "Premier Pinocchio" to the point.

The big question is, how long will that nose grow before he trips over it?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I finally found that Record editorial. Under subscriber lock, but here is the last part of it:

Conservative Leader John Tory must have reacted with glee when he heard about McGuinty's vow. Now, all Tory has to do is ask voters if they believe the premier's pledge not to raise taxes. On this issue, the Conservative leader will have the facts on his side.

There is a lesson in McGuinty's mistake for all politicians. Instead of making "pledges," "promises" and "commitments," they would be much wiser to set "goals." They could then be judged on how closely they come to meeting those goals. A goal is different from a promise. The word "goal" implies a desire to do something but not necessarily the ability to reach it.

The level of political debate in this province would be raised if politicians outlined goals rather than promises. Some voters may be reluctant to accept the concept of goals but surely many Ontarians -- perhaps a majority -- understand that life is about aiming for goals more than keeping unattainable promises.

The Advocate said...

Premier Pinocchio is at it again!

Lies my Premier told me ... our budget has a surplus, we won't raise your taxes, and I promise I won't froth at the mouth.