Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tory Trouble

I see some of my fellow Blogging Tories are not overly impressed with John Tory's idea to provide public funds for faith-based schools.

At first I thought it was a great move, but now I'm not so sure. Andrew at Christian Conservative points out that if the school boards are able to exert too much control over the faith-based schools, then it might have the effect of causing these religious groups not to vote PC.

Yet others like Frank Dimant of B'nai Brith think this control is important so that tolerance is taught in all schools.

Public boards are railing against any special funding for faith-based schools; including the Catholic ones.

O.K. If I can't vote for McGuinty, the reasons of which fall under the category res ipsa loquitur, and I can't vote for Tory, because of this mess and the fact that he really isn't a Tory, what's left? The NDP? I don't think so. (Memories of Rae)

Stay home? I can't do that.

Spoil my ballot?

Looks like the system did that to me already.

* * * *

Update: U.A. - John Tory the best candidate by default? (And that, my friends is probably the honest truth. It's a sad day for Ontario.)


Anonymous said...

If Ontario had selected the BC version of STV rather than the proposed proportional rep system, you would/will have more voting choice. No wasted votes as they are all counted and you get choice because the electoral districts are all multi-rep. First past the post always means that the majority of votes usually vote against the winning party.

west coast teddi

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Teddi, I'm not familiar with the BC version. How does that differ from Mixed Member Proportional?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

No wasted votes as they are all counted

I thought that was the appeal of MMP, but I haven't heard a whole lot about it, which makes me suspect that the bigger parties are not on board.

Jim said...

I had no problem with a voucher system for separate secular schools in competition with the public system but I certainly have difficulties with faith-based schools off on a frolic of their own without even the semblance of science. I don't need children taught sharia as their law and Mohammed as their prophet.

Anonymous said...

this is the web page for STV:

In brief, the voter has a ballot that lists the number of people to be elected in the district (in BC it is 2 - 7) and then they can rank their choices. If a canditate meets the threshold for election then the "extra" votes are "transfered" to other candidates. The end result is close to proportional representation.

In the Ont. model you will elect your reprentative byfirst past the post on 1 ballot and then select the party (candidates from a party list) on a second ballot. It will give PR to the legislature but you will still have a MPP that you might not have voted for. In STV with multiple MLAs in each district there is a far greater chance that I will have a MLA whom I voted for.

The big knock against STV is the complexity in counting the votes, but I say let the computer do it.

west coast teddi

Matthew said...

Well, there's always the fringe parties...that's what I'm going with right now!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Teddi, thanks for that. Your system does sound better for sure. At least you'd feel that voting made a difference. Has voter turnout increased since this system has been in place?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Matthew, there's also strategic voting as a possibility. I really think it would be bad for Ontario if McGuinty had a majority again.

I could live with either a Liberal or 'Liberal Wannabe' minority government.

Cool Blue said...

What nobody is mentioning is that the UN has declared Ontario to be in contravention of human rights by subsidizing one religious school system but no others.

This proposal by Tory is an attempt make the situation more fair without eliminating the Catholic system or changing the constitution.

(it can also be a trojan horse towards implementing a voucher system in Ontario)

Anonymous said...

Joanne - why is it ok for Catholics to be funded and not other faiths?

Oh and by the way, if you think that the Liberals are AGAINST funding faith-based schools think again. This past session saw Liberal MPP Peter Fonseca introduce a motion opposing "any attempt to take public money and hand it over to private schools." It backfired on the Liberals terribly, because it really pissed of those Liberals who support faith-based funding, ESPECIALLY those in ridings with large numbers of cultures and faiths within.

Fonseca's motion was soundly defeated. As a matter of fact only 6 Liberals showed up for the vote.

I'm particularly shocked at your knee-jerk reaction to John Tory's proposal Joanne. It's been no secret, as he's been promising this for a long time.

You don't actually believe all those myths that the opposition sites do you? Take a look at all provinces west of Ontario. They ALL offer some sort of funding for choice options.

Oh, and also,why is it that school boards like the TDSB have alternative schools not open to all students and are able to fund with our taxdollars? There are schools which require portfolios, interviews with families and preferred cultural affiliations.

Before you condemn this Tory initiative, and before you run off believing the myths, and spin of those who have a vested interest in union-driven public education, do some homework. No other province that adopted a move to fund more school choice saw their public schools go down the tubes. What happened was just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

No faith based schools should be funded, ever.

Anonymous said...

no faith-based schools funded EVER?

Then where's your demand to end Catholic funding in Ontario? What about French schools?

What about those alternative schools already funded with taxpayer dollars?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Dear Anonymouses - Please identify yourselves with some kind of signatory label at the end of your comment.

Eg. Tory anon; Liberal anon; or give yourselves a number or something. Please.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at 01:39:00 PM. As you can plainly see from the post, I was originally in favour of John Tory's suggestion, but then after reading Andrew's post, I started having second thoughts about the curriculum possibly being dictated by the school boards, etc.

But perhaps you have some information you can share with us; websites and links and such.

Anonymous said...

For some good background on schools of choice go to
further look to Alberta or B.C. gov't's for how they fund choice, and Alberta re: helping out homeschooling parents.

I think by suggesting that the schools follow the provincial curriculum is meeting the public system halfway as a measure of accountability. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, because the capacity to enforce this is pretty low. As it is now, private schools in Ontario are supposed to be inspected regularly. I don't believe they are.

I have supported the public system, however, it's far, far over-rated and becoming more an experiment in political correctness and a social playpen and marketting tool for charities than a place of learning.
If I had to choose a system for my kids now, I'd selected differently.


Anonymous said...

JJ ... the STV system is not yet in place in BC. there was a vote in 2005 where a double majority - 60% of ridings and 60% total population - needed to vote STV in. It lost by less than 3% but 75 of 78 ridings voted in favor. Premier Campbell promised a second vote in 2008 during the municipal elections to be ready for the 2009 provincial but he changed his mind and we vote again in 2009 for implementation in 2013.

west coast teddi

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you for that Marie, and thanks especially for signing with a name. It makes things so much easier to follow.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Teddi, is Campbell for or against, do you think?

Sandy (COTM) said...

Joanne -- My granddaughter -- the one who broke both wrists in the winter time -- attends a public high school that used to be faith based. In fact, I used to teach art there when my daughter attended.

Well, about ten to twelve years ago ,it became publicly funded and run by the District Board of Niagara.

People need to know there can be problems because religion cannot be taught during the school day in any public school -- as is the case in Catholic Separate Schools. Chapel or any other spiritual teaching must be done early in the morning or after regular hours.

So, I think the tax credit would work better because most faith-based schools likely will not take the money when it means they lose the very reason they set up in the first place.

In the high school in question, there are two boards, the one representing the original faith-based group and the public board. There was a public meeting just a week ago because the faith-based board is gradually losing their input.

That said, this particular school has a uniform and very real standards and there is still a very long waiting list.

Anyway, John Tory needs to visit this particular high school (which is, as far as I know, the only one in that financial position in the Niagara Region.

Anonymous said...

Are conservative loyalists as shallow in support of their leader as you are Joanne? You're giving up on your party and your leader because of on plank in the guy's whole platform?

You're making it far too easy for the oppositions.

Anonymous said...

Sandy's right. I prefer that parents be given tax credits. Maybe Mr. Tory doesn't trust parents as much as he say regarding school choice.

I also think Sandy is right that most private schools will not bite. Why? Because the last thing a private schools wants is to be overseen by the same folks that have brought us unbalanced budgets, repeated cries of woe is me?

Tory's new plan is simply more confusing for parents.

Real Tory said...

John Tory is not a Conservative.

Tory supports SSM. Tory supports abortion. Tory supports Kyoto.

John Tory is a Stephane Dion Liberal in blue clothing. Let's not forget that Tory, along with Laschinger and Crosbie, fought Mike Harris candidacy tooth and nail when he was running for the leadership of the PCs. He's not a common sense revolutionary. He's the complete opposite.

My plan for October is to not vote. I don't care. McGuinty will get a minority government anyways. He'll be held in check. I'm going to hope that Kathleen Wynne beats Tory and ol' Johnny boy has to go back to Bay Street.

Let me remind all the disafected REAL Tories out there: If John Tory loses, the leadership of the PCs is up for grabs and we can get someone like Tim Hudak, Frank Klees, or even Jim Flaherty or Tony Clement to run for it. With John Tory gone, we can get our party back with one of the original architects of the CSR.

If your concerned about John Tory (and it seems that a lot of you are) do nothing and the party will realize that when we stick to the right we win but when we act like Liberals we lose.

John Tory has got to go.

Mac said...

The STV form of PR appears marginally less repulsive than other forms but the end result is the same: minority and/or coalition governments become the norm and agenda-laden fringe groups who would normally be "filtered out" by the FPTP system will gain power.

The major parties will still retain leadership but will have to woo the fringe groups for issue specific support or to form coalitions. Support is never free... and I'm not sure we want to pay the prices they will demand.

Our current system, FPTP, has it's downsides but it also has it's upsides: I don't know about you but keeping parties like the Marxist/Leninist Party out of government is well worth the downsides!

Since my personal political philosophy (Libertarianism) is an idealistic fringe, you would think I would encourage PR but I'm also pragmatic. I've looked at other countries where PR has been introduced and it's always a mess!

Italy has averaged one federal election per year since they went to PR shortly after WWII. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Seriously, folks, do a bit of research about Proportional Representation and do some cost/benefit analysis and you'll see that FPTP is a much better system!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sandy, thanks for that information, and I agree with you about the tax credits. A much better way to handle things.


Are conservative loyalists as shallow in support of their leader as you are Joanne? You're giving up on your party and your leader because of on plank in the guy's whole platform?

John Tory is not my leader. I do not belong to the Ontario PC Party. Sorry.

Real Tory - Yeah, give me the good old Harris days.

Mac, thanks for all that info. I'll need to give it some thought, but the possibility of the M.L. party getting some kind of foothold is a frightening thought indeed.

Anonymous said...

How is Tory going to pay for this?

Jewish schools, muslim schools, protestant schools, where does it end? Everyone gets their own school and it costs us billions of dollars per year. Why couldn't he have just promised to go back to the tax credit system? That would have worked fine?

I'm not paying for this!

Gabby in QC said...

" ... minority and/or coalition governments become the norm and agenda-laden fringe groups who would normally be "filtered out" by the FPTP system will gain power. ..."

In total agreement. Our society has become fragmented enough without further splintering into special interest groups.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a smart move by Tory. Inviting the faith-based schools to join the public system, shows he's confident in the public system. Tax credits would have made him sound to Harris-like, and turn the unions off.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tax credits would have made him sound to Harris-like, and turn the unions off..

That's right. Pandering to the unions. Who's the Conservative leader again?

Anonymous said...

Joanne - you've made an error in your original post. You said that "public boards are railing against any funding for faith-based schools, event the Catholic ones,"

1) nowhere in the article you link to does it say that.

2) the Catholic board in my region has gone on record to say that it does NOT opposed funding for other faiths.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Marie, that statement included a link.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The fear among public school boards is that, given finite government resources, extension of funding to other religious schools will mean less for them. Hence, the push by some public boards to end funding for all religious schools, including Catholic, to counteract the argument about unfairness.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

2) the Catholic board in my region has gone on record to say that it does NOT opposed funding for other faiths.

I never said that they were opposed.

Right from Hamilton said...

This is complete bullshit all this crap about John Tory. It almost makes me ashamed to read these sites the way they attack John Tory whatever he does. If John Tory offered 40% tax cuts you still wouldn't support him cause he wasn't part of Harris' club and because he is Torontonian. The faith based schools will allow my future child to one day go to a school that teaches morals but doesn't think he's going to hell because he's not Catholic.

I'll admit two systems isn't ideal. I think all schools should be public and all students forced to take Religious Education in their Religion or World Religion if they are Athiest or Agnostic.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh, boy. This post obviously struck a nerve. I'm not used to being bashed from the right!

O.K. I'll keep an open mind on this. I'll wait for John Tory to wow me.

Nobody else is, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

It's "wowing" the people who actually get it Joanne. Why aren't you railing against the Liberals who didn't support a motion by their own backbencher wanting his fellow liberals to support his motion to not spend public dollars on private schools.

SUZANNE said...

You can vote for the Family Coalition Party of Ontario

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at 10:04:00 PM - I take it your a Tory supporter? Nice persuasive manner.

Suzanne - Thanks for that. I'll keep it in mind.

Red Tory said...

Better stick to Lib-bashing Joanne. :D

wayward son said...

I think that religion should taught at home and at a church. School is where math, reading and science should be taught.

Real Tory - "John Tory is not a Conservative.

Tory supports SSM. Tory supports abortion. Tory supports Kyoto."

On the one hand John Tory is not a conservative because he supports abortion and SSM, on the other hand you idealize Mike Harris who I have never heard make a single utterance to indicate that he opposed abortion or SSM. As far as I know Harris had no issues with abortion, while that might not make him "pro-abortion" it would certainly make him pro-choice (I am no expert on Harris though if anyone can find a link of Harris being pro-life I would stand corrected). Harris left office before SSM marriage became an issue, but my memory of the man was that he was a fiscal conservative and not much of a social conservative who if he were running today would be running on fiscal issues and wouldn't be touching SSM. Am I wrong? Can anyone point out anything major in his revolution which was a social conservative/family values issue?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Better stick to Lib-bashing Joanne. :D

Darn Conservative wingnuts.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wayward, interesting point. To me, Harris' primary contribution was fiscal. Ontario was in serious financial trouble when he took over. His 'Common Sense' revolution got us back on track fiscally, but at a cost to social programs, some would argue.

I think the schism that has developed now in terms of 'family values' is largely a phenomenon of the last few years - perhaps because a good part of the grass roots has awakened from a long oblivious sleep.

But I'll be interested to hear Real Tory's response.

Real Tory said...

Ok, a fair point. Mike Harris never took public positions on those issues though. John Tory has.

THe biggest issue there is Kyoto. John Tory supports it. What about that?

At the convention over the weekend where was Mike Harris? Not invited. Where was Ernie Eves? Not invited. Who introduced John Tory? None other than Bill Davis and John Tory later thanked him for his service and proclaimed him the best premier Ontario has ever had. The best? Please...not even close.

If John Tory wins, he'll be premier for a decade and we're stuck with Liberal-lite for a very long time. If you want a return to the CSR don't vote - let Tory be replaced and wait for a real Conservative to step up to the plate and return this province to what it should be. Voters have an appetite for the CSR and we;ve proven it before. We don't need two liberal parties in this province.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you want a return to the CSR don't vote - let Tory be replaced and wait for a real Conservative to step up to the plate and return this province to what it should be.

lol!!! OMG. Now I know how the Liberal Dion-haters feel. Mmm...

This is very interesting. Well I sure couldn't vote Liberal or NDP. Maybe Suzanne is right. Christian Heritage.

Real Tory said...

Dion is the Liberals problem. They'd be smart to replace him.

I would vote CH too but they never run a candidate in my riding. I doubt they will this time. That's the problem with voting for them. You only can if they can't find a candidate. I might just step up and run for them if they can;t find someone. If your riding doesn't have a CH candidate you should run too.

Moebius said...

CH is not much more than a protest vote. You should vote for the non-Tory Tory to get rid of McG, then hold his feet to the fire to be a real conservative.

McG is not to be trusted, NDP, well, I tried that before. How about the Green Party candidate?