"If we let them have faith-based schools, they'll be intolerant," say the chattering classes and the media, without for a second appreciating how intolerant that is.
...Following from the last point, the debate has largely left the actualities of education in the dust and is now just about sowing division, fear and prejudice. McGuinty might use the E-word but the spin of his campaign is about religion and race. Education gave the Liberals the hook but they're no longer really talking about education; they're too busy pitting people of different faiths and backgrounds against one another. It's subtle, clever, deliberate, cynical and utterly shameful. But it works.
That is exactly what is concerning Lorrie Goldstein today - Education becomes the defining issue (Sun):
The premier has done a complete about-face, now arguing it would not only be unfair, but wrong to fund these schools. He isn't just saying it would be nice to fund them but we can't afford it, or that fixing public education must be addressed first, which would at least be somewhat consistent with his past statements.
Now he's saying it would be evil, that it will lead to children being "segregated and sequestered" by religion, which he accuses Conservative Leader John Tory of wanting to do through his election promise to fund non-Catholic religious schools.
To McGuinty, words mean only what he says they mean. Thus, they mean nothing.
He hasn't just flip-flopped, he's rotated his head 360 degrees on his neck like that kid in the Exorcist.
(I love that last line!)
Lorrie has also expressed his concern for this debate degenerating into political opportunism and racism in a previous column, Tory hits the hot button.
Which all brings me to this question: Why did Dalton McGuinty skip past his own alma mater, St. Patrick's and instead seize on a public school two doors down for his photo ops?
"We note with interest that two doors down, there's a Catholic school that is fully supported by the government of Ontario," Bernie Farber, chief executive officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress said.
"St. Patrick's High school serves as a model of how we can integrate other faith based schools into our public education system."
Mr. Farber and others have labelled Mr. McGuinty a hypocrite for excluding Catholic facilities from his attack on faith-based schools. Mr. McGuinty, his wife Terri and the couple's four kids all attended schools in the Catholic system. Terri still teaches part-time in a Catholic board.
So why didn't he check in at St. Pat's? Why indeed, why indeed?
Here is Premier Pinocchio's response:
"I've visited many Catholic schools during my [mandate]," he said in French, adding that the campaign "has just started."
"It's the second day, be patient," he said.
Sorry, Dalton, but patience is one thing I've run right out of.
Oh, and be careful not to trip over that nose on the your way out.
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Update: Please check out Christina Blizzard - To keep faith or to lose it.
...When he says he did not have a choice, he is not being truthful with voters," (John) Williamson said, calling the deception "corrosive."Sun - Dalton goes negative. Tory baffled by McGuinty's Attacks.
"That is why a lot of people -- our group included -- have branded the premier a liar."