Well, now I’ve got an even bigger bee in my bonnet than my frustration with people who don’t vote: People who don’t use their heads when they vote, who knowingly and obstinately choose bad candidates — willfully ignoring the consequences of such actions. They drive me crazy and piss me off royally.
You know who I mean. All those in the US who defiantly, sanctimoniously and emphatically stated, “I’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton;” and then spitefully voted for Donald Trump. I’m not talking about his avid and rabid supporters. I honestly don’t think there’s anything that would make them turn against him.
No, I’m talking about all those who knew better. They knew he had a lousy reputation as a businessman. They knew he lied, insulted, bullied, bragged, swore, threatened and incited violence as he blustered his way through the campaign trail. And yet they voted for him anyway, insisting “anyone but her.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d love to herd them all into a stadium, shoot them full of truth serum and ask them if they still think Trump’s a better president than Hillary Clinton would have been. Because to me, even with all Hillary Clinton’s imperfections, the US — and, frankly, the world would have been in a much better place than it is.
You would have thought that the US election would have served as a model for Canadians. It’s not like we weren’t glued to our TV sets, watching the nightmare unfold in real time. But “no,” we learned nothing and now we have a disaster of our own here in Ontario. Yep, we have our very own Trump wannabe in premier Doug Ford.
A man whose late brother Rob, the crack-addicted Mayor of Toronto, was the butt of endless jokes told by every late night host on TV … a man with a limited intellect, who has refused to release audited financial results for the private family business he managed — and still does even though it’s a conflict of interest (sound familiar?), who used his influence when he was a Toronto city councilor on behalf of two of his company’s clients and is dedicated to solely serving the needs of the wealthy … a man whose campaign promises didn’t bode well for this province.
We’ve got one fine mess up here in the North — a premier whose primary concern, whose obsession, is making sure that beer and wine are as easy (and cheap) to get as a candy bar — and LCBOs (Liquor Control Board of Ontario outlets) are open longer and longer hours. Because you know, getting booze into the hands and mouths of Ontarians is of paramount importance.
It gets even worse.
Right now The Beer Store — predominantly owned by three big brewers — Labatt, Molson and Sleeman — have a stranglehold on the selling of beer in this province. Ford wants to even the playing field and make it available in grocery and corner stores.
Problem is, to do that he’d have to cancel the contractual agreement in place until 2025 — even if that means Ontario taxpayers foot the bill for as much as $1-billion dollars in penalties! And he accuses the Liberals of being irresponsible.
In what Universe does that make sense? And what about Ford’s other “accomplishments” in the year that he’s been premier? Here’s just a sampling:
- Scrapped cap and trade (created to bring greenhouse gas emissions down). It’s estimated that it will cost the province $3 billion in lost revenue over four years.
- Scrapped the Green Energy Act, a 2009 law to support renewable power and killed several incentive programs designed to help Ontarians reduce carbon footprints.
- Planned to change the funding model for municipal units responsible for public health until Toronto officials’ claims that the $1-billion in cuts over 10 years would endanger front-line services gained too much traction — causing Ford to relent last month, but apparently only for this year.
- Made crucial decisions about how disability services are funded across the province, resulting in more autistic children being forced to attend regular schools — and even with the promise of more training for teachers, the concern is it won’t be enough to help those with complex needs.
- Reduced planned increases in rates for two of the largest programs in Ontario’s social safety net — Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program — which will affect nearly a million people.
- Increased class sizes in some elementary grades and high schools.
- Plans to cut more than 3,400 teaching jobs over four years.
- Undoing grants for low-income students at the post-secondary level.
- Withdrew provincial support for asylum-seeker resettlement.
- Opposed a handgun ban (no second amendment in Canada) and ruled out new funding for community programs aimed at reducing violence.
- And these are just the tip of the iceberg …
But as long as everyone in Ontario can drink their faces off!
Let me be the first to say I am not looking forward to the upcoming federal election.