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Canadian notes

16 June 2018

9:00 AM

16 June 2018

9:00 AM

The size of the dog in the fight

Can you imagine running on a party platform or manifesto with the following pledges?


  1. Repeal the existing climate change policy that instituted a cap-and-trade system as well as opposing a minimum price on carbon emissions and any sort of carbon tax.
  2. Repeal the existing Green Energy Act.
  3. Scrap a planned hike of the minimum wage.
  4. Cut corporate taxes by almost 20 per cent as well as cutting middle-class income taxes by precisely 20 per cent for those earning between $42,960 and $85,923 per annum.
  5. Cut petrol taxes at the pump by 10 cents a litre by ending the 4.3 cent a litre carbon tax.
  6. Scrap an existing ideological sex education curriculum and replace it with one after real consultation with parents.
  7. Get rid of the new age methods of teaching maths and bring back old-fashioned, proven methods of teaching.
  8. Change the laws and taxes so that beer can be sold at pre-2008 prices.

Read those promises again and ask yourself if you think that sort of no holds barred opposition to fashionably politically correct nostrums – okay, more like a two-fingered salute to the worldview of ‘our’ public broadcaster and of most inner-city elites – could be part of a party’s election campaign that would win it an election. We know, of course, that Team Turnbull flees in horror from this sort of package of policies faster than Christopher Pyne can organise a celebratory party for the Black Hand gang of the clearly left-wing (sorry, ‘moderate’) faction of the federal Liberal party. But forget this country’s sorry excuse for a right-of-centre party and focus on the question.  Do you think what I listed above is a winning package of policies?

And that takes me to last week’s election in Ontario, the biggest province in Canada with a population of 13.5 million out of Canada’s total 36 million people. There, for the past 15 years the left-wing Liberal party have been in office (remembering that in Canada all ‘Liberal’ parties are left-of-centre, which clearly appears to be the goal of some Team Turnbull MPs here in Australia). It went into the election holding 55 of the 103 seats, so a majority. And this left-wing Liberal Party that espoused every fashionable global warming cliché going and which had closed gas-fired electricity plants and driven power prices through the roof was slaughtered. There is no other word for it. In the post election legislature (now increased from 103 to 124 spots) it won 7 seats. Yes, 7 – the fourth prime number. That’s 7 out of 124, a total so low that the Liberals lost official party status. Indeed, it was the worst wipeout result in Ontario electoral history.

Meanwhile the Conservatives or Tories made all of the pledges I listed above, all of them, and won 76 of the 124 seats on offer – a massive majority. Of the remainder, a hard-left union party won 40 (becoming the official opposition) and the Greens took the final seat. Oh, and in this jurisdiction of non-compulsory voting it was the biggest voter turnout in 20 years.  I suppose one thing you could say is that the Tories in Ontario were lucky not to be taking advice from Mark Textor and actually opted to put a Grand Canyon-sized gap between their policies and those of the lefties.

I should also remind readers that Canada, and more so again Ontario, are more left-wing jurisdictions than Australia. The median voter’s views there are a good way to the left of here. So you can’t explain this result in terms of Ontario being an inherently right-wing sort of place. Quite the contrary.

And not only that, the leader of the Ontario Conservatives is one Doug Ford.  If that name rings a faint bell it’s because his brother Rob, now deceased, was the drug-taking former mayor of Toronto.   Doug is a milder version of the Rob Ford who somehow managed to win several Toronto mayoralty races while being viscerally loathed by the great and the good.  Of course the new Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, is also disdained and hated by that same self-regarding segment of deplorables-despising voters.

Meanwhile the national broadcaster, the CBC, did not have a good thing to say about Ford from the day he won the Ontario conservative party leadership – and did so by the narrowest margin imaginable in a vote of party members (so not in a contest where the backstabbing and duplicity of your Julie Bishops, George Brandises, Scott Morrisons and Malcolm Turnbulls can make a difference). Okay, the CBC may have been more negative about Donald Trump than Doug Ford, but only slightly so. Indeed a common theme was for the broadcaster to intimate that Ford was a ‘Canadian Trump’; such claims possibly having the reverse effect on voters to what the lefty journalists expected and hoped.

Now I concede that Ford is comparatively inarticulate, but the more I see the good stuff Trump is doing the more I think Obama-like mellifluous verbosity, and ‘likes’ from the Talking Heads who as a class lean so far left they have no clue what balance is, are much oversold virtues. What we want from our right-of-centre politicians in this country is someone who has some core values he or she will not abandon come what may (free speech anyone, and actual low energy prices?); someone who will take on the massively left-leaning mainstream media despite the scorn and vitriol it will spew out; someone who will fight and wants to fight to get things done, rather than just try to win elections to perpetuate a comfortable existence as an MP on a big salary and extra good pension. Surely, surely, surely there is something in this Ontario election that might be of interest to the MPs and powerbrokers in the Liberal party in this country, or at least those who are not paid up members of the Black Hand faction.

In Ontario it was said by some that Doug Ford was a misogynistic, neo-Nazi, hate-filled, anti-immigrant, know-nothing, planet-destroying buffoon. Now that may be why I would have voted for the man. But I’m not sure it’s why so many Ontario voters last week chose to put him and the Conservatives in office in Canada’s largest province.

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