Leading up to tonight’s provincial election debate, Progressive Conservative and Opposition leader Tim Hudak laid bare his (and presumably his party’s) approach to governing and government in an interview with Metro newspapers. And it ain’t pretty, folks. In fact, I’d call it completely and utterly devoid of substance, intelligence and imagination.
Oh yeah. Let’s not overlook a fundamental lack of understanding of how exactly our democratic society operates.
“Look, why do we pay taxes in the first place?” Hudak told interviewer Jessica Smith Cross. “We pay taxes because we’re generous Ontarians and we want to make sure it helps the most vulnerable populations. People who may be sick, people with disabilities, seniors.”
Taxation as a charitable donation.
Everything and everyone else, apparently, goes about their business, fueled by the absence of government and magic beans.
“Leadership is about setting priorities,” says Hudak. “And I think we’re going to be looking for a politician who’s going to be straight-up and say, we can’t fund every project with this amount of money.”
You want transit improvements or full day kindergarten? Tell that to your ill, wheelchair bound grandmother. Government is a zero sum game. There’s no room to help the disadvantaged and build a healthier, more equitable society. How do we continue to cut taxes and deliver more services? The answer is, you can’t. Tim Hudak knows that. He’s an honest broker and a trained economist. Facts and figures are his forte.
And about that 1,000,000 Jobs Plan, Tim?
“I stand behind our numbers and I think that it’s been justified by other economists [or not] who say that’s the ballpark of what this will create.”
Ahhh, ballpark numbers. The stuff master’s degrees in economics are made of, evidently. When his claim of creating 120,000 new jobs with further corporate tax cuts was called into question by the Conference Board of Canada – the Conference Board of Canada, people – Hudak blithely responds, “Whether it’s 80, 112, 120 or 150 thousand, [the CBB says 15-20 thousand, but whatevs] I think we agree it’s going to create jobs.”
When you’re also pledging to cut 100,000 public sector jobs, the actual number of jobs you’re promising to create does matter. Twenty thousand minus one hundred thousand equals minus eighty thousand jobs. Kinda puts you in a hole as you build toward that million jobs mark you’ve set for yourself.
Tim Hudak’s hidebound attachment to questionable economic theories seems to be matched by his dubious grasp of democracy.
Like many of his federal conservative brethren, Hudak has an abhorrence of the idea of a governing coalition in a minority government scenario. “I think that’s cheating voters…” Hudak said. “My position is clear — no coalitions. We will follow whatever the voters tell us they want.”
And if the voters tell you they want a minority government again on June 12th, Mr. Hudak? Regardless of plenty of parliamentary precedent being in place for coalitions, in fact, there’s one operating right now over there in Westminster, I do believe, it’s still cheating in your mind? “I say no to coalitions, let the voters decide.”
You might think that, given his inability to come to terms with traditional aspects of democracy, Hudak might be open to opportunities for it to evolve with the changing times. Like ranked ballots and proportional representation. You might think. You’d be wrong, of course.
“I think that voters should decide who they want to be elected, whoever gets the most votes wins.”
But Tim, voters would still decide who they wanted to elect under a different form of ballots, it’d just be…
Look, I’m not stumping here for either of the other two parties currently occupying space at Queen’s Park. The ruling Liberals don’t appear to have learned anything during their transition from Dalton McGuinty to Kathleen Wynne, and seem determined to continue putting politics before policy. And the NDP, I’m at a loss to explain anything they’re doing at the moment.
But Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives have a fundamental disconnect to what I believe is the role of government in our lives. They see it as alien and an imposition. A beast to be tamed and shrivelled down to irrelevance. A lonely outpost for the destitute in a world governed by laissez faire free markets. Collaboration and co-operation take a back seat to competition.
Tim Hudak refuses to make the distinction between bad governance and government. It’s one and the same for him. He’s not someone we should put anywhere near the levers of power.
— submitted by Cityslikr