July 20, 2024
A depressing day for democracy in Ontario
Premier Doug Ford’s so-called Government For the People has turned parliamentary democracy upside down, Martin Regg Cohn writes.
Premier Doug Ford’s so-called Government For the People has turned parliamentary democracy upside down, Martin Regg Cohn writes.

Jack’s Note: The Toronto Star in general and Martin Regg Cohn in particular fail to get the message Ontario voters delivered recently. Just like their brothers and sisters in the U.S. (Democrats) they refuse to accept that for well over a decade they were wrong (think McGuinty and Wynne and their outstanding support for the indefensible). My heart pumps ‘pure piss’ for them. Read on.

It’s hard to interest people in a lament for our lost legislature — everyone assumes readers don’t care enough to click, let alone vote.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears, did it happen? If a legislature fades in a democracy and no one notices, does it matter?

Judge for yourself, based on this day in the life of our legislature:

It begins with the morning question period. In fairness, it is not called “answer period,” but the premier of the day is expected to make a pretence of debate — perhaps resorting to self-deprecating humour or self-righteous anger to diss the questioner, dismiss the question, diminish the opposition, buttress his own government, but at least address the topic (or in rare instances, reply to a serious question with a serious answer).

Not today. The Official Opposition NDP asks about budget cuts, but Premier Doug Ford has a better idea.

Not only will he not answer their questions, but he will ignore the topics entirely, instead reading from a list — literally — of unrelated government announcements.

When the NDP asks about the future of ambulance services, the premier replies by boasting about his “buck-a-beer” strategy, bemoans “illegal border-crossers,” and decries the “job-killing carbon tax.” On cue, his majority Tories jump to their feet with standing ovations.

The loyal opposition shall be forever stonewalled. But whenever more faithful Progressive Conservative backbenchers ask their prepared questions, Ford’s cabinet replies with exquisitely and obsequiously scripted answers.

Ontario’s so-called First Government For the People has turned parliamentary democracy upside down: It shall be answerable only to its own members, but unaccountable to elected MPPs from opposition parties who captured more than 58 percent of the vote.

[…]

Wait! There’s More:

(1) Doug Ford’s misguided war on Toronto

(2) Canadian language complaints have spiked by over 20%. An uproar over Doug Ford may be to blame: commissioner

(3) Doug Ford Government Axing Millions For Health Research, Documents Show

(4) Doug Ford says carbon taxes will cost us. Here are six reasons not to believe him

(5) Ontario NDP wants to declare a climate emergency but Doug Ford won’t let them

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