WHAT A DIFFERENCE

A year and a half after Dalton McGuinty’s liberal government’s reversal on almost every item on their ‘what we will do’ list, there are those in our province who are still surprised that the truth eludes this government. In a rare move this week, the Ontario government stated that they were wrong and couldn’t deliver another promise. I didn’t even blink as we have seen nothing different since October, 2003.

What is the most amazing is that Ontarians were so insistent on change. When you look at the record of Mike Harris versus that of Mr. McGuinty, you have to wonder just what we were thinking.

The unions and special interest groups have done a great job of getting their way in the last decade. They have become organized, far more than they have been in a long time. They have won over the media, and carry a lot of political clout, especially with the electorate. They even convinced us to get rid of a good thing.

I am shocked that the electorate in this province fell for it. Mr. Harris gave us something that in my lifetime I had never seen. He was a statesman. He didn’t run for the office so he could be premier. He did it to make a difference. He attempted to tackle issues that politicians have been afraid to. He tried to rein in soaring contract costs, costs that were strangling Ontario homeowners. He tried to revamp the tax system for the citizens of our province, and if it weren’t for the constant increases in Ottawa, my paycheque would have been greatly changed. Above all else, he did what he said he would. He had integrity.

While some would point to Walkerton as his greatest failure, it still stands out as a moment that accentuated his integrity. I can still remember Mr. Harris apologizing to the people of Walkerton for making some of his budget cuts too fast. I have never before seen a politician own up to something so distasteful, as they are the masters of spin doctoring. Actually, I have never seen a politician own up to anything. I was truly impressed by his humanity. What a contrast to what we have today.

We have a premier who is a media darling. He carries himself smoothly, slowly accentuating every syllable, but what does he stand for? I do not want to embark on a personal attack of Mr. McGuinty. He is doing a great job of discrediting himself. What I am trying to highlight is the stark difference between the current government and the one that preceeded him. (For those of you in college, that means the one ‘before’ him.)

The fact is that we currently have a leader with no character for the truth, one that made false promises with the explicit hope of landing the job, and to elect him we had to get rid of one who did have character. Once again, we should be rising up in outrage. We were lied to, and frankly, I can’t understand why we are so apathetic about it. We say we are used to it. Maybe if we took the time to do something about it, it wouldn’t be so commonplace.

When it comes time to choose our next leader, remember. We tend to forget in this land, especially at election time. Next time, forget all the negative publicity. Look at the politician’s record, and look at his personal character. It speaks volumes. And for the love of Pete, stop being manipulated. Just look at the truth. It is there in front of you.

You and I deserve better, we just don’t demand it loud enough.