If you are appalled, let them know
To the Editor,
During the past few weeks, I have had a number of friends and colleagues comment on the frightful conduct of our provincial government ... the Ford government. The litany of absurd and ill-informed decisions that have been taken to dismantle all manner of our institutions in pursuit of “dollar store” government cost cutting is reflected in last week’s yellow accessorized budget. It’s the Ford way…it was tried in the City of Toronto by the Ford brothers and resulted in four years of abject failure, chaos and embarrassment and it’s now being foisted on us.
But is it? We, collectively – each and every citizen of this province, must take some responsibility for the government that has been elected, whether we voted for them or not. While the PCs certainly won a healthy majority of the seats, their 40 per cent of the popular vote also suggests that 60 per cent of those who voted did not choose them. Further, Ontario had over 10 million citizens who could have voted in the 2018 election but only 5.7 million saw fit to cast a ballot. The PCs received 2.3 million of those votes, or slightly more than 20 per cent of all eligible voters. 20 per cent!
We, collectively, said “yes, Mr. Ford, go ahead. Go ahead. Tamper with parts of an educational system that works very, very well. Take a ‘ham fisted’ approach to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Go ahead and rail against climate change. While you’re at it, cancel an increase in the minimum wage and an income security pilot program. Do an end run to get the job you always wanted and elbow your way into the management of the City of Toronto. Show your class and statesmanship and refer to the opposition parties with disparaging remarks. Denigrate teachers and union leaders. Nominate an under-qualified family friend for OPP commissioner.” The list, of course, goes on and on.
What else did we get? Baubles no one asked for ... shiny objects intended to distract; buck-a-beer, tailgate parties, telephone lottery tickets and a new slogan on our PC blue license plate. (Perhaps “Clap Or Else” is more apropos than the re-jigged motto!)
When Mr. Ford and his ministers speak, they speak for all of us. If you find what they are saying to be unsettling, to be insensitive, to be irrelevant, to be inappropriate, to be ill-advised, tell them. If you are appalled and angered by what is happening at Queen’s Park, let them know. Write letters, go to demonstrations. If you think things are not as they should be, tell them. And long before the next election, get involved. And vote! That’s the only way things can change.