Conservative catastrophes

It’s a good thing that baseball season opened today. For one thing, it is the officially legislated first day of summer, but that’s not the only reason. The Blue Jays are about to show us how well a minor league all-star team can compete in the bigs. That will take our minds off all the ugly stuff happening in the big bad world of politics.

There are a lot of things pissing me off these days and they all have a common cause. Common cause starts with C and that stands for Conservatives. Scratch the surface of any bit of political nastiness and you will usually find one. It could be municipal, provincial, federal or international. It doesn’t matter. The buggers will leave their fingerprints on the evidence.

Look at Guelph, the ever so pleasant little Ontario city that wishes it really did punch above its environmental weight. Two city councillors who want to are James Gordon and Leanne Piper. They are advocating for a municipal declaration acknowledging that there is an environmental crisis happening to our planet. The two councillors want the city to join other Canadian municipalities like Kingston, Halifax and Edmunston and declare a climate emergency.

You’d think this is a simple apple pie and motherhood issue. But no. Our mayor, Cam Guthrie, and one of the Councillors from the ward I live in, Dan Gibson, have their knickers in a knot. They seem to think it will somehow undo all the wonderful environmental achievements they have  consistently opposed. By strange coincidence, Guthrie and Gibson both start with G and that stands for godawful. They are both well-known members of the local Conservative Party riding association. Gibson may even be in the running for their nomination in the next federal election.

Neither Guthrie nor Gibson have articulated any reasons why a declaration that the world is in a climate emergency will have any impact on any of the programs currently underway in the city. Guthrie has said that he is a man of action and declaring emergencies is just empty words, platitudes and optics. It was just a couple of months ago that he declared homelessness to be an emergency and then promptly did nothing about it, other than to cancel most of the meetings of his emergency task force.

At the provincial level, we have Thug Fraud – sorry Doug Ford – pretending to be a man of the people running a government for the people. The people he has in mind are not the parents of autistic children. Or teachers who will now cope with increased class sizes. Or the working poor who had an increase to the minimum wage snatched away from them. Ford has more in common with Donald Trump than he does with honest working people.

At the federal level we have Andrew Scheer. He will lead the Conservative Party into the federal election due next October. If successful, he will lead the country into the same calamitous mess that was brought about by his predecessor Stephen Harper.

Here’s something we shouldn’t forget.. To make a long story short, when a convoy of pipeline supporters crossed Canada last month, it was joined by ultra right-wing white nationalist groups. When Scheer spoke at a rally welcoming them to Ottawa, he was joined on stage by Faith Goldy, a well-known white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer. He said nothing to distance himself from her, or to separate himself from her poisonous viewpoints. Nothing.

He was similarly silent at a Kitchener meeting when questioned about a discredited accusation that the Clintons were involved in a pedophile operation in Washington.

The man is clearly untrustworthy. It is almost hilarious to hear him accuse Justin Trudeau of duplicity. It is looking very much like Trudeau is just that. Scheer, though, is even more so. There are Canadians who will vote Conservative because Scheer is not Trudeau. There are other Canadians who will vote Liberal because Trudeau is not Scheer. It is about time we woke up and voted for neither of them.

For a graphic example of just how badly a Conservative government can damage a country, look across the ocean at Britain. Almost three years ago they had a referendum on leaving the European Union. It was characterized by misinformation and blatant deception but went narrowly in favour of leaving. Prime Minister Teresa May has taken a bad situation and made it immeasurably worse. She dug the country deeper and deeper into a paradoxical situation.

They have brought the country into a Schrodinger’s cat conundrum where they want to be both in and not in. They oppose a customs union and at the same time do not want a hard border between Britain and the Irish republic. The cat can’t have its cake and eat it too.

Tomorrow the British parliament will vote for a third time on the terrible agreement that May negotiated. They have already turned it down twice. The twist this time is that May has promised to resign if her deal is accepted but will stay on if she is defeated. Incredible. Who has ever heard of such a situation?

She should just resign and get out of the way. They should have another referendum now that they know what they are involved in, but May won’t call one because she knows it will favour staying in the European Union.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays game is over. They lost 2 – 0. They haven’t won a season home opener since 2011. Maybe there’s some conservatives down on Blue Jays Way. It could be, because conservative starts with C and that stands for catastrophe.


  1. Well said! I couldn’t agree more!

  2. You are absolutely right Alan. The Conservative Party has taken a decidedly far right shift of late. They are trying to turn Canadian politics into an “us vs them” affair, criticising without offering either solutions or alternative programs. They are also veering dangerously towards demagoguery, seemingly following their conservative compatriots to the south.
    I commend James Gordon and Leanne Piper for their climate change initiative. Symbolic gestures can still be powerful incentives and carry significant meaning. I noticed in the recent Mercury-Tribune reporting of Cam Guthrie rejecting the Gordon-Piper proposal, that he said he was proud of the climate change initiatives that council had started, yet failed to mention any of those programs. Clearly they are not top of mind to him!

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