Mike Harris gutted rent control to disastrous results, now Ontario's premier plans to do the same.
The last time the party exaggerated claims of widespread social assistance fraud, it do so in order to justify deep cuts.
As an MP in Ottawa, he supported a private member's bill that attempted to restrict a women's right to choose. A decade ago, as a newly elected MP, he voted against same-sex marriage. In the decade he has been an MP in Ottawa, he has not moved past his backbench status, freeing him to build a coalition for an eventual leadership run.
In all of the coverage of the Ontario election and the new Wynne government, the media has completely overlooked one of the most important stories of them all. What people don't realize is that the labour movement came together in an unprecedented way to defeat Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Hudak, and kept the U.S. anti-union movement out of Canada.
According to one theory, whose origins I've long forgotten, the business of voting has undergone an evolutionary transmogrification. In earlier times, citizens voted for the candidates they liked the most. Soon, a cynicism having seeped into the civic fabric, they began to vote for the candidates they disliked the least. And now? People vote against the crooks and liars that they hate the most. The problem with this theory is that it presumes a golden age, and no experienced person could reasonably indulge a notion like that.
Here I must trespass on the impolite, and I'll begin by restoring to the record the excised bits in which Jim Flaherty was a soldier of Mike Harris's "Common Sense Revolution." The idea that he was a non-ideological moderate would have been laughed out of the room, even by the man himself. Moderate was an insult he applied to his leadership rival, that pink and pale McGuinty imitation Ernie Eves. As Ontario's Attorney General and Finance Minister, Flaherty was one of Harris's most consistent and reliable true believers, mocked (like Harris himself) for applying his tough-on-crime universal restorative elixir to homelessness and poverty.
Flaherty's family wasn't hardscrabble poor, but he had to deliver newspapers for months to earn enough to buy himself a pair of good hockey skates to make the team. It was to prove an investment that allowed him to soar to the very top of the world's political roster, skate with the best and earn many goals and assists.
When destiny called, Flaherty responded with calm determination, incredible single-mindedness, supreme confidence, toughness and above all, clear-eyed pragmatism. And in the process, he even surprised his most critical political foes with his smooth Gretzky-like stick handling of Canada's economy.