Friday, September 28, 2007

Referendum Discussion Online with Elections Ontario

Loren Wells, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario, will be online with the Globe & Mail discussing the electoral reform referendum between 1 pm and 2 pm this afternoon.

Loren Wells, the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario, has an extensive background in election administration in Canada, at both the federal and provincial levels.

At Elections Ontario, she deputizes for the Chief Electoral Officer and assists him with the administration of all aspects of the electoral process, including voter registration, the conduct of voting, the training of election officials and providing voter education and information to the public.

This will be an impartial discussion on the referendum:

By law, neither Ms. Wells nor other employees of Elections Ontario can take a position on the merits of the question on the referendum ballot. We will not forward to her any question that asks her to do that. Ms. Wells can answer your questions about the background to the referendum, the question, the mechanics of voting on it, the requirements for passage etc.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Open Letter to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party

Cross posted from Conservatives for MMP.

Fellow Tories:

This past year, the Ontario Citizens Assembly, a body that had one member chosen at random from each provincial constituency, has been studying the issue of electoral reform in the province. After studying various electoral models and consulting with citizens across the province, the OCA has recommended that the province adopt a Mixed Member Proportion electoral system over the current First Past the Post System. A provincial referendum on the issue has been scheduled to coincide with the October 10 provincial election.

The signatories of this letter have been longtime supporters of the PC Party of Ontario and are active members of Fair Vote Canada. Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan organization that has been actively campaigning for the adoption of some form of Proportional Representation. Although FVC does not endorse a specific form of PR, it is of the opinion that almost any form would be preferable to the current system.

Proportional Representation, if adopted, will help to make the democratic process in Ontario politics more efficient and more reflective of voters' wishes in the Province. This is an issue that we, as a party, should seriously consider.

Wilfred Day, a lawyer, electoral reform expert and member of Fair Vote Ontario, wrote an article entitled An Ontario Mixed Member Proportional Model, in which he conducted a simulation of the 2003 provincial election using an MMP model of PR in which there would be a total of 139 legislative seats, both constituency and regional. Day projected what the hypothetical results would be for each party had this system been used.

Day's results demonstrated that the Liberals would only have won a minority government under MMP with 65 seats. The PC's on the other hand would have won 49 seats, almost double the amount of seats the party actually won in 2003. The NDP would have taken 24 seats and the Green Party would have taken 4 seats.

(To read the entire report, e-mail justinodonnell@cogeco.ca to request a copy.)

As you can see, this form of PR would have been of benefit to our party in 2003, in that our loss would not have been as severe, and that our party would have gotten more even representation throughout Ontario. PR can be very beneficial to our party, and not just to the NDP or Green Party as some critics have suggested.

Had Ontario had a form of Proportional Representation in the 1987 Ontario election, the Ontario PC Party would not have suffered such a devastating defeat that reduced the party to third place in the legislature. Such big shifts as what occurred in 1987 are out of proportion to the more moderate shifts in the popular vote. Adopting MMP would help introduce a degree of stability to the electoral process where swings in party support would be more moderate and in line with the overall popular vote.

Over the next two weeks, I would urge all party members to familiarize themselves with the issue. Discuss it with family members, friends and other party members and make your feelings known on this issue to them. If you want more information on the issue, go to the Vote for MMP website (http://www.voteformmp.ca/).

It is only through a healthy debate that our party can make an informed decision on such an important issue. Our party has had a strong tradition of supporting grassroots democracy and respecting the wishes of Ontario voters. By endorsing MMP, we would be continuing with that tradition.

/Signed/

Patrick Boyer, Q.C.
Once and future MP for
Etobicoke-Lakeshore

J. Justin O'Donnell, M.L.S.
Past President
Niagara Centre P.C. Association

Monday, September 24, 2007

It Gets More Dysfunctional

John Tory and I are having what you could call a bit of a dysfunctional relationship at the moment.

I am a Progressive Conservative supporter who supports the mixed member proportional (MMP) referendum - one of three conservative bloggers who do - thanks for the plug, Greg! This has put me somewhat at odds with Mr. Tory, who has, via the National Post, voiced some concerns with the referendum.

That's fair. It's an important change in our electoral system, and differing opinions are to be expected.

One of Mr. Tory's counter recommendations for electoral reform goes as follows [CBC, PC leader calls for more free votes, fewer hours for MPPs]:
The Progressive Conservative leader said he wants to allow more free votes within a party so MPPs can vote their conscience.

...

"If we don't fix the system in which I profoundly believe, I think we run of the risk of alienation of the public from politicians and the political process," Tory told reporters Wednesday.

While I think this policy is long overdue, it seems to contradict this sentiment [Ottawa Citizen, Tory faces dissent over school funding]:

"However, you have my word that should [a bill to extend funding to faith-based education] come before the legislature, as it stands today, with the majority of my riding opposed, I will vote against it."

Mr. [Bill] Murdoch[, the Progressive Conservative incumbent in Bruce Grey Owen Sound], who had previously supported Mr. Tory on the issue, said he sent a letter to Mr. Tory asking for either a referendum or a free vote.

Answering questions after a campaign speech in Guelph, The Conservative leader would not speculate whether there would be a free vote if his party is elected and called Mr. Murdoch a "maverick."

"Bill Murdoch is Bill Murdoch. When you look up 'maverick' in the dictionary, you find his picture there in colour," he said.

In a legislature that allows free votes on matters of conscience, there is no such thing as a maverick. A maverick would then be someone who does not vote their conscience but instead follows a policy which the representative, in representing their riding, does not believe in.

Regardless of Mr. Murdoch's political history, it seems that this issue is highly contentious to the point where even incumbent candidates are questioning policy during an election.

If nothing else, this is a glowing example of why a legislature built on proportionality is the best all around.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Little Bits - September 22, 2007

Extremely busy with real life at the moment.
  1. I haven't watched the provincial leaders' debate yet, but from what I can tell - the Ontario PC Party thinks John Tory won, the Liberal Party thinks Dalton McGuinty won, and the NDP thinks Howard Hampton won; the media seems divided between Mr. Tory and Mr. McGuinty taking the debate.

    In the plus column to Mr. McGuinty, I think it was a brilliant move to take out the front page ads in the free dailies yesterday morning making it appear as though the papers were declaring Mr. McGuinty the winner.

  2. Andrew Coyne gives an excellent reason for, well, conservatives to support MMP in today's National Post [National Post, Why conservatives should support proportional representation]. Interesting to note is that one of my reasons to support MMP is that I do want to see a split within the Conservatives. A true centre-right party all on its own would do me just fine. I know some people get all riled up about small government and low taxes; I just want effective and efficient government.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

MMP : Under FPTP, There Could Be No Opposition

If you thought 40% of the population voting for 70% of a legislature was bad, how about 40% of the population voting for 0% of the legislature? Take a look at the results of the 1987 New Brunswick general election.

Liberal - 60.39%
Progressive Conservative - 28.59%
NDP - 10.55%
Independents - 0.47%

In this election, the Liberal Party of New Brunswick won all 58 seats in the provincial legislature. A full 40% of the population was not even represented by one single member of an opposition party.

So, under the first past the post system, not only is it possible for a minority to elect a majority and for the second most popular party to form a majority government (see False Majorities) - it's even possible for an opposition to be completely shut out despite taking 40% of the vote.

This is democratic?

[H/T, Political Staples]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Poverty Conditions in Ontario Have Not Improved : Poll

Your Ontario Liberals are on a roll, folks. SES Research has released the results of another poll [PDF].

Now I'd like to ask your opinion on poverty levels in Ontario - that is the number of people who live at or below the poverty line. Do you believe there are more people, about the same number of people or fewer people living at or below the poverty line since the Ontario provincial Liberal government was elected in 2003?

Poverty levels (N=501, MOE ± 4.4%, 19 times out of 20)
More people 42%
About the same 35%
Fewer people 9%
Unsure 15%

77% of Ontarians believe that the number of people that live at or below the poverty line has either stayed the same or gotten worse.

Previously, 69% of Ontarians believed that health care had not improved - now we have 77% of Ontarians believing that poverty is an issue that the Ontario Liberals have utterly failed to address.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ontario Health Care has Not Improved : Poll

That's what 69% of Ontarians believe [PDF] according to a research survey conducted by SES Research.

Question: As you may know the Ontario provincial government has increased spending on healthcare by 30% to $49 billion since 2003. Taking this into consideration do you believe the quality of healthcare in Ontario has improved, stayed the same or worsened?

Improved/Worsened (N=501, MOE ± 4.4%, 19 times out of 20)
Improved: 24%
Stayed the same: 51%
Worsened: 18%
Unsure: 7%

69% of Ontarians believe that the quality of health care has either stayed the same or worsened since 2003.

I can only conclude that either Liberal hype is not matching reality or people are disappointed with Liberal policy on health care, so they used the survey to express that dissatisfaction.

Liberal policy usually dictates that by increasing funding to a particular program without a plan, it will necessarily improve the services under that program. I guess the gnomes come in when everyone is sleeping and perform hip replacements.

At the very least, Liberals believe spending funds without a plan should at least give the perception that services have improved under that program.

You'll hear press release after press release about how much Liberals spent on this program or that program, but you'll never hear what their goals are with that program or when (if?) they plan to achieve them.

Friday, September 14, 2007

John Tory and the Toronto Board of Trade

John Tory and the Progressive Conservative platform was a hit with the Toronto Board of Trade this afternoon:
"I believe we will never have a strong and prosperous Ontario without a strong and prosperous Toronto," Tory said, "Our plan recognizes the need to upload costs from the municipalities to the province. At the same time, I believe all governments must be able to look the taxpayer in the eye and assure them that every dollar is being spent as well as it can be. While I believe that there has been some work done by the City under the Mayor's leadership, I believe there is more to be done."

Tory outlines vision for Toronto at Board of Trade

Tory’s speech, including his promise to eliminate the capital tax, drew frequent applause from the sold-out audience and praise from Toronto Board of Trade President and CEO Carol Wilding.

"We’re here for the business community...and we put three fundamental issues in front of (the leaders): uploading, investment in infrastructure and the need to support economic growth in this city,” she said. "Quite clearly today, from Mr. Tory we heard very specific answers to those and some financial commitments in large magnitudes to invest in public transit, which is critical for this city."

Wilding continued, "We also put those questions in front of Mr. McGuinty and while we heard some discussion, you know we didn’t hear what we’d like to hear, we were disappointed in terms of addressing those."

It's clear that John Tory and the Progressive Conservative Party are the best option for a prosperous Toronto.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

MMP : The Truth About FPTP - Politics as Usual

What is tactical voting? Why is it prevalent in FPTP?

Tactical voting is voting for a party or a candidate that a voter may not want in an effort to defeat a candidate the voter does not want to win. Usually, the voter chooses the candidate most likely to defeat the candidate.

For example, a voter prefers Candidate A, but really dislikes Candidate B. If the voter perceives Candidate C has a better chance of defeating Candidate B, the voter will vote for Candidate C in the hopes of making sure Candidate B is defeated.

This has even occurred recently when Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty called for tactical voting. Hoping to defeat Opposition Leader, John Tory, he attacked the NDP by saying that "a vote for the NDP is in fact a vote for the Progressive Conservatives."

Tactical voting is often described as a vote against someone instead of a vote for someone. This tends to lead to voter apathy.

It's prevalent in FPTP for the simple fact it's only necessary to have the most votes in a riding, meaning close ridings have this occur more often. The candidate who benefits most from tactical voting will often play up fears in the hopes of just slightly tipping the balance in their favour.

It's a compounding effect, as this negative campaigning also leads to voter apathy.

I like some of the policies of one party, but I like some of the policies of another party. If I select FPTP, will the parties work together?

Most certainly not. As false majorities are the norm, political parties that form governments declare they have the mandate to do as they see fit - that may be to implement a radical platform or to completely abandon the promises they were elected on.

Voters are left to vote "all or nothing" and hope for the best.

I support Party A, but my riding has consistently supported Party B. I feel like my vote is wasted. Is it?

A vote is never truly wasted, but it may seem to you that your vote is unnecessary. This could lead someone to stop voting.

I find I can't support the old line parties anymore. I like a smaller party - if I vote for them, what are the chances my candidate will win?


It's not likely - in fact, it's a practical impossibility.

The FPTP system, by setting the threshold for winning so low, makes it harder for smaller parties to get seats. Under FPTP, even a small party with a sizable portion of the popular vote may not get a seat in the legislature!

Larger parties then use this as evidence to refer to these parties as "fringe" or not representative of electoral wishes.

Wow, it's looking grim. But, if I do support the candidate of my choice and they win, they will bring the needs of the community to the legislature and represent the constituency first, right?

No. If anything, political parties have more power over candidates, making them more responsible to the party brass than the voters of Ontario.

All candidates will want to maintain high standing within the party - toeing the line to ensure they are not booted from caucus or removed as a candidate. This is over and above the party support and finance that a candidate needs to get elected at the riding level.

Up next, a summary.

[The Truth About FPTP]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Compare and Contrast Leaders on Accountability

Thanks to Jason Cherniak, I wouldn't have seen this.

One of the things that has bothered me to no end about Dalton McGuinty and his performance as Premier is his propensity to blame others for his policy decisions.
Bold promises, bold dreams, followed by an "aw, shucks it's not our fault we can't deliver" press conference with a startling attack on something or somebody else. It's either Mike Harris, Bob Rae, Paul Martin, or Stephen Harper - it's either the fiscal imbalance or the strong Canadian dollar.

It's an indisputable fact. Even in his "mea culpa" on the coal-fired plant broken promise, where he was clearly to blame, he first blamed his advisers.

Well, let me just say, that I am completely impressed by what John Tory, the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has said [Canoe, Tory will take the fall if policies fail]:

John Tory says the buck stops at the top, and he will take full responsibility if his party goes down to defeat Oct. 10 over his policy on funding for religious schools.

"I have had lots of leadership positions and you know that that's where the buck stops and you have to accept accountability," Tory said at a campaign stop at London's Covent Garden Market, when asked if he'd personally be accountable for the policy.

He's not blaming anybody else for the campaign.

That's the mark of a real leader.

Hugh Segal : A Conservative for MMP

I am a supporter of the Mixed Member Proportional electoral system and I will be voting "Yes" on October 10th.

To more actively support this, I've decided that I will contribute some time to convincing conservatives (big 'C' and small 'c' alike) of the merits in supporting the referendum. To this end, I've created a separate blog called Conservatives for MMP.

It seemed fitting to announce that today.

At the Economic Club of Toronto, Senator Hugh Segal (Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds) delivered a speech whole-heartedly endorsing Mixed Member Proportional:
The next Ontario election will allow Ontarians to do as they have always done, choose their local MPP. The party who ends up with the largest numbers of MPPs is most likely to form a government. I, without being partisan here today, will be voting for Mr. Tory and the Conservatives – because Ontario cannot muddle through with mediocre leadership that costs us jobs, excess taxes, quality healthcare and reduced investment. Others here will vote Liberal or Green or NDP for their own valid reasons. That is your right – and I defend it absolutely. But out partisan choices is not why I am here.

This election, the referendum ballot we will get on election day also offers voters the opportunity to significantly modify the way future governments will be selected – the opportunity to deliver real fairness to a system that currently and effectively discards a great percentage of votes cast under the present system. As it stands today, unless a voter happens to cast his or her ballot for the candidate of the winning party in their riding, their vote is in point of fact lost. It counts for zero. In the current system, results are rarely proportional - a party’s share of seats in the legislature rarely corresponds to its share of the popular vote. This distortion causes some parties to receive more than their share of seats, while other ones receive less than their share, if at all. This detracts from the fairness and legitimacy of Ontario’s electoral system. Seldom has a majority government in Ontario been elected with a majority of voter support – this has not happened since 1937. The most glaring example of inequity occurred in September of 1990 when the New Democratic Party rose to power in Ontario, much to the surprise of everyone - including the New Democratic Party, with 37.6% of all ballots cast. They went from 19 to 74 seats – a 279% gain. And this was in an election with a 64% voter turnout. So in effect, 37% of 64% - which equals 24% of the slightly more than the 4 million people who voted, about 1 million electors - imposed an NDP majority government in Ontario – something for which some might say we are still paying!

...

The Citizens’ Assembly was independent of government and made up of 103 randomly-selected citizens – one from each of Ontario's electoral districts. With the Chair, 52 of the members were male and 52 were female and at least one member was Aboriginal. Members of the Assembly were selected at random by Elections Ontario from the Permanent Register of Electors for Ontario and every registered voter was eligible to participate, with the exception of elected officials. Their process was open and honest. All views were canvassed. Their recommendation was well reasoned and, largely keeps in place the geographic district representative process we have always had. The Assembly members examined Ontario’s electoral system – the system that structures how votes are combined to elect the Members of Provincial Parliament. In a nutshell, the final recommendation of the Assembly is to institute a Mixed Member Proportional system for Ontario – voters would get two votes at election time – one for their preferred local MPP and one for their preferred governing party. The result would actually reflect how people voted.

I will be cross-posting all my postings in support of MMP to this new blog, Conservatives for MMP.

If you would like to help me out, drop me a line at progressive.right@gmail.com - I will list your blog, your endorsement, and any postings you'd like to share.

Conservatives stand to gain under Mixed Member Proportional and I truly believe the move to this electoral system is the right one.

Time to Close Up Shop, Folks

From the Ottawa Citizen, Web wars put an edge on old-time politics:
The Internet's ability to enable rapid-fire repartée between campaigns can have a downside, depending on how idealistic you are about politics.

The need for similar hype amidst millions of websites, combined with the ease of production, might encourage Internet ads to take a decidedly edgier, more negative tone.

"It doesn't advance the cause of democracy or inform voters," said Robert MacDermid, a York University political scientist who thinks Internet politics benefit the media more than average citizens. "Most voters don't come home at night and look a Liberal party website or blogs. It's still a tiny percentage of people."

Emphasis mine.

Mr. MacDermid didn't really say anything earth-shattering.

If you have a population that's largely apathetic towards politics - regardless of how passionate we (the blogger) may feel about a particular issue - it only stands to reason that they are not going to seek out pockets of political information from blogs and political party websites. Why would they?

Updated: Added a slight clarification.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

YWCA Canada Endorses MMP

This is good news for electoral reform.

YWCA Canada urges Ontarians to choose proportional representation in referendum

Canada's largest multi-service women's organization urges Ontarians to choose proportional representation in upcoming electoral reform referendum. Leader says a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system will help more equitable representation of women in provincial legislature.

Ontario voters go to the polls a month from today to choose a new provincial government. When they cast their ballots on October the 10th, they will also be asked whether they want to keep the current electoral process or adopt a Mixed Member Proportional system.

YWCA Canada is partnering with Equal Voice (an organization dedicated to increasing the number of women politicians) to support the MMP system. Under this new system, 90 of the seats in the Legislature would be elected in ridings as is currently the case, while an additional 39 would be elected by Proportional Representation (PR).

[H/T, Liberals for MMP]

Where is Dalton?

If I am Dalton McGuinty, I'm now starting to plan a whirlwind local media tour through the Durham Region. It seems a silly political strategy to avoid one of the key battlegrounds in this election.

Where is Dalton?
Like the elusive Waldo, [Liberal leader] Dalton [McGuinty] appears to be playing his best game of hide-and-seek. Despite requests from the Metroland Durham Region Media Group to sit down with us and talk shop, the Premier's team made it pretty clear he wasn't interested in visiting Durham.

John Tory, Howard Hampton, and Frank de Jong have all been interviewed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

An Epilogue to my Meltdown

If John Tory loses this election it's simply because of the dominance of the faith-based schools issue and his faux pas in mentioning creationism in the same sentence as evolution.

John has fallen into the same "trap" that has befallen other Tory leaders - he's trying to please everyone in the PC partisan camp. Someone, somewhere has said to Mr. Tory - "Hey, John. Guess what would be a great idea to campaign on? Funding faith-based public schools. You'll keep the support of the soft social conservative vote who think you're a Liberal."

What inevitably happens, though, when you run on a policy that isolates those of us who are just slightly right-of-centre, we run away. We either vote Liberal, or we stay home. We like the rest of the platform, but it's that one policy that bugs us.

Some have argued that it would be better for the Tories to stick to a "pure" fiscal conservative/social conservative model. Somebody else tried that too. Stephen Harper has done just fine without us Red Tories. He's enjoying accolades the country over, a huge lead in the polls, and will no doubt go down in history as the single greatest Prime Minister ever. At least, that was the plan, when he ditched us for his "principle over pragmatism" world tour.

I like John. I supported him for leader, and still do. Truth be told, the Progressive Conservatives are my only political home right now and they are the only chance of defeating the Liberal Party.

There is no question in my mind, that it is fair to fund all faith-based schools or fund none. There are only two parties promising fairness; the Ontario Progressive Conservatives and the Green Party of Ontario (although, I am surprised the NDP haven't picked this up).

The curriculum of those faith-based schools will be determined by the Ministry of Education.

The depth and breadth of those faith-based schools will be determined by the Public Education Fairness Implementation Commission.

These schools may hold religion classes to talk about all kinds of religious type stuff that I don't believe in.

Those are the facts.

In other words, I reject your reality and substitute my own! :)

Updated: Fixed a typo.

Calmer Head (Somewhat)

While I am entirely responsible for the fuel, the rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

:-)

Back later with an epilogue of sorts.

Hugh Segal : Repairing the Infrastructure of Democracy Before It Collapses

On September 12, Senator Hugh Segal will discuss electoral reform at the Economic Club of Toronto.

Repairing the Infrastructure of Democracy Before It Collapses

The National Club
303 Bay Street [map]
11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Lunch will be served.
  • $69 (+ 4.14 GST) for non-members
  • $59 (+ 3.54 GST) for Economic Club members
  • $690 (+ 41.40 GST) for tables of 10

To register by telephone, please call 416-306-0899.

Our present voting system diminishes the value of millions of votes, and threatens the legitimacy of our democratic system and the economic stability it underwrites. Proportional representation, however, would allow voters to choose both their local MPP and provincial government, and in doing so would modernize the electoral system in ways that will promote stability and broaden participation.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

See You on October 11

Sorry, John - you lost me when you said:
"It's still called the theory of evolution," [John] Tory said. "They teach evolution in the Ontario curriculum, but they also could teach the fact to the children that there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs."

That's not what I signed up for.

It's called the theory of evolution because that's what you call a logical or mathematical explanation in science - a theory - not because it's an opinion or a best guess. A scientific theory can be proven via experiment or disproven via evidence.

That's why evolution belongs in science class, along with gravity and relativity - similar scientific theories.

Calmer heads may prevail, but at this point - I'm done.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Only Because I Like Math, Education Edition

The Ontario Progressive Conservative plan to increase funding in education, including a budget for additional publicly funded faith-based schools represents a net increase in public education funding.

Here's my quick and dirty math I used.

The assumptions I used:

  • Total enrollment in Ontario schools is 2.2 million; 650,000 are enrolled in Catholic schools.
  • The budgeted spend on public education is $17.2 billion.
  • The Liberals are proposing an additional $963 million in education spending.
  • The Progressive Conservatives are proposing an additional $2.44 billion in education spending. This includes the commitment for the $963 million proposed by the Liberals and the $400 million budgeted for additional faith based public school funding.
  • The expected maximum influx of new public education students will be 53,000.

Now, for the math.

Under the Liberal plan, using the budgeted $17.2 billion and the proposed increase of $983 million - that brings the total investment into education to $18.1 billion. Simple proportioning means that $12.6 billion will be spent on non-Catholic public education, and the remaining $5.6 billion into Catholic education.

Using the Progressive Conservative spending increase, a total of $19.6B will be spent on public education ($17.2B + $2.44B). Using the same quick proportioning, the Catholic school system would receive $5.9B, the non-Catholic school system would receive $13.3B, and the 53,000 new students in the public system would receive $479 million (which falls within the $400 estimated by the PC's and within the $500 million estimated by the Liberals - so the quick and dirty math kind of works).

The conclusion, however, from all this math is that under the Liberals, non-religious public education spending will increase by only 5.6% (from $11.9B to $12.6B), whereas under the PC's, non-religion public education will increase by 11.4% (from $11.9B to $13.3B).

Under the PC plan, the government commits more to non-religious public education than the current Liberal plan does.

Now, you may argue the math is too quick - it still illustrates a point, however. All of the arguments against extending funding has been predicated on the mistaken belief that the additional $400-$500 million would come from the existing public education budget.

That is simply not true.

Additionally, arguing that that $400-$500 million should "stay" in public education is also misleading, because that $400-500 million isn't even there unless you elect a PC government.

As a post script, I'm still not supportive of funding public faith-based schools. My preference is to have one public school system. As I've also said in the same piece, there is not a government in Ontario that is going to stop funding Roman Catholic separate schools. The reality is there is simply no option to eliminate faith-based education in Ontario.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Little Bits - September 4, 2007

I'm not ready to get right back into blogging just yet. Everybody should take a vacation.

  1. Ontario PC leader John Tory remarks, "The gap between New Year's Day and Easter is a long gap, and I'm all for families having a day to be together and so on. I would only ask this question: Why did Mr. McGuinty wait until now to do this? He's had four years, if he thought this was a good idea ... why now?"

    Because he can't ban photo radar for a third time?

  2. "The [Liberal] government itself has a position that is logically incoherent [on faith-based school funding]". Of course the Liberal Party's position is logically incoherent. They're attempting to argue against faith-based funding in public education while actually supporting the status quo on faith-based funding in public education.

    You can't argue so vehemently against something (going so far as to suggest it is segregation) and not have those same arguments thrown against maintaining the status quo.

    It seems, finally, that people are beginning to realize that the Ontario Liberals do not hold the opposing view on faith-based public education after all.

  3. John Tory has apologized for a comment he made about the University of Ottawa. That was the right thing to do.