There is good news for McGuinty: Caplan’s gone.

It is a good news-bad news scenario.  Every few days we learn of another retirement from the benches at the Ontario Legislature.  With his foolish decision to combine fixed elections periods in a parliamentary system, Premier Dalton McGuinty has only himself to blame.  There is little he can do about the water torture he is going through, losing experienced members in the long run-up to the preset election day.

But for every needed and valued member such as stalwart Gerry Phillips who retires with honour, there is another deserting the ship such as David Caplan.  Gerry Phillips has given the Liberal Party in Ontario over 40 years of outstanding service.  David Caplan, like his mother before him, finds the heat is too much and his welcome less warm.

While you try not to visit the wrongs of the parent on the child, there seems no question that a similar political paranoia that eventually ended Elinor Caplan’s political career, has ended her son’s career at Queen’s Park.  He started his career with flunking out of business at the University of Western Ontario and has yet to find his forte.  He shared his expertise in education as a North York school board trustee from 1991 to 1997 when he took his mother’s Toronto area riding and got elected to Queen’s Park.

David Caplan was following in his mother’s footsteps as Minister of Health in the Fall of 2009 when he resigned because of the billion-dollar eHealth boondoggle.  His mother was heading for the same type of crash and burn situation as Minister of Health in the Peterson Government back in the late 1980s.

Elinor Caplan was headed for serious trouble over how the government was handling the AIDS crisis at the time.  The only difference was that she had a friend in the Premier’s office who could fix it.  She never knew who it was that planned the events and wrote the news releases and speeches that turned that impending disaster into a win-win situation for the Peterson government.

To us, Elinor always represented the worst of politics.  She never seemed to trust anyone.  If you did anything to be helpful, she assumed you wanted something.  She appeared to make few friends.  She left politics in 2004.

With her son also gone from Queen’s Park, one can hope that politics will continue to improve in Ontario.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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