Ontario’s prudent provincial premier?

We have not seen the last of Premier Dalton McGuinty yet. His stigma stays with us like a bad smell. The supercilious Toronto Star made it worse today with a laudatory editorial about the coming provincial leadership race. It called the race “well-timed.” It even referred to McGuinty’s edict about cabinet members resigning, if they wish to run, as “prudent.” That is the last adjective we would use for McGuinty after the way he has botched things for Ontario’s Liberals.

And what makes the Toronto Star think that a provincial leadership campaign can be run effectively over the holiday season? They have obviously never experienced what can happen in winter when you are trying to get a candidate the most exposure to the possible convention delegates. It tends to confirm the impression that the Toronto Star’s world ends at Highway 7.

And where does the editorial writer get off saying the fee for entering the race is just $50,000? That is just the registration. What does the writer think of the 25 per cent toll charge on fund raising? That can add another $125,000 to the fees. That is onerous, unfair, undemocratic and greedy.

What this Ontario Liberal leadership race is designed to do is give us another Dalton McGuinty. It is someone who can quickly and easily ask friends to pony up as much as $675,000 while resigning his or her cabinet post. Outsiders are not welcome.

Any of the cabinet hopefuls who cannot forego a third of their income for three months during the contest should not be in it.

The editorial writer thinks the stakes are high because some of the key cabinet members will be away from their jobs while running for the leadership. Actually, the reverse might be true. We have always thought of Treasurer Dwight Duncan as the cork in the bottle of Ontario’s finances. And whatever Deb Mathews has been doing wrong with the doctors might have a chance to be corrected while she runs for the premier’s job. The truth of the matter is that being in Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet is enough to turn Ontario voters against any new premier.

We do agree with the editorial writer when making the statement at the end of an overly long and boring piece that “it’s important that the best possible person be chosen.” Yes it is. It is just too bad that nobody seems to know how to do that!

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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