Liberals are progressives Ms. Wynne.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne needs to check her dictionary. She needs to understand the definition of the word ‘liberal.’ Oxford says it best. In politics it means “favourable to democratic reform and individual liberty.” Could it be any easier to understand? You can expand on that but it gives you the basics. It is why we are not particularly pleased with Ms. Wynne and her sham of a “Liberal” government.

Nothing says “reactionary” and “conservative” better than a closed mind. And Ms. Wynne and her ministers have certainly convinced us of their closed minds. The recent farce of a report from TD Bank’s Ed Clark and his panel of political has-beens stuck firmly to the government orders to neither privatize liquor and wine sales nor loosen the reins on beer sales.

What is galling about this is that someone such as Clark should recognize the long-term financial gains for the government in privatization of liquor and wine distribution and the better distribution of beer sales. The government would not only earn more in annual revenues and in taxes but more convenient distribution would help solve some of the abuses in alcoholic beverages consumption. It certainly does not take a merchandising genius to understand that the smaller packages of beer that would sell the most in convenience and food stores would earn more taxes.

The throne speech that this government used to open our provincial parliament recently was not liberal. It was a litany of conservative bromides. It emphasized infrastructure needs over peoples’ needs. It put the financial deficit ahead of the deficits in health care and social services. It offered more to business and less to the citizens who had put their confidence in this government. And it will be interesting to watch as the plans for the retirement benefit supplement are finalized whether Ontario citizens will really benefit from the investment fund created.

And please do not point to the recent budget as being progressive. It was a budget of half measures planned to annoy the New Democrats into an election. Which it did.

The Ontario Liberals do not seem to understand that they were the best of a poor choice in the last provincial election. The opposition parties helped to defeat themselves. They had leadership problems and strategic problems. They fumbled the ball.

That gives the Wynne government the next four years to prove that it can be progressive and liberal. It is the time for the big ideas that capture the imaginations of the voters. It is a time for real reform. It is a time to lead. Or they can sit back and coast for four years. And then they will be tossed out.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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