Not likely, David Peterson.

Former Liberal Premier David Peterson has been labelled as a left-wing social democrat by the Toronto Star. It is hardly the first time the Star has been wrong but even Peterson denies the label. It was pinned on him after trying the Vox Pox Labs’ political Sentimeter quiz. The quiz divides respondents into four right wing political slots or four left wing political categories. It is an interesting exercise but determining someone’s political stance is much more complex.

What is interesting about the questionnaire is that of the 50,000 people claimed to have participated, roughly half have been labelled as right wing and the other half as left wing. It is only when you do the exercise that you see how easy it is to push your reading one way or the other. This writer found that his hardening views on environmental concerns moved him from the social democrat left to the anti-establishment left. While there are quite a few Liberals who would concur with that assessment, we would be deliriously happy if more people in the Liberal Party just moved to the social democrat left.

And a social democrat, David Peterson is not. As are most Liberals from London, Ontario, David is a fine, caring person but his politics are very definitely right wing. The Vox Pop people could better describe David as Libertarian right in that his views and concerns on social issues are more moderate. He thinks of himself as a centrist.

And that is one of the failures of the Liberal Party in Ontario. It is all these right-wingers in the party who think of themselves as centrist. They try to put down those of us who preach reform. Their attitude is that if the problem does not bite them in the ass, they can ignore it. They spend their political days putting out little fires and get nothing constructive done. This is the party that thinks all-day kindergarten is a reform when it was only about 50 years behind the times.

Based on the Vox Pop Lab’s findings, there are clear differences of opinion among the Toronto population. While only four per cent of the survey’s respondents fell into the anti-establishment left, we hardly write these blogs just for just that segment of the population. In each of us there are elements of the entire political spectrum. And the truth is only what we perceive to be truth each day.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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