Doug Ford meet Mike Harris.

Philosopher George Santayana told us that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That idea has obviously sailed right over the head of Ontario premier Doug Ford. Despite his father being a back bench MPP for the Harris government, the younger Ford is making the same mistakes.

It was Mike Harris who cut back the number of MPPs in the 1999 provincial election to 103 from 130. Doug Ford Sr. lost in his attempt to win the conservative nomination in the new larger riding.

It must have been where premier Ford got the idea to cut the number of Toronto council seats when he took provincial office. He was settling some old scores. And he is hardly finished unloading provincial costs onto the municipality.

In fact, much of the younger Ford’s actions in office have been based on ‘get even’ and vindictiveness. And only an adhesive sticker salesman would come up with the highly partisan action of telling gas stations they have to have stickers on their gas pumps blaming the federal carbon tax for the price of gas. The only way gasoline retailers should comply is if they also show how much higher the provincial taxes on gas are in Ontario.

But the basic problem with this current Ontario government is that all these ‘get-even actions’ are costing the taxpayers more than they are saving them. Many of his ham-fisted actions are ending up costing us more instead of less.

It is obvious that one of the problems Dougie has is that he is trying to be a populist. He is trying to win the approval of people such as he knows in what they call Ford Nation. That is where the beer in convenience stores and tail-gate parties at football games comes from. He actually thinks of his supporters as a lower class of people. He sees himself as a benevolent lord of the manor.

In contrast to this stance by Doug Ford, Mike Harris was more of an ideologue. He thought the things he was doing were improving the way the better half of society could live. Harris, the golf pro, was a snob. Ford, the sticker salesman, is just another schmuck.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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