It was a revelation this morning to be reading a columnist in the Toronto Star who thinks like a real liberal. This is not only a rare and wondrous thing but the writer actually proposed not cutting but even increasing provincial taxes for business and the rich. If we all write in the same vein do you think we could embarrass McGuinty’s Whigs into acting as liberals for a change? Or do you think this was Premier Dalton’s scheme all along for him to bow to the pressure of liberals in Ontario’s populace?
We have never suggested that he might really be a liberal before. While his Whigs use the name “Liberal” as though they might be a legitimate political party, he seems to scoff at any suggestion that he might be anything other than an out-of-date, right-wing Whig. McGuinty is certainly far to the right politically of the early reformers of York and Clear Grits of Western Ontario that came together under George Brown to create the venerable Liberal Party of Canada.
In a recent CBC television special, actors showed how George Brown set aside partisan positions to work along side Sir John A. Macdonald to bring together Canada as a nation. Now would you not have laughed to see Premier McGuinty in the role of Brown?
But you never know. Some people have more depth than we give them credit for. His doughty Treasurer Dwight Duncan has yet to be heard from. It will be March 29 before we get the Treasurer’s word on how much, if any, of the bunk from Don Drummond will be heeded. While Mr. Duncan is well known for his hesitations and half measures, it will be his chance to recant his Whigishness and emerge as a true reformer.
Duncan could, for example, doublecross Drummond and take a giant step into political stardom, by selling off the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) operations. He is hardly going to lose any tax revenue—in fact, it would increase tax revenue substantially—when privately-owned stores are free to do proper merchandising for their customers. Think how wonderful it would be to have a privately-owned central warehousing operation vying with independents to supply privately-owned liquor stores across the province. Wow!
Mind you, we could hardly have the privatized liquor stores competing with that decrepit old Brewers’ Warehousing operation. There would have to be a companion act by the legislature to end that foolish beer monopoly. Just think of how many Liberal votes that would garner from convenience store operators across the province. The government could then use all the Beer Store ‘In and Outs’ as recycling depots. They already smell like it.
We do so wish that this is the delightful surprise that Mr. McGuinty has in store for us. If he did, all would be forgiven. Well, almost all.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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