Just in case the people at John Tory's campaign headquarters are monitoring conservative bloggers for reaction to today's about-face on faith-based school funding, I thought I would pile on while the corpse is still warm. In my opinion, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives do not deserve to form the next government.
First, the PCs gave us a platform that is indistinguishable from the Liberal party's. Any new ideas on health care, like radically overhauling our inefficient state-run monopoly? Nope - just a vague promise to increase "public-private partnerships" and spend $8.5 billion extra dollars over four years, as if more money is going to make it all better.
The environment? How about a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. This is coming from the Tories? The Conservative party is going to force the province to shut down a third of its energy economy just to out-Kyoto the Liberals?
The economy & taxes? Well, they did promise to eliminate the health-care "premium", but that is tempered by idiotic ideas like relocating 10% of government offices out of Toronto & supporting economic development in the north (presumably by spending lots of money and propping up inefficient industries). Any market-based reforms? Not that I can tell.
And finally, education. Any really radical conservative ideas in this area, like reducing the power of teachers' unions, eliminating funding for Catholic schools, or creating voucher systems for underperforming schools? No - John Tory makes a mountain out of a molehill by introducing a controversial plan to fund religious schools, a plan almost no-one in Ontario was agitating for, and was guaranteed to hand the Liberals a club to beat him with.
OK, I was willing to swallow all that, hold my nose and vote Conservative for one reason: Caledonia. I was willing to do anything to punish the government that has allowed communities across the province to be terrorized by lawless natives while the OPP stands idly by. This had to stop, and McGuinty had to pay for his spinelessness on the native file.
Well, not anymore. If John Tory is so wishy-washy that he changes a major plank in his party platform less than two weeks before the election, then he will do anything. We already have a premier like that.