Life is Belief & Struggle - Ahmed Shawqi

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Swooning on Ford

I have just finished listening to a CBC radio interview with Doug Ford.  I am about to swoon.  I don’t swoon often, but no provincial taxes for those making under $30,000 a year. It won’t help me, I will still be paying taxes, but with job churning, I am surrounded by people who make under $30,000 who are really struggling just to get by. But the real swoon moment came when he said he was in favour of the privatization of pot stores – can I get an ‘Amen’.

Now he did say, he needs to consult and discuss this issue with his caucus and hear their thoughts, but in his personal opinion, he favours letting the private sector run it.

I haven’t been able to determine just how much Wynne intends to spend getting into the retail pot business, but the most recent article I have on the January 2018 CBC article suggests it could take at least 2 years before the province sees a return on their initial retail investment.

We do know that the Liberals have already spent $650,000 for the new logo and branding/marketing strategy. Although, why the Wynne government believes they need an officially branding/marketing strategy for a product that is already widely consumed illicitly and the government will have an absolute monopoly on the legal retail trade once legalization happens this July - providing the Liberals win the election …but hey, it’s Wynne and another Liberal spending cluster fuck…so Bob's your uncle.

The truth is, no one knows, what the demand/market for legalized pot will be but letting the private sector take the risk for establishing  retail pot stores  makes far more sense than a top heavy investment by government in the retail sector and hoping to break even in a few years.

I suggest you listen to the full interview.  Robyn Bresnahan is rather hostile but the Doug keeps his cool and keep in mind the kind of efficiencies Ford is discussing is not making multi-million dollar investments in the risky retail sector or even buying Canada Goose Jackets youth correctional facilities workers….oh yes, the Wynne government did.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Ford Nation

Doug Ford is not Trump on the Stump.

And if you think so you are an idiot and the sloppiest of thinkers.  The only valid comparison which can be made between Donald Trump and Doug Ford; is how both men intuit just how out of touch traditional mainstream candidates are within the body politic they seek to lead. Unlike Trump, Ford will not be running on a platform centered on immigration control and anti-globalization.  Go to a Ford rally, and you will bask in a sea of colour and ethnicity.  The only classes missing are the Laurentian liberals and the dipper progs.

For the last 20 years, I have dumbfounded and left dazed at the PC Ontario party for consistently choosing the most publically unpalatable party leaders imaginable. After each leadership convention, I would shake my head and think – what were they thinking?  After Patrick Brown’s election, I was busy trying to decide if I could convince myself to hold my nose and vote NDP or just not vote. After all, why vote for a Liberal in Conservative clothing when, there was a real liberal running? If the best you can offer the people of Ontario is more of the same, that isn’t sufficient motivation, to vote PC. Or even a motivation for voting.  Period.  

I admit, as of today, in my ‘perfect’ world, Doug Ford is Premier with Andrea Horwath as a strong leader of the opposition.  She’ll keep the Laurentian Tory political class honest and minding the Doug. Those are the same Tories who have done their best to keep the PC party a closed club and are in the process of being caught mired in all manner of nefarious activities recently.  Let’s be real, there is a great deal wrong with the Ontario PC party, and that disaster of a party convention yesterday showed up their incompetence up – big time.  I was busy watching Rosemary Barton on the CBC and was almost feeling sorry for her. Or I would have been if only she would stop playing with her hair.  

Unlike Mike Crawley (who has done a superb job of covering the convention and the aftermath) I don’t have any ‘sources’ but I suspect that it was known by 3pm that Doug Ford was the elected leader and Elliott was doing her best to suck and blow the vote.  I admit it’s too rich for my blood to read Elliott’s claim of too many voting ‘irregularities’ when she was the only candidate to object to extending the vote when it came to light how many members did not get their pins so they could vote.  Nothing says your time is up and passed like Mike Harris telling the CBC his daughter didn’t get her pin so she could not vote. And Frank Klees, jezus, who knew he wear outrage so righteously!  And here I thought he was just another blowhard…

As for the Tories, whose idea was it to think now is the hour for Caroline Mulroney’s first foray into the political life as a potential candidate for Premier of one of the largest provinces? This, at the time - when Mr. Dress up is playing Prime Minister.  This is the ultimate in the hubris of stupidity - words fail me.  But that’s the type of thinking which shines as the best idea in the provincial Big Brain Tory Trust Box.

Although, I would concede a slight similarity to Trump’s election since Christine Elliott is on the fast track to being the candidate most likely to be become the Hillary Clinton of Canadian politics.  

Doug Ford is not his brother, and it’s a grave mistake to confuse them.  But at  a time when Ontario is about to legalize and control the selling of marijuana, I’d rather have a Ford at the provincial helm of a pot business than Kathleen Wynne, a premier who is on-track to be the premier most likely to run a loss selling drugs. At least Doug Ford is rumoured to have knowledge of the market and an understanding of the clientele.

A lot of people misunderstand the so-called rise of popularism.  It only rises when there is entrenched political elite who are grossly out of touch with the people they seek to lead.  Let’s talk sex education in the province.  Dalton McGuinty tried, saw the outrage, and wisely backed off.  Wynne, saw the outraged, and gave the giant middle finger to the parents of Ontario since she had her majority in the provincial parliament.  Her justification was that the sex ed curriculum had not been updated in 20 years but the problem with this line of thinking is; neither biology, sex or parents wanting the final say when it comes to the introduction of sexual behaviour to their children had changed since the 90’s.  

The electorate is telling you that they aren’t on board with politics as usual. They are tired of having their elected bettors attempt to use ‘nudge theory’ or ‘economic carrot/sticks’ to engineer us into their ideal of being better people.  No one in government is wise enough to tell me how to live my life or at least any life I want to live.

In  1978, instead of going to my high school prom, I came to Toronto to join a  protest against housing discrimination towards Gays and Lesbians.  I am the one who had an elderly white woman with a walker spit on me in a public washroom for being on a lunch date with a black man.  I am the one who had ‘Kill the Jew’ craved into her door in the middle of downtown Toronto in early 2000’s.  And I am a blue, not a red, Tory.  
For all those so called Tories who claim moral smugness and claim they won’t vote for Doug Ford, I tell you truly;  your Laurentian is showing and that is just so déclassé in 2018.