Thursday, March 1, 2018

The destructive influence of social conservatives seeping into Ontario PC leadership race

Former drug dealer and crack-filled circus enabler Doug Ford, 
according to Globe 2013 story
Despite his creepiness, former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown did at least understand how the worst instincts of conservatives need to be tamed.

If he achieved nothing else during his leadership, Brown did manage to drag his party of neanderthals into the 21st century by scorning bigoted social conservatives and their prejudices, walking in Pride parades, and adopting meaningful policy to combat the biggest threat facing humanity, climate change.   This was ironic because Brown got elected in the first place by flirting with the troglodytes who catapulted him to victory over the more qualified Christine Elliott in 2015. 

But now that Brown is gone, those horrible folks are looking for revenge.  And it seems they have found their champions in two of the candidates running to replace him: former drug dealer and crack-filled circus enabler Doug Ford and grassroots bigot Tanya Granic Allen, both of whom seem to want to import Donald Trump-style politics to Ontario. 

Ever since the unknown Granic Allen signed up for the campaign (apparently raising about $100,000 to become a candidate is not a problem for the alleged outsider), she's been aggressively spouting her bunk demanding parents have the unfettered right to abuse their children and denying the science of climate change.   If she is the new champion of Ontario's social conservatives, this simply reinforces for me my firm belief that these dangerous people need to be ignored for our own good.

During the first leadership debate, Granic Allen even took opponent Christine Elliott to task for supporting a ban on the dangerous, disgusting, and discredited practice of forcing LGBT kids into therapy to "cure" them of their sexual orientation.  Granic Allen grossly claimed this ban took away parental choice!  In essence, Granic Allen was arguing in favour of child abuse.  She would do more harm to Ontario's LGBT children than anything alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur could ever dream up.

Make no mistake: Granic Allen represents a huge portion of the Ontario conservative base.  While she'll likely place dead last in the race, the power these folks yield in this party far outweighs their influence in greater society.

More dangerous though is the thoughtless populism of Doug Ford, whose family proves that white trash that inherits a million-dollar company will still be white trash, just more powerful and influential than most of the elites they constantly complain about.  After the disaster of his late brother's single term as Toronto's mayor, where all progress ground to a halt while council contemplated Doug's idea to build a giant ferris wheel and mega-mall on Toronto's waterfront, it's shocking that Ford's support persists in conservative circles.

One question I wish someone would finally ask Ford: why did he not sue the Globe & Mail after it published this article about his previous drug dealing? 

While Caroline Mulroney's got some promise, it was clear to me in last night's debate she remains too inexperienced to leap into this job now.  Furthermore, her "to the manor born" pedigree as the daughter of Brian "Airbus" Mulroney makes her quite unrelateable as a leader, at least to me.  When she talks about Ontarians struggling to pay hydro bills, I can't help but think this is a person who's never struggled to pay any bills in her life. 

So once again, the only person standing in the way of these scary social conservatives is Christine Elliott.  While some of her pronouncements in this race - such as placating social conservatives by promising to "revisit" Ontario's sex-ed curriculum, or opposing a carbon tax - are disheartening, they also seem calculated.  She appears to have learned a thing or two from her previous failed leadership bids and indeed may finally pull this one off.  Elliott is the professional adult this party desperately needs even if much of its base is too stupid to know it.

So the question remains: will the conservative base vote for the qualified adult who's ready to lead, or stick with a numbskull like them?  I'm not very optimistic. 

No comments: