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Author Topic: Have the Conservatives Softened Up Enough?
David Stapley
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posted 21 June 2002 11:01 PM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
With all the recent Ontario government changes in policy under the new Premier Ernie Eves, do you believe they have softened to the point that they could actually get re-elected? One must admit that they have changed many policies of the former Premier Mike Harris.

*Ontarians now wont have to pay for Harris' legal fees in his lawsuit against the Globe and Mail.

*Hydro One is not going to be sold (in the fashion it was originally intended to be anyway)

*Premier Eves paid back his severence package when he left the Legislature in 1999.

*The government is reviewing the education funding formula.

*Leah Casselman praised Premier Eves on ending the Ontario Public Services Union strike.

*Etc...

What do you think; will Premier Eves be re-elected because of his apparent shift to the left? Will that red cloak become his political shroud?

[ June 21, 2002: Message edited by: David Stapley ]


From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 22 June 2002 09:17 AM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A wolf in sheep's clothing will still devour the flock.

Of course enough sheep will be fooled that yes they likely will win the next election.


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 22 June 2002 09:22 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree, it wouldn't surprise me if they did win the next election, and then they'd claim to have a mandate to fuck us three ways from thursday. Not that it'll make much difference- a Tory government that doesn't listen to the people is more or less the same as a Liberal government that doesn't listen to the people.
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
David Stapley
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posted 22 June 2002 09:23 AM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
I read an interesting article in the Toronto Star this morning that delves into this debate but with a twist. Will Eves be able to maintain the right wing revolutionaries by shifting to the left...

quote:
AT QUEEN'S Park this week, the question being asked is: Can Premier Ernie Eves win votes in the political centre by moving away from his predecessor's right-wing agenda?

But a better question is: Can Eves hold his right wing while making the move to the centre?


Revolution's undoing triggers right-wing anger


From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 22 June 2002 10:04 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I wouldn't worry too much about them. Where are they gonna go? To the Family Coalition Party? The Libertarians? HA!

With any luck, they'll just stay home, and everyone else in the province will be all the more happy because of it.


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 June 2002 11:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I dunno -- on two major issues, the Hydro sale and the water-reporting failure, the Tories have looked muddled, and muddled in a familiar pattern -- that is, there are problems they keep promising to fix or trying to bury that keep resurrecting themselves. Incompetence can become a hard tag to lose -- how long have they got?

Also, they only "balanced" the budget by selling assets, and they continue to underfund just about everything. Over the course of, say, a year, the superficiality of that budget may play out in practice.

If only there were an opposition ...


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 22 June 2002 01:45 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The CSR was an alliance of Reform and PC elements. Reform is gone, and there isn't currently the same dynamic between the Alliance and the Ontario PCs as there was with Reform. Yet this could easily change.

My guessing is that most Ontario Tory types are preparing for a stint in Ottawa, after they get defeated in Ontario. For if the Liberals win in Ontario, they are gone from the corridors of power in Ottawa. Ontario can't have the same party in power in the province and federally, which seems to be an enduring political reality in this country.

Paul Martin isn't going to 'finish off the job' for the boys on Bay St. as well as an Alliance-led government would. We are looking at an elimination of corporate income taxes, and the institution of a flat income tax. Tony Blair is the caretaker of Thatcherite Britain, and will not rock the boat, even after all these years. We see that when a right-wing government brings in neo-liberal policy the ensuing centrist or even left-wing government is loath to change it. Thus Bay St. doesn't have to worry about Dalton McGuinty, and definitely not a care-bear Tory government. Even Howard Hampton would be no threat to Bay St. He wants to raise the minimum wage to $7.50 when it should be at least $9.50. It has been at $6.85 since 1995. Howard Hampton has consistently failed to speak out for the most underprivileged members of Ontario society, so he would be good for Bay St. as well. The 'job' in Ontario has been done. We have been impaled, and then gutted. Bay St. interests are safe. Now the action moves to Quebec (hello Mario) and Ottawa. With Ontario, BC, Alberta, Quebec, and Ottawa under the neo-liberal gun, the circle is closed.

Ontario PCs could very well say 'screw it' to the Ontario Party and join the Federal PC Party in droves. Once the federal PCs have the Big Blue Machine, the Alliance will want to bargain, and fast. Ernie is in fact telling them to go, as it does not really matter what happens in Ontario. Ernie, Dalton., or Howard will all be playing caretaker for the Harrisite Ontario.

The CSR was the first politically successful Alliance between Reform and Tory elements in central and eastern Canada. Ontario and Alberta Tories know this works, as does Stephen Harper. This is why Harper is leaving the Tories all the time in the world to consider his offer. He is telling the likes of Mike Harris and Tony Clement to get busy in the Federal PC Party. With 'credentials' like theirs, an Alliance-Tory love-in is an inevitability.

[ June 22, 2002: Message edited by: hibachi ]


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 22 June 2002 01:56 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If only there were an opposition ...

Bingo! I don't think Hampton is strong enough to overcome the legacy of Bob Rae. And I've never been able to take McGuinty seriously and I don't think I'm alone. So who is there to stand in the way of Eves and company?


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 22 June 2002 02:52 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So who is there to stand in the way of Eves and company?

Marg Delahunty Warrior Princes


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 23 June 2002 03:54 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To be fair, the $7.50 proposal is just for the first year and would increase annually after that. We could go faster, I suppose, but that's risking unemployment if minimum-wage employers can't adjust fast enough and could result in more underground employment.

The problem isn't just that the opposition is unwilling to push Bay Steet, which is probably true, it's that when you push Bay Street too far people start suffering on Main Street, and this is where progressive governments run into difficulties.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 23 June 2002 10:16 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
hibachi: You grow on me. You interest me strangely. That is absolutely the most chilling, diabolical -- and thus believable -- analysis of fed-prov politics I've read in a long time.

I think we should all think about hibachi's post as the bottom line, and then try to figure out what we can do about that. I personally am considering applying for refugee status somewhere -- suggestions?

Although maybe earthmum's strategy would work too.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 23 June 2002 03:37 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think worrying about minimum wage employers is scandalous, and worthy of the Toronto Sun. If it is the only way they can make a profit, why do we need their business in our country? These are the crass exploiters of labour. Surely this is a CORE ISSUE, n'est-ce pas?

On the other hand, who would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage, apart from the wage-earners themselves? Small business. Retailers, etc. This extra money is not going off shore to Bermuda. Indeed, all the stimulative arguments for tax cuts would apply to a raise in the minimum wage, yet it would increase government revenues, not decrease them.

In addition, it will force companies to invest more in their workers and their jobs, if they want to remain competitive and keep the unit costs down.

I suggest that the small businesses would benefit more than they would suffer by raising wages. As for multinationals who pay the minimum wage, I have no time for them at all.

In Britain, the minimum wage is £4.10 per hour. This is almost $10. Yet their unemployment is no worse than ours. On top of that, the personal exemption in the UK is almost £5,000. This is around $11,000. Not only do low paid wage-earners make more in the UK, they pay less tax.

Howard Hampton was dead silent when the Tories brought in the 60-hour work week. The Ontario NDP needs a leader who will fight for the non-unionized working class in this province. As I pointed out to someone else, when minimum wages go up, other wages will too. Maybe even yours.

[ June 23, 2002: Message edited by: hibachi ]


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 23 June 2002 04:07 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The problem is that minimum wage employers don't have a macro perspective. They can barely see past the end of their own noses to the employees they pay - and they don't give a damn that the AD-AS model says they'll benefit in the long run.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 23 June 2002 04:21 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, we are not going to allow their ignorance to define our policy are we?
From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 23 June 2002 08:19 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think worrying about minimum wage employers is scandalous, and worthy of the
Toronto Sun.

First off, I agree in large part with what you say, but you also have to understand that small businesses (y'know, the mom & pop shops that are struggling to stay afloat in a world of malls and wal-marts?) aren't exactly paying what few employees they have a hell of a lot more than minimum wage- and that's if they're paying over that (Let's not even get into nepotism, and underground employment!). So I think starting off with a smaller increase is a good idea, just to give small businesses some time to adjust. Then further increases will be necessary, of course.


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 23 June 2002 10:20 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Where is the concern for the workers? The lack of it is a systemic problem. Having a class of working poor causes danger to the stability of society. Poverty is linked to bad lifestyle choices, and it seems that what we want to do is blame them for that.

Politically, many of our working poor brothers and sisters don't give a shit because they know that politicians are for the rich and the middle classes. Poverty also breeds an angry lumpenproletariat, who will read the gutter press and believe it. Weasel politicans then exploit their anger, and make life miserable for the rest of us for the benefit of a few.

Funny how the decline in living standards for the poor has coincided with the rise of Mike Harris and the Reform Alliance Party. I don't think we need to be rocket scientists to figure out that poverty costs us all, except a few.

There is a vast constituency for the taking.


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
David Stapley
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posted 25 June 2002 02:11 AM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
I really wish threads wouldn't drift so often. Why did we get into minimum wage discussions? Read this and we'll see if you still want to discuss minimum wage increases: MINIMUM WAGE BRIEF
From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 25 June 2002 06:50 AM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, Mr. Stapely

I read your lovely brief on behalf of the BC food services industry. I don't think you have to worry about the minimum wage going up in BC, now that Gordon Campbell is premier, a fact I am sure you are happy about.

The thread was the softening of conservatives, and their policy regarding the minimum wage is definitely one of those things they have been hard hearted about.

Perhaps you might find the forums at canada.com, the Fraser Institute, and even the Canadian Alliance Party to be more up to your speed. Like many who claim to be NDP, you seem to know better than the minimum wage workers themselves what is best for them.

I wish you luck in your new endeavour!


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
David Stapley
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posted 25 June 2002 08:45 AM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
At least sir I am not going to discuss an issue that I know nothing about which obviously many have been doing on this topic. Being a socialist doesn't mean that I have to demand an increase in minimum wages. Being a socialist means that I must be realistic. Instead of taking billions out of the provincial and federal coffers because of the loss of revenue, jobs and business, the governments would be better served to set up a national income strategy.

e.g. If they only make 70% of the national income with their minimum wage jobs then the government props up their incomes by another 30%.

I am not going to close down every mom and pop store and give Wal Mart another advantage to appease the misguided few.


From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
frandroid_atreides
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posted 25 June 2002 08:04 PM      Profile for frandroid_atreides   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I personally am considering applying for refugee status somewhere -- suggestions?

Noam Chomsky said that the US of A was the best country in the world...

quote:
Perhaps you might find the forums at canada.com, the Fraser Institute, and even the Canadian Alliance Party to be more up to your speed. Like many who claim to be NDP, you seem to know better than the minimum wage workers themselves what is best for them.

I find this attitude repulsive. For people who support democratic debate and discussion, this constant "go away" message we hear on this board every time a ring-winger comes to our playground is rather disingenous. Of course there are right-wing loonies that don't actually listen to what we have to say, but they're easily spottable by looking up how often they answer our valid arguments. If they spout rhetoric more than they actually discuss with us, then the best course of action is to ignore them, and keep discussing with the right-wingers that are interested in hearing our ideas.


From: Toronto, Arrakis | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
David Stapley
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posted 26 June 2002 01:45 AM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
So one is considered a right winger if they don't support an economy killing, job killing and small business killing minimum wage increase but support a National Income Strategy? Oh how sweet it is living in the right wing camp with those who despise me!

edited... By the way, can anyone name me one right winger that supports the National Income Strategy? Please...try.

[ June 26, 2002: Message edited by: David Stapley ]


From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
frandroid_atreides
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posted 26 June 2002 01:59 AM      Profile for frandroid_atreides   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey, I didn't want to imply that you were a right-winger. I saw hibachi's message and started pumping the keyboard.
From: Toronto, Arrakis | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 26 June 2002 07:07 AM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry if I caused any offence, but this is a core issue. Raising the minimum wage will not kill the economy and small business. If anything, it will stimulate it. Raising wages would NOT benefit Wal-Mart, as they make billions off of the exploitation of labour. I would have THOUGHT that an interest in socialism would have entailed some concern for the working class. I guess I was wrong.
From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 26 June 2002 02:48 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Socialism isn't the only grouping on the left.
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 27 June 2002 06:35 AM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, what kind of anti-worker groupings are there on the Left? These may be the reason:

1. The working class has abandoned the Left
2. The young political activists are taking matters into their own hands
3. The NPI was formed.


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 27 June 2002 06:49 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First off, the reason for what? I didn't follow that leap.

Second, just because he doesn't forcefully agree with every single measure YOU support, does not make him "anti-worker". As he pointed out, he does support a national income strategy. Nowhere did I see him argue that the minimum wage should be lowered, and what I got from his messages was not that there should be no increase, but that any increase should be aproached cautiously so as to dampen any negative affect it might have (which it very well could, since it does take a while (not a long while, but the benefits don't exactly come at the snap of ones fingers) for the benefits of higher wages to reach businesses, while in the mean time employers still have to pay the higher wage).

But before you go off calling me "anti-worker" (what a fine label to toss around, but there's not a lot of substance to it), I'll have you know that I do support raising the minimum wage, and to the levels that you suggested. However, I don't think making the wage jump from $6.85 an hour to over $9 an hour over night is necessarily a smart thing to do. I think first the government should announce its intentions to raise the minimum wage a couple of months in advance, then raise the wage to $7.50, and then wait another couple of months, and then raise it to $9.50. Hopefully that would at least ease any burden that the raise might have.


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 27 June 2002 06:57 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Being a socialist means that I must be realistic.

Rubbish. Realism is only a style. The word has some meaning when you're talking about novels, or paintings. But in politics, when someone says "We must be realistic," it means, "You must accept my definition of what's real and what's possible."

Calls for "realism" in politics are as near as makes no difference to Margaret Thatcher's great slogan, TINA (There Is No Alternative).


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 28 June 2002 07:07 AM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Tory Blair said that the 'Labour Party is the natural party of business'. Surely there are all kinds of political configurations which allow for support of small business. Lorrie Goldstein, editor of the august Toronto Sun, says we should be careful about raising minimum wages because of the effect on small business, which (apparently) employs 80% of Canadians. Generally, I go on the assumption that everything they say in the Toronto Sun is wrong.

This concern for small business is obviously widely shared. The concern for low-paid workers is obviously not.

Obviously a raise to $7.50 is better than nothing. The poor are always happy to catch a few crumbs which fall off the table. Yet please do not think that that will change anything for the better, except perhaps to give the poor the impression that the Left is just as paternalistic as the Right and 'knows what's best for them'. Poverty among the working poor is getting worse all the time.

Perhaps the NDP is too good for the marginalized elements in society. Maybe there needs to be a Workers' Party. Or maybe the middle-class elements need to get over their fear of other human beings who are in struggle.


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 28 June 2002 08:54 AM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Apparently the tories just have kinder, gentler ways of telling you to fuck off...
From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
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posted 28 June 2002 09:31 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I read the article - disgusting, really disgusting.

Diplomacy: The art of telling someone to fuck off and making them look forward to the trip.

Thanks, Ernie!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 28 June 2002 09:39 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The province's refusal to index ODSP benefits to inflation is unfair and illogical — it may also be illegal. Failing to include cost-of-living increases effectively amounts to an unlegislated lowering of benefit levels. The province is cutting assistance rates through the back door.

What the Tories are doing to people on disability continues to be one of the lowest, slimiest things they do. What would be the competition? What is absolutely the lowest, slimiest thing this government does?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 28 June 2002 09:57 AM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What they are doing to minimum wage workers, who have also not seen an increase since 1995.
From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
David Stapley
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posted 30 June 2002 08:28 AM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
Doesn't anyone support a National Income Strategy?
From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
David Stapley
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2631

posted 04 July 2002 01:09 PM      Profile for David Stapley        Edit/Delete Post
It looks like we were all pretty well correct in our assumption that the Conservatives would come back up in the polls. The latest poll has the Conservatives rebounding back to 40% with the Liberals and NDP at 42% and 17% respectively.

edited: So much for voter intelligence.

[ July 04, 2002: Message edited by: David Stapley ]


From: Madoc, ON | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged

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