Let Freedom Reign!
Mitt Romney was
absolutely right. The US presidential election was all about freedom.
Freedom to marry the one
Freedom to redirect
precious resources from jailing pot smokers to public services and
Freedom to build
coalitions of those weary of being bullied by a right wing gone mad.
Freedom to speak out
against growing income inequality
Freedom to work towards
greater tax fairness.
discouraged by the Tea Party’s rise in the United States or the election
of Toronto mayor Rob Ford must take heart. The world has changed.
The Tea Party and
Rob Ford are just like Tim Hudak and his top advisor Randy Hillier. They
are all tear-down artists. They lead no movement. They build nothing.
and his ill-advised white papers for Ontario’s Future (Paths to
Prosperity), hit the public domain this summer sounding like Mitt Romney
Just look at the contents. Tax cuts; the destruction of labour rights;
cuts to social programs; attacks on women through attacks and layoffs to
public sector workers (the majority of whom are women) were all part of
his plan. Hudak even sat idly by when his own group of male MPPs
appeared publicly on the issue of right to life. At least Romney
chastised Republican candidates who publically expressed similar views.
Instead, Tim Hudak
leverages his radical statements to ride the Tea Party wave. He wants to
build negativity and anger rather than bridge it. Judging by the results
south of the border he will, through this choice, become yesterday’s
Instead of that
negative vision we should look to our own Jack Layton. Jack’s views were
reflected in the course chosen by President Obama. Both leaders
understood that people in crisis will do the right thing, when given a
clear choice. People will choose love over hate, cooperation over
conflict and building over destroying.
With a spring
election pending, Hudak chose the opposite by taking an attack position
he thought would be embraced by the middle class. He thought the middle
class, through an emotional response, would be fooled into voting
against their own interests as a result. Based on the election results
from the US and recent Ontario polls, people aren’t buying this nonsense
anymore. So, I hope Hudak and Hillier double their attacks. The harder
they go, the more they lose.
On the other hand
we see the Ontario Liberal leadership contest becoming a Toronto-centric
political affair. It looks like the choice will be between Kennedy and
Wynne on the left versus Pupatello on the right.
So be it. This
leaves the NDP in the driver’s seat. Why? Simple; the NDP has a leader
who leads the polls in the key area of trust. They have a leader who has
rebuilt the party by focusing less on special interests and more on the
need to do something really special for the majority.
Vision, based on
trust, drives us all. When that vision calls for prosperity, community
and trust who can argue?
November 6, 2012
was an historical day. It marked the beginning of a new era, a time to
rebuild. It is a time to refocus and redistribute the burden of making
society work for all.
We got here because
organizations like ours keep working. Despite rabid attacks, labour
organizations have been society’s firewall against all-out right-wing
assaults on democratic rights and freedoms. We should remain proud of
Just this week
President Obama announced he will be calling business and labour to the
table to address their pending “fiscal cliff.”
The coming together
of business, labour and government to solve problems is exactly what I
called for in Ontario almost two years ago. If the prescription works,
let’s use it. While it is not too late, time is quickly passing…
Something tells me
the coming Ontario spring will make this happen. With elections in the
air it is a time for renewal and change. So, let freedom reign.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President