Consideration of all other pressing issues facing residents of Ontario has ground to a halt while the Ontario government pursues an abrupt campaign to reduce the size of Toronto’s city council from 47 to 25 – an action on which he and his party never campaigned.
I wasn’t going to write about it if it was a ‘Toronto’ issue simply concerning the composition of council. In the past I have, myself, speculated about the possibility of reducing the size of Toronto’s city council. But that was in the context of the idea having at least some local advocates, ample public debate, formal examination and then conventional legislative processes.
But it has become a provincial issue of concern to everyone in Ontario because of the premier’s appallingly ignorant comments about elections, democracy, the judiciary and the constitution. It’s clear the premier doesn’t understand at all the concept of a “first minister” in a parliamentary system of government.
He is deluded to think that 40% of the popular vote is a mandate to enact whatever notion enters his head, rather than a limited mandate simply to form a government. Beyond that, he has questioned not just the appropriateness of a judicial decision, but challenged the legitimacy of the entire court system. To top it off, he threatens to repeatedly abuse the constitution by violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a ‘tool’ to advance his agenda – one that we, so far, know very little about beyond empty slogans.
Among the many eminent political voices condemning his unprecedented offensive behavior are Jean Chretien, Roy Romanow, and Roy McMurtry:
“We condemn his actions and call on those in his cabinet and caucus to stand up to him. History will judge them by their silence.”
Here in the riding of Barrie-Innisfil, history will judge Andrea Khanjin, MPP and a local enabler of the premier’s wrecklessness. Just months into the role of Member of Provincial Parliament she has already failed to defend and protect democracy as a process of consultation, review, debate and measured deliberation.
Failure to recognize that democracy is a process, not a dictate, has ensured that virtually every measure of this government is being referred to the courts – at our expense. It will all likely end badly, perhaps more so for the governors than the governed.