Message to "Ethnic" Ontarians: Liberals and Conservatives are really NOT your friends

I was raised in a working class ethnic family in a working class community and a question that has always plagued me is: Why does the working class repeatedly act and vote against its own best interest? Worse why does the working class actually play the key role in perpetuating the existing system of disproportionate distribution of wealth, of worker exploitation and of iniquity? If the prosperity gap is widening, it’s not because of a sinister plot by those in whose hands wealth is progressively becoming consolidated, but rather owing to the massive complicity of those who are least advantaged by the system. To understand how and why this happens one could do no better than to look at the concepts of “ideology” and “hegemony” as discussed in the Marxist traditions.

Incidentally, believe it or not, I found myself agreeing with Warren Kinsella today. You see, Warren discloses for us not only the quagmire that would be the prospect of funding for religious based education, but also the real motive behind John Tory’s advancement of such a proposal. Kinsella reveals the pretty obvious truth that John Tory is electioneering with “a cynical ploy to peel off some “ethnic” votes to which they [Conservatives] feel entitled.” And I whole heartedly agree. I can’t think that, on this issue, Tory is being impelled by anything other than polling and the hope of securing some voter support from groups that tend to vote Liberal.

Funny though, Warren didn’t view the so-called slush fund or Colle-Gate as a similar cynical ploy. For although it wasn’t an attempt to peel off some “ethnic” votes, it was a cynical ploy to shore up and sustain a voter base to which the Liberals feel entitled?

I’m dismayed that the Ontario Liberals and the Ontario PC see fit to insult and manipulate such an important voter base, a base to which both parties arrogantly feel entitled. I also harbour no illusions. Even though it would be completely in their best self-interest to support the NDP, I know that new Canadians and ethnic minorities will tend to support one of the hegemonic parties. But I also know that as time passes, the likelihood of broadening one’s support tends to increase.

And it often begins, as it did with me, with the awareness that neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives are really my friends. They are truly only friends of banks, multinationals, and big business. It is to them that they are accountable. It’s part of their DNA. As for common folk, well we’re simply taken for granted and through the extensive, and these days virtually exclusive, use of polling, the Liberals and the Conservatives determine how best to toy with us so as to attempt to secure our vote.

There’s only one party that truly represents the best interest of working families: and that’s the NDP. Period.

P.S. Am I the only one who sees the prominence that this religious based school funding issue is acquiring as entirely misplaced? 

First, while I’m not averse eventually to debating how we might reconfigure the existing system of education, I don’t see the fact the we have separately funded boards of education as the root cause of the current malaise in education. There are real and present funding concerns which need to be addressed if we’re not going to let our children down. We need first to fix the funding formula and fully fund our schools. Schools need the requisite money to keep the buildings functional, teachers need to be supported, and special needs education must be bolstered more than ever. This government record on supporting children with autism and providing assistance to new Canadians has been shameful and deplorable.

Second, this contentious issue of religious based funding is sidetracking us from more pressing issues. As I just mentioned there’s too much to fix in the current system to think of dismantling it. I’ve heard nothing of environmental issues. There’s been precious little about the disappearance of manufacturing jobs and the incursion of precarious employment into many sectors of the labour market;  of the damage pay day loan companies are foisting on our inner cities; of the appalling levels of poverty in our province; of reviewing  property tax and property assessment. Of health care. And why?

Because the Ontario Liberal Party and the PC Party of Ontario are more interested in securing some “ethnic” votes which will gain them leverage in the coming election than in improving the lives of Ontarians, votes from people which they see fit, now and historically, to manipulate and toy with.


Posted on August 26, 2007, in Ontario Election 2007, Ontario Liberal Party, Ontario PC Party, Warren Kinsella. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Interesting to watch the election start to heat up. Driving into work today I heard a new commercial from John Tory. Found them online. Its worth a listen.

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