Lessons from the Election

by Gary McHale - The Regional

October 12, 2011

This election provides a few lessons that allow the people of Haldimand to learn why the events of 2006 have never truly been resolved.

First, this election revealed the true nature of Haldimand council - it has been, and will continue to be a strong supporter of the Liberal government and of McGuinty. Mayor Hewitt can't find the courage to challenge the McGuinty government regarding DCE or the illegal smoke shops but he can plan how he will challenge a Hudak government.

The second lesson from the election is an explanation why the Ontario Provincial Police Association didn't speak out throughout 2006. Karl Walsh was the OPPA president and in June 2006 he was the first to coin the phrase 'Two Tier Justice', but immediately went silent until he issued a press release defaming Mark Vandermaas and myself. This press release was a subject of a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Walsh which was recently settled out of court.

I always wondered why Karl Walsh wasn't more vocal about the numerous officers that were hurt. When Christie Blatchford's book was released I read his comments and was delighted to see how blunt he was in his condemnation of senior OPP officers.

Imagine my surprise to see that Walsh ran as the Liberal candidate for Barrie which he lost. The man who is quoted as saying, "I can't forgive them for a lot of the approaches they took to this and I think numerous officers got unnecessarily injured, I think people from the general public got unnecessarily injured, I think everybody that was involved in this suffered injuries that could have been avoided...", is now promoting the very people who caused the damage.

In 2006, while Walsh was president of the OPPA, the association asked the OPP brass, " Why has the government perpetuated a two tier judicial system?" Apparently Walsh is no longer concerned about how the McGuinty government forcing a two tier justice system upon the people.

This is the problem with Canadians - we will not stand to defend our principles. The problem is even worse in Ontario. This past year saw Ontario and B.C. bring in HST. The people in B.C. became enraged and forced the removal of the HST, whereby in Ontario it barely touched a nerve.

During the election all parties supported the HST. In fact, this is the third lesson we need to learn from the election - the Conservative party doesn't offer much that is different from a Liberal party.

Tim Hudak was the leader of the party for over two years but was kept hidden from the public right up until the election started. Once the election started you barely heard anything that was much different from what McGuinty was saying. Instead of having a bold vision for the province the PC party told the public that McGuinty is evil, vote for Hudak.

On HST, Hudak would keep it but remove it on heating costs. On Caledonia and Law & Order both Hudak and McGuinty had exactly the same message which was nothing - both Hudak and McGuinty have repeatedly refused to come to Caledonia. On green energy Hudak would keep all signed deals which would mean the wind mills would proceed as planned.

What is amazing is that for the past 6 months many conservative reporters have been hammering Hudak for his refusal to speak directly to the issues. Sun media, which proudly proclaims itself as being conservative, refused to endorse Hudak and since the election has called upon Hudak to 'cross the floor' and sit as a Liberal since he 'ran his campaign as a Liberal'.

Hudak was too afraid to speak out as a conservative on the issues. While the Left has no problem publicly supporting their causes either at rallies, on TV or during public debates, the Right acts as if it needs to be ashamed of being conservative.

The fact is we get the government we deserve. Instead of following B.C.'s lead in rejecting the HST the people of Ontario will get another four years of McGuinty - as such we pay the price for refusing to take a stand.

If average citizens will not stand then they pay for being too lazy to get involved. If conservatives have been brainwashed into believing they must be silent in order to get their party into power then they deserve to be ruled by Liberals.

This principle applies at every level of government. During the past municipal election there was a full page ad run in the Regional and in the Sachem about the problems of wind mills but few decided to take the issue seriously. Many of the people now protesting against wind mills have admitted they voted for Hewitt and the other councillors. These people are surprised and angry that the people they voted for, who refused to take a stand during the election against wind mills, are now making secret deals with multi-national companies.

I know what people are going to say - Haldimand voted for Barrett so we did our part. While this is true many have been unwilling to help get people in Ontario to be concerned about the Law and Order problems facing Ontario. People refuse to stand up to support their community and demand real change.

The OPP knows that neither the Liberal nor the Conservative parties will take any real steps to address the issues in Caledonia. The parties don't take a stand because the public doesn't take a stand. The public doesn't take a stand because people in Haldimand don't care enough to make it an issue. As Blatchford states in her book that if people in Haldimand don't care enough then why should people in Ontario care?

The greatest lesson from the election is that average people need to stop waiting for some leader to solve their problems for them - it is time to take a stand and demand real changes or be doomed for many more years to be governed by leaders who really don't care.