Seemingly out of nowhere, Liberal Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty called it quits. I can’t help but feel a little cheated by this. In fact, I wish I felt more cheated. I wish McGuinty had actually cheated, or solicited someone for anonymous sex in an airport bathroom stall. Anything would have been more interesting than his sudden, quiet resignation. It would be nice if some sort of career-ending scandal bubbled up to the surface, but it’ll most likely be some bullshit about his inability to balance the budget. Yawn.
That’s not to say there weren’t totally legitimate reasons for Dalton to resign. He entered office with a five billion dollar deficit left by the Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives and tripled it over the span of his nine years in office. Billions more were wasted on projects like e-health and air ambulances. He cheerfully shut down coal plants in the name of clean air, but lacked a real plan for further development of the province’s nuclear or green energy initiatives, while ignoring conservation altogether.
Dalton did, however, successfully make peace with labourers and got the nurses and teachers slighted by the Harris Conservatives back to work, which is a relationship that has since become much more strained. He introduced the investment and business-friendly Harmonized Sales Tax. He also invested heavily in the future of Ontario’s education system. All good things, I suppose.
But who really wants to debate whether Dalton’s legacy was positive or negative? Either way, the province is a shitcave right now and unless we all become bong salespeople and move to Vancouver, we’re going to have to sleep in it. What we really should be talking about is how boring Canadian politics are. If a perfect world, Dalton would have resigned after a dick pic Twitter scandal. Everyone would be talking about it. Where's the dick pic, Dalton? Show us.
Former BC Premier Gordon Campbell resigned because everyone got pissed about the government’s implementation of HST. Conservative MP Bev Oda resigned because of her misuse of taxpayers’ money. I mean, it’s great that politicians are resigning because of pressure put on them by informed citizen and all, but who gives a shit? Where are the secret mistresses, the hidden lovechild, the madam with the black book containing half of the upper house?
The closest we’ve gotten recently, is Premier Christy Clark’s chief-of-staff Ken Boessenkool resigning after an “incident” in a bar concerning a female staffer. Now, just to be clear, I’m not arguing for an increase of “unwanted advances” (a fun little euphemism for sexual assault), but maybe a scorned gay lover could publicly out a backbencher or something. Anything to cut through the monotony of wonkish policy debates.
All that said, I don’t even think that politicians should have to resign for private indiscretions. It doesn’t affect their ability to govern. I just wish that we could have a frank conversation about something other than fiscal responsibility. What’s worse is that McGuinty prorogued Ontario legislature until the Liberals pick a new leader. Which means, that the provincial government won’t be able to get anything done for months. And for what? A resignation over nothing, almost a decade of disappointing policies, and a loss of public trust. Total bullshit, dude. You should have showed us your weenus.
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