10 years, I want you to remember this while you read my entry. 10 years is very important in anyone`s life for many reasons. In a decade a lot can and will change for an individual. 10 years can change the position and make up of a group of people, a society as well. 10 years can also change the face of a country if enough is happening.
10 is a popular number for this entry, because it is the amount of time that the Ontario teacher`s union has been on good terms with both Dalton McGuinty and his Liberals. That time is over however, with the recent addition of bill 115 and the abrupt cancellation of the same bill, many teachers are very upset with the Ontario Liberal party and they should be.
The education sector has been an almost crown jewel for Dalton and his party over the past decade. With promises of smaller class sizes, all day kindergarten and an overall improvement in the quality of education provided to Ontario children, one must stand here baffled at the idea that the same government, who has strived so hard to accomplish all of this, would target something as important to teacher as collective bargaining rights.
I understand why this topic was allowed to push through any barriers of common sense that the Ontario Liberals might have put into place. I mean, with a premier on his way out anyways, why should he worry about the political repercussions of such an act? Not to mention, there does exist groups of individuals who probably believe that teachers have it way to easy anyways and that their union is much to comfortable. When looking at it this way, one cannot really harp on Dalton for allowing such a drastic move to occur, I mean, look at the government under Harper, if anything, union bashing and the stripping of public sector rights is something to be proud of, worthy of honours and medals. Where this makes things very interesting though is the power that both the teachers and their union and supporters have in the coming days.
I often predict many things on the Political Road Map, since in politics some things can be seen a lot easier by a few than by the majority, when events such as Bill 115 occur. The question now remains if Andrea Horwath will take the necessary steps to utilize this Bill to the advantage of the NDP?
With a new premier being selected and a party with a tight majority in power, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that election talk is occurring, actually probably has been occurring over the past month and change. So certain am I that this will most likely happen, I am willing to estimate that if Queens Park does not totally collapse by the time the house is back in motion, it will not last past the first budget. A no confidence vote will most likely occur and another Ontario election will be called within the few months preceding it.
Why I think the NDP has the best shot at taking the most advantage of this situation? Well, we have Tim Hudak being as useless as ever in recent months, he actually went ahead and supported his party's cries that Bill 115 did not cut enough and should have imposed deeper conditions on teachers. Something else to add to the already (im)perfect record he and his party have at the moment.
As soon as this new election is called, the smart thing for many people would be to put their support behind the party that will do it's best to keep decision making where it belongs, in the hands of Canadians. I can already imagine the direction of the signs and campaigning now. "Help us win and help yourself at the same time, as you save the working man from the perils of contract and no job security."
The perfect opportunity for the NDP to gain some crucial points or out right capture the government if this scenario does in fact play out. With a strong teachers union able to rally other corresponding unions and those afraid of what security they may have or not have, it should be quite amazing to witness the potential change that can come out of it.
As always with the Political Road Map, you have to look to yourself, your peers and most importantly your government and continually ask: Where am I? Where am I going? And is the government heading in the same direction as me?
I would get your election gear ready and begin prepping for an election folks, because with the new year here and optimism for the future, I think we are headed toward some great change in Ontario. A change that might actually stray from the idle position our government is currently in and actually do something productive.
Until Next Time!