Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank Heavens for Dalton McGuinty

Think back a few years to when Harper first ascended to be our PM. He went out of his way to insult Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and promote then-Ontario Conservative leader John Tory. On Harper's first visit to Ontario he snubbed McGuinty, refusing to meet with him, met with Tory, and criticized McGuinty.

I was not surprised by Harper's act, as such nastiness is typical of him (though outrageous), but I was really surprised by McGuinty's reaction: he just kept his head down and continued to try to forge a relationship with Harper - or at least that's how it seemed to me. Over the years he's plugged away at it, and it has paid off for Ontario.

Ontario is hugely under-represented in federal parliament, and last year Harper proposed a bill that changed the composition of parliament, but added too few Ontario seats and too many seats elsewhere. McGuinty opposed the move and the bill stalled. Now Harper has announced a much better composition; instead of adding ten more seats in Ontario, we're getting 21 more, resulting in a much fairer distribution. (Details here.)

Unlike the US, Canada doesn't allow gerrymandering so we don't have to worry about that. The only threat was a government that tried to provide over-representation in its areas of support - which is exactly what Harper tried to do. But after a year of negotiation, the final compostiion seems pretty fair.

I like McGuinty. He's low-key and competent, and he's an effective advocate for Ontario. Would that more politicians had less ego and more focus on an agenda for the people.

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3 comments:

Cari said...

I like McGuinty too, but I do not like the HST,... and my MMP, poor soul, is out to sell it..he said he was not having an easy time of it. Personally, I hate it, and I have been a Liberal for long time

Lizt. said...

Couchon can run in Outremont, Ignatieff said.

Yappa said...

Thanks for the update, Lizt. I don't know whether it's the right solution or not, but I like the promotion of progressives in the party.