The Critical Triage Approach to Defeat Ford and the PCs on June 2nd
You won’t get an argument from many Ontario parents or educators regarding the need to defeat the Ford government on June 2nd or at the very least,hold them to a minority, and allow the Ontario Liberals (OLP) and the New Democrats (ONDP) to team up as David Peterson and Bob Rae did to push out the Tory minority in 1985. An ONDP-OLP government is not the most desirable outcome for this report. We, at this report, would much rather see an ONDP Horwath majority, but with the current balance of forces, it needs to be at least a fallback position. The most recent CBC aggregation of polls has the PCs at 37.3% with the OLP and the ONDP in a dead heat at 26.5% respectively.
The lowest percentage of the vote to ever win a majority government in Ontario, was the Bob Rae ONDP victory in 1990, at 37% so we are right on the bubble of a PC majority or minority - a minority which could be overthrown following a confidence vote and a Lieutenant Governor’s decision. This could potentially lead to a coalition but more likely to another Accord. Driving the PC vote down by 1-2% is critical to all of this.
Votes are important but seats determine the election. Many pundits would agree that a swing seat is a seat won by 10% of the vote or less. The PCs won 17 seats by 10% or less. Turning all of these seats defeats the Tories. Losing 17 seats pulls Ford down from 76 seats to 59 seats. He needs 62 for a majority in a 124 seat legislature. Of course, this depends on the opposition retaining all of their seats or only losing to each other. Here are the swing seats the PCs must lose.
Of course, the PCs will not rest on their laurels but instead, will make a serious run at seats barely won by the opposition. There are 15 obvious seats that the OLP and the ONDP must defend before they make any advances into Tory territory.
For greater detail see link below.
Educators have learned through bitter experience over decades, that the playing field for collective bargaining is set in provincial elections. The bitterness of being held to 1% pay increases in female dominated fields like education and healthcare, while allowing larger raises for male dominated police and fire departments, is just the most obvious misogynist discrimination.
Ford increased junior and intermediate class sizes, forced two secondary courses online, established math tests, even for non math teachers, cut the number of teachers, and reduced elective courses available.
A Tory education system, under Harris-Eves or under Ford, is an underfunded, bare bones education system that downplays the arts, equity and creativity in favour of corporate priorities. The 2021 budget removed at least $1 billion from the education budget. Overall, this philistine approach amounts to an attempt to suck the joy and wonder out of education in favor of a Superintendent Thomas Gradgrind approach featured in Dickens’ Hard Times. The Ford government is heavily financed by Ontario’s landlord and property development class. They are Ford’s reference groups for all policy areas. Developers want to flood the market with an oversupply of skilled construction labour, in order to undercut the wages of existing workers, particularly unionized workers.
Ford must be fought between now and June 2nd on two levels. At the organized level, teachers’ unions and CUPE come to mind, collective bargaining is in serious jeopardy for another four years without a change of government. On a second level, every teacher, education worker, senior student, concerned parent needs to do their part.
Local elections are won, not simply by getting out to vote, but by donations of time and money to local campaigns. Knock on doors, staff phone banks, donate $200, you will get a $150 tax credit.
Education is our one, and possibly only way to upgrade the quality of life and the economic future of Ontario.
The results of doing nothing will show up in your paycheck, eventually in your pensions, in the size of classes, available elective options, resources, and the overall quality of the education system. The choice is yours.