Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Doug Ford and the Day of the Dictator

When I saw the look on the faces of Doug Ford and his Con handler, I didn't need to turn up the sound on the TV to know what he was going to say.

I had predicted what was about to happen long ago.

And sure enough I was right.

When you elect a brutish Con demagogue as Premier you get what you deserve. 

Premier Doug Ford has triggered the nuclear option in his battle to slash Toronto city council. 

Ford took the unprecedented step Monday of invoking the “notwithstanding” clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to override a court ruling that it was unconstitutional for him to cut the number of councillors from 47 to 25 in the middle of the municipal election.

Sooner or later it starts walking around on its hind legs, and acting like a dictator. 

Ford, who never once mentioned cutting Toronto council during the spring election campaign, also warned that he “won’t be shy” about invoking the notwithstanding again if the courts get in his way, though he did not elaborate.

And yes, put simply, this is what fascism looks like...

And the only question is how far will the beast go?

Will he use the notwithstanding clause to back up his assault on bullied LGBT children?

Even if he kills some of them.

Will he use it to close down supervised injection sites?

Even though they save thousands of lives.

And the big question, how far will we go to stop him?

For he must be stopped...

He is as Marcus Gee writes, challenging the very rule of law.

Mr. Ford isn’t just challenging one judge on one ruling, he is challenging the rule of law itself. He says he may use the notwithstanding clause again if he feels like it. After all, he kept saying, the judge was merely appointed. He, Mr. Ford, was elected. “He’s the judge, I’m the premier.” 

When a judge can shoot down the decisions of an elected government, the Premier says, “That’s scary, that’s disturbing.” No, what is disturbing is that a premier thinks he can do whatever he pleases just because he has a bond with the masses.

And if that dangerous demagogue is allowed to get away with wiping his ass with the Charter of Rights, who knows to what dark place he might lead Ontario?

Or for that matter lead Canada. 

For if it works for him, others of his ilk are sure to follow all over the country. And our Canada won't stand a chance.

And the good news?

Andrew Scheer just lost the next federal election...

For that's the bright side of this nightmare.

Most Canadians will not vote for Scheer for Prime Minister after seeing what Doug Ford is doing to Ontario. Or what Jason Kenney is likely to do to Alberta. 

And the idea of having Kenney, Scheer, and Ford working together to subvert or pervert this country is simply out of the question...

And is of course, the final irony.

The Cons set out to destroy Canada and its values.

But in the end they destroyed themselves...


  1. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Ndp and Liberal need to put petty differences aside and form coalitions, drop candidates to block the cons and promise the supporting party cabinet positions. Yes, in 2019 and 2022, until the fascist beasts are electoral defeated.

    1. Hi anon..l have argued for the creation of a progressive coalition ever since I started blogging. It frustrates me that the right can unite but we can’t, but so far all I have to show for that are scars. A lot of left wingers think politics is a game, and continue to play Russian Roulette with our future....

  2. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Dear Toronto,
    Sorry about that but our hydro bills were really high.
    The GTA

    1. Hi anon....yes, I’m afraid some people would vote for Hitler himself as long as he promised to trim their hedges and their taxes, and destroy the hated city people. One can only hope that they are proud of what they have done, and won’t mind when Medicare is privatized...

  3. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Simon, Ford doesn't think of himself as an "elite". Neither did the other overweight politician who thought a judge's ruling was just another "opinion", Dean Del Mastro.

    This time the impatient, undisciplined, ignorant "leader" says he'll get his way by gutting rights that are supposed to be guaranteed under our constitution. Are there any adults in the PC caucus? Are there any old fashioned conservatives who value human rights, democracy, and the rule of law? We'll soon see who is fascist, who is gutless, and who isn't.


    1. Hi p2p...What? Ford and Del Mastro don’t consider themselves to be smarter than the rest of us? That’s too bad because I was hoping to see the Fordzilla blubbering just like the Deaner did. But yes, we’ll soon find out whether there are any adults in the PC caucus. But I suspect they will turn out to be like the Republican stooges who are enabling Trump, so I’m not holding my breath...

  4. We will now find out how important the Charter of Rights is to Canadians. In the UK its a virtual dictatorship of the minority. The only hit of democracy comes from the instiutional behaviors that are expected but not protected.

    Mulroney correctly stated at the time of its adoption the notwithstanding clause means the Charter of rights is written on toilet paper. The first shithead to come along can destroy the rule of law. Enter Doug Ford. I imagine Harper is seething this morning. Furious with himself at not invoking the clause over and over. His advisers have learned and have given this gift to Ford. Judges are not elected. Laws dont apply to a first past the post leader. Very logical stuff for populists. The Horror The Horror, we have a full blown constitutional crisis.

    In other news its the 17th anniversary of 911. We still dont know how or why.

    1. Jackie Blue8:31 PM

      We sane and compassionate Americans thank you Canadians for rescuing our stranded passengers that fateful day. We sincerely apologize for the slap in the face that the ungrateful and immature Russian usurper, who bragged that his tower was the "bigliest" in NYC after the towers collapsed, has dealt to the Canadian people and to Justin Trudeau. Trump is garbage. The everyday Canadians who came to our aid are the pinnacle of heroism. Je me souviens, and I know Canadians do too.

    2. Hi Steve...I don’t doubt that Harper regrets not having invoked the notwithstanding clause when he was our tinpot Fuhrer. But his loyal PMO flunkies are running Ford’s office so they are making up for all those years of hesitation....

    3. Hi Jackie...yes, thank goodness the orange monster will never be able to destroy the friendship between Canadians and Americans. So once you guys take out the trash, and we do the same with our treasonous Trumplings, everyday life can continue as usual...

  5. e.a.f.9:52 AM

    As I've written previously this has nothing to do with the size of City council, but rather, a power play to reduce political opposition. City council in its current form is too large an organization for Ford, because they could turn into an unofficial opposition party. He needs them gone. He'll do what ever he can to get there. if he succeeds in using the Not With Standing clause in this case, he'll do it again, and again, and again. all those who voted for him are going to be just a tad sorry because this will be the test drive. if he is successful here, he will use the not withstanding clause to dismantle health care in Ontario and invite the private sector in. Remember his "advisor" is the former premier of B.C. who was once an invitee to the Bilderberg conference. its all about big and bigger business controlling the agenda in Canada.

    Just as Ontario was a test pilot for the Liberals and social programs, Ontario is now the test project for the 1%ers and mega corporations to get a better handle on the Canadian economy.

    You haven't seen anything yet. This is Gordon Campbell's wet dream.....just remember what he did to B.C.

    1. Hi e.a.f...I think Ford invoked the notwithstanding clause to make the Toronto City Council pay for having stood up to him and his late brother Rob. It’s the kind of vendetta gangsters like to engage in, and it couldn’t be more pathetic. But yoo’re right, now that Fod has used it once to swat a fly, the danger is that he could use it again and again on things like Medicare so he must be made to understand that he will pay a heavy political price for screwing with the Charter...

  6. Anonymous10:21 AM

    The notwithstanding clause doesn't allow Ford to get around this decision. The notwithstanding clause allows Ford's government to override rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. So Ford could use the clause override Justice Belobaba's finding that the Better Local Government Act breached the freedom of expression of municipal candidates.

    But Belobaba also held that the law "breached the municipal voter's right to cast a vote that can result in effective representation." That's a violation of democratic rights that can't be overridden by the notwithstanding clause.

    Ford will get pwned if he goes ahead with this notwithstanding nonsense. His best bet is the appeal, but that won't be heard in time for the municipal election.

    1. Hi anon...you’re right, the judge made it clear that his main objection was that Ford was interfering with the running of an election campaign that was already underway. And that if Ford had moved to reduce the size of the Council for the next election there would have been no legal obstacles that could stop him. As it is the election is now about a month away and all I see is chaos..l

  7. Anonymous11:24 AM

    They might as well change the template used in editing drafts of laws to have invoke notwithstanding as the standard boilerplate.

    1. Hi anon...the notwithstanding clause was put in to satisfy certain reactionary Western premiers, who were refusing to agree to the idea of a Charter unless they could ignore it when they wanted. It’s a travesty, and I only wish the offending clues could be thrown into the garbage can of history, along with Ford and his ugly Cons...

  8. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Hi Simon, one of your sailing buddies told me you are leaving Canada to go and work in Edinburgh. Please tell me that’s not true. I and I am sure many others would miss you terribly.

    1. Hi Anon...I think I have mentioned that I have been offered a job in Edinburgh, but I’d rather not discuss my private life in the comment section of this blog. If and when I have an announcement to make the Island pirates will be the first to know..l

  9. While I agree that Mr. Ford is a fool we need to tone down the rhetoric. Many of his opponents are starting to sound like the foaming at the mouth Conservatives claiming Mr. Trudeau is "destroying Canada". Rubbish!

    Canada's democratic traditions and institutions are way too resilient to be harmed by the likes of a light weight like Doug Ford.

    Personally I see a huge silver lining to his actions. Political capital is a precious resource that once used it is gone, usually forever. Most new governments are very strategic in their first few months to make the most of it while they have it. Doug Ford is burning through it like it grows on trees for issues and laws that do not need it. There will come a time in the future where the Ontario Conservatives will pursue policies that will piss off alot of people outside of its base and they will rue the fact they squandered their political capital on the Toronto City Council. They will be able to use their majority to push through their policies but it will not be easy and it will come at a much higher political price.

    Which brings me to my second point. Mr. Ford is a Johny-come-lately to provincial politics. However, there are a sizable number of veteren Conservative MPPs, who had been languishing on the Opposition benches for a long time, who will want to be on the government side for more than four years. Further, there are some newcomers who will want to be MPPs long enough to qualify for the MPP pension. Finally, there are a couple of Conservative cabinet ministers (Hello Ms. Mulroney!!) who have ambitions way beyond being provincal cabinet ministers and they are not going to let some political neophyte throwing a wrench into those ambitions.

    Those facts will ensure his one man show will have a very short shelf life. It remains to be seen if he actually has the political smarts to figure that out and to address it in a way that will not negatively impact his position as Leader of the Ontario Conservative Party and Premier of Ontario.

    One other silver lining. Andrew Scheer is going to need all of the help he can get in Ontario next Fall convincing non-Conservatives to vote for his party. By then Mr. Ford should be way too toxic to provide that assistance and there is no one else who would have the same oomph amongst Ontario voters. Mr. Ford could very well drive a great number of voters into the arms of the Federal Liberals, guaranteeing another Federal Liberal majority government.

    1. Hi Ottlib...thank you for your thoughtful comment, and I agree with most of the points you make. However the problem is Ford is an ignorant demagogue who is now drunk with power, and his inner circle includes many Harperites who are out to avenge their defeat in the last federal election. So revenge is likely to trump reason, and anyone who speaks out is likely to be squashed like a bug. But of course the good news is, as I pointed out in my post, is that Scheer and his Cons are likely to pay a heavy price for Ford’s follies, and the Liberals are likely to end up as the big winners..l

  10. Jackie Blue8:04 PM

    What a thug, he and Goldy and that Mammoliti asshole who went on the Rebel and promised to take a "sledgehammer" to public housing. That's someone's home, you jerk! What's he going to do, invite Jared Kushner in to build overpriced luxury apartment complexes as ordinary folks are left out on the street, and maybe picked up for "vagrancy"? Soylent Beer is Ford Duh People...

    I don't even think any of them, Doug especially, can even pronounce "notwithstanding." Which tells me there are smarter and more nefarious forces at work pulling the strings of these bullying idiots.

    1. Hi Jackie...Mammoliti was best known for sitting next to Rob Ford and giving a thumbs up or down to any bill before Council, as well as being spotted taking pictures of the Dyke March during Pride in order to use pictures of topless lesbians as an argument for banning the parade. So he is a total sleaze bag, and every time he appears on TV I feel like vomiting, and pray for the day he is defeated..l

    2. e.a.f.9:22 AM

      That smarter and more nefarious force is Gordon Campbell, former premier of B.C. Ford isn't smart enough to pull any of this stuff, but el gordo, upp, he is. He is smart, educated, with an agenda and very good at "rewarding" financial supporters. Got a great deal from harper when his own party canned him in B.C., he got that plum job in London and got the butler, chauffeur, etc. and lived the "high" life for over 5 years. Yes, he lied to the voters of B.C. saying there would be not combined GST, but hello he made a deal with Harper prior to the election and they picked up a billion or so to sweeten the deal. When his own party found out, they bounced him, but Harper fixed it for him. Expect lots of fun in Ontario and just check what happened in B.C. starting in 2001 on the progressive B.C. blogs about that time. Just wait until your electrical rates start going up.

  11. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Perhaps daddy had a weakness when it came to suitcases and money but at least he could present a convincing argument that he acted in the best interest of fellow Canadians most of the time. Like her GOP counterparts its likely the daughter will try and convince Canadians that she had to hang in there to dissuade Doug the Thug from his worst inclinations while in reality its just a spineless excuse and one step closer to the gutter inhabited by the ambassadors of the Ford Nation.

    1. Hi RT...I have a soft spot for Brian Mulroney. He was a bit of a scoundrel, but his work fighting apartheid was exemplary, and he never violated our Canadian values like Harper and his Reform Cons did. It will indeed be interesting to see how his daughter reacts to the bestial behaviour of the Ford regime, for her claim to be a moderating influence may work for a while, but after that she will be seen as just another accomplice...

    2. e.a.f.9:23 AM

      You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. She might be better off to sit as an independent and wait for the party to bounce Ford and the run for the leadership.