I am running for office in Fort York as The Eyeopener’s official emissary into the world of provincial politics. Why? Observe:
The provincial election has recently undergone a rather nasty transmogrification into an ugly game of “Name That Tune.” Every party leader seems to be outbidding the other in a war against the bogeyman:
“I can fix the deficit problem in three years!”
“I can fix the deficit in one year!”
“I can fix the deficit in three months!”
And so on with the bidding war. This brings one question to mind: what kind of morons do they take us for? If William Gibson were writing this election, Mike Harris would already be selling the poor to the organ banks. But the deficit — if such a thing actually exists outside the wild fantasies of accountant and political paranoiacs — isn’t something that can be slapped away through rampant funding cuts and “financial control.” Beating the problems that Ontario faces might actually require thinking beyond the next three months, and beyond the mental grasp of the three main parties.
The way to fix a debt problem isn’t to slash until you show zero on the balance sheet, it’s to plan for the future. And that means spending more on education.
Yes, I said more. Spend more. More spend. End-spay ore-may. Instead of looking thirty seconds down the road, maybe we should look ten years. Look at educating kids better for the future of the province instead of screwing the children, the sick and the poor for the sake of a few bucks. If everybody is obsessed with a better provincial credit rating, they should wake up and realize that businesses are attracted to a well-educated, well-trained work force. Knowledge is becoming the world’s only valid currency, and the leaders of the three main parties seem intent on stripping the bark off that money tree.
Hence, The Eyeopener is fronting me as a candidate in our riding of Fort York to say exactly that to the dorks on the campaign trail. The Big Three’s plans to “trim” school administration won’t translate well into the real world, and all their lip service towards leaving education funding alone carefully avoids any mention of actually increasing funding to create better schools. Mike Harris can take his “Common Sense” and eat it. I’m not superhero, but my spider-sense is still telling me that our prospective leaders have no long-term goals. Their plan is to dazzle people with quick action and largely ineffective reforms, satisfying voters long enough to ensure themselves a juicy job as premier while the province hurtles toward an increasingly bleak future.
– Matthew Sheperd