We are bereft of good solid political leadership.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2018



For those who follow things political the game the province played last Friday will be familiar.

When it is bad news – governments wait until late on Friday and issue a media release.

The only thing missing from this sleazy act on the part of the Ford government was they didn’t wait for a long weekend. The classic hide the bad news play is issuing a press release on the Friday of a long weekend.
There is a lack of moral honesty with this government.

Doug Ford finger pointing

Doug Ford: Do you have the feeling he is about to sell you a used car?

The release of legislation that would permit development in parts of the Green Belt; the announcement of a close family friend who is patently not qualified for the job, as the next Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police and then learning that someone changed the qualifications and experience to apply for the job were changed..

The Premier wants to choose just who will be part of his personal security detail – and then asking that a modified van be purchased and outfitted for the Premier who is not exactly a small man – he does have a certain girth to him – hide the cost in one of the Provincial Police Budgets..

It is beginning to look so underhanded. There are some local convenience stores where we had to tell our children to count the change they are given when they make a purchase.

This province once had leaders that were nationally recognized statesman.

John Robarts - one of the best Premiers the province ever had: knew how to balance a budget.

John Robarts – one of the best Premiers the province ever had. He was not just a politician but a statesman as well.

Bill Davis had problems learning how to balance a budget; never really did learn.

Bill Davis provided solid reliable government. Hard to recall any scandal on his watch.

Think John Robarts, Bill Davis and George Drew. These were honourable men who led the province so well that we prospered.

Doug Ford seems to be channeling Michael Hepburn; yes he was a Liberal. No one political party owns the right to mislead the public – they are all complicit.

We deserve better. However we have only ourselves to blame.

Kathleen Wynne deserved to lose. She had lost the respect and confidence of the electors. The Liberals should have looked for a new leader 18 months before the election and revamped their platform. They were spending money like drunken sailors.

The province wasn’t ready for another New Democratic government and the public just didn’t have a strong enough belief that Andrea Horwath could form a government and lead the province.

We are bereft of good solid political leadership.

Vic clapping in Ford face

Is the Premier being well served by the Cabinet he has chosen? Minister of Finance Vic F xxx

Doug Ford had the opportunity to grow away from a troubled, suspect youth; he appears to be letting the worst of those personality traits rule his thinking.

We are all going to pay a high price for the decisions we made last June. We all thought this kind of thing was happening just south of us. It’s happening here.

Public pressure did force the Premier to delay the swearing in of a new Police Commissioner – the Ford government does have the capacity to react.

The public just has to keep the pressure up – heck we might even manage to make a good Premier out of the man.

Pepper - Gazette shirt - no smileSalt with Pepper reflects the opinions, observations and musings of the publisher of the Gazette, an on-line newspaper that is in its 8th year of as a news source in Burlington and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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7 comments to We are bereft of good solid political leadership.

  • Carol Victor

    We got just what we deserve for voting in a man of little intelligence, integrity and imagination, He is only in office to undo all the good that the previous government enacted and there was much that was good. There is no progressive in conservative…just poor judgment all the way around.

  • Mike Farkas

    “We are all going to pay a high price for the decisions you’ve made last June. ” I didn’t vote for this born with a silver spoon up his bleep! The way his peeps faked his win is leader. He’ll go down in history as the best puppet of all time.

  • Poor political leadership is mostly the result of selfishness. Many politicians, at all levels, are more selfishly interested in getting and / or keeping the “job”, than they are in true “servant leadership” wherein they selflessly serve the public. Rather than display true capability to effectively perform in the role, they feed into the selfish desires of people within their respective communities by making promises to give them things (money / service / perks) in return for support to obtain and keep office. Later disappointed with the inevitably broken promises, that were unrealistic in the first place, and the politician’s lack of ability to actually perform in the role, the electorate becomes even more disenfranchised and politically apathetic. This is reflected in low voter turnout during elections and a lack of interest throughout the term in office, which in turn results in a lack of real performance accountability that then enables the politician to focus more on satisfying their personal agenda than serving the public good. It is sad to think that so many people only become informed and involved in the political process when something significantly effects their personal self-interest (selfishness), often occurring too late due to their lack of attention. Unless this changes we will continue to experience the negative effect that comes with having too many selfish politicians.

    • Hans

      Poor political leadership results also from the lack of qualifications required (besides winning what is essentially a popularity contest) to get a “job” (it’s not public service) in politics. Therefore, too often we elect “leaders” who are way out of their depth, underestimate the complexity and systemic nature of problems, and make serious policy mistakes for which we all suffer the consequences.
      It takes an election cycle or longer to replace these ineffective leaders but in the meantime much damage can occur: people died in Walkerton and Ipperwash; Hydro One was quasi-privatized; etc.

  • Stephen White

    One of the things that made the provincial governments of John Robarts and Bill Davis so successful was their ability to attract and groom bright, capable, talented individuals to assume future leadership roles. Cabinet members such as Alan Lawrence, Bert Lawrence, Tom Wells, Bette Stephenson, Alan McMurtry, George Kerr and Bob Welch all got their start in municipal politics, and were carefully groomed and nurtured to assume leadership roles. They served their constituents well because they had an acute understanding, awareness and identification with local needs and interests, and no matter how their careers progressed they never lost that connection.

    Leaders like Robarts and Davis espoused “big tent” politics based on consensus around broad principles and pragmatism. Sadly, that now is passe. In the current reality crass opportunism abounds. Intellect, work experience, leadership and managerial skills are no longer important. What is important is cronyism and control, and how many party memberships you can sell in order to win the nomination. The feeding frenzy that precedes a local nomination is demeaning as competing interests jockey for position and approval. Throw into the mix special interest group and one-issue candidates, or individuals representing competing religious and ethnic groups, and what emerges is a free-for-all in which civility is replaced by tribalism.

    Political parties, and not just the PCs but also the Liberals, New Democrats and Greens too, need to seriously re-think their rules around memberships, nomination and the processes used to vet candidates. The electorate should have the right to choose from experienced and knowledgeable candidates who represent the values of their respective political parties, rather than electing the least odious choice.

  • joe gaetan

    Agree we needed a change, if Mr. Ford continues along this path he will be a one-term Premier.

  • Hans

    One must wonder if the “..close family friend who is patently not qualified for the job..” of OPP Commissioner played a role in keeping Doug’s brother Rob out of trouble with the Toronto police; could this appointment be payback? It certainly fails the Smell Test, when someone from the Toronto police middle management ranks vaults to the top of the OPP, with a $100,000 raise in pay.