If the Liberals ended funding for Catholic schools, would the ONDP object?

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Lord Palmerston
If the Liberals ended funding for Catholic schools, would the ONDP object?

OK, it's only been 23.5 hours since I made my 24 hour pledge but here it goes.  If the reaction of Kormos and DiNovo to the Lord's Prayer debacle at Queen's Park is in any way telling, I'm afraid the ONDP would rally to its defense if the Liberals actually did the right thing and decided to abolish it. 

Bookish Agrarian

Yawn

Lord Palmerston

Was that the reaction to the resolution calling for one school system?

Bookish Agrarian

No to beating a dead horse over and over and over and over and over - like it is the only issue of importance in an economy where people are losing their life savings, their drug plans, their homes and so on.

Fidel

Quote:
If the Liberals ended funding for Catholic schools,

That's a laffer. Theyve only been in phony-majority power going on two terms now as it is. McGuinty's Liberals have 22 percent of registered voter support under them and prolly why he maintains such a low public profile.  McGuilty made all of two public appearances during the election campaign: one was the cancer guy incident, and the other was a tractor ploughing contest. I doubt McGuinty will want to jinx his party's chances for a third phony-baloney majority in 2011. 

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

... like it is the only issue of importance in an economy where people are losing their life savings, their drug plans, their homes and so on.

Hmmmmmmm. Isn't that what Howard Hampton said at the end of the 2007 election campaign? Except for the part about people losing their life savings, drug plans, homes...

It's amazing Parliament passed same-sex marriage, what with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and global warming going on right at that very same moment.

 

Bookish Agrarian

Yawn

Unionist

I guess I missed your party's bold, dynamic vision for protecting people's life savings, drug plans, and homes. That's why I'm still stuck on projects that are justifiable and feasible - rather than your empty dreams of prosperity via slogans. Your party will never even get elected to realize those empty slogans. The last time it was, and recession hit, it not only failed miserably to deal with the downturn - it used the downturn to break its dynamic promises and attack its own supporters.

That's why bold means breaking with the past. Your yawns, BA, are preparation for sleep, and in that sleep what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.

Bookish Agrarian

My yawns are actually a signifier of boredom; boredom with an issue that gets compared to some of the great fights for equality like equal marriage, civil rights and so on when in reality it is little more than a distraction compared to real issues in education.  Catholic education does not stop one kid from getting a public and universal education in Ontario.  If it did it might be something to get really lathered up about.  But it doesn't. 

Forcing the closure of schools and laying off staff in a recession seems like a pretty dumb idea to me when there are much bigger issues, even in education, to address.

 

So yes, Yawn, yawn, yawn.  And I really do worry about that poor dead horse being beaten and beaten and beaten

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

I guess I missed your party's bold, dynamic vision for protecting people's life savings, drug plans, and homes.

That's right, unionist. Ontario needs piecemeal daycare which some number of families in Quebec are able to access. And never mind that the neoliberal mumbo jumbo is falling down around our ears. The NDP has opposed the second-hand rightwing economic ideology every step of the way. 

Lord Palmerston

Unionist wrote:
prosperity via slogans.

I like it!  It's almost as good as "Get Orange."

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Unionist wrote:
prosperity via slogans.

I like it!  It's almost as good as "Get Orange."

It's not the slogan, it's which Bay Streeters are puttin in for a 22 percenter in Trona

 

dippergal

Although some of my dipper brothers and sisters despise the fact that Catholic schools are publicly funded, it appears that they just can't or won't understand that mentioning religion and politics in the same breath in Ontario is political suicide. I won't even get into the many arguments that might have to do with the pro's or con's of funding four public systems....we've been there enough times. I just have two names for you - John Tory and Michael Prue. Two political careers virtually ended in two days.

Those who are most peeved over this issue tend to see it as one of, if not the, most important issue for the party to address. Why they believe this with minor items like a recession and record jobs losses to deal with is beyond me, but just talk to them. Those who have expressed frustration because they claim the party won't go near the subject had their chance to rally behind a leadership candidate who pledged to make it an issue - and who clearly expressed his own lack of support for the current four school systems. He finished last on the ballot and had a whopping 11% of the vote in a leadership race where every member of the party had a chance to register their views on this issue.

Maybe its time to recognize that as imperfect as our current system of funding four systems may be or seem - it does work. It would be great to see the next convention focus on the real issues that matter in education - special education reform, changing the funding model etc.Of course though, those who are intent on watching the party commit electoral suicide will no doubt still insist that public funding of Catholic schools is the most important issue to talk about, so we'll miss yet another opportunity to get into discussing substantive educational policy reform that could truly make a difference in the lives of our students and attract some public support.

I agree......yawn. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

No to beating a dead horse over and over and over and over and over - like it is the only issue of importance in an economy where people are losing their life savings, their drug plans, their homes and so on.

Umm, we have other threads about those issues.

Go find them.

Please.

Stockholm

The fact that Prue got a shockingly low 11% of the vote - shows just how few people in the NDP want to touch this issue with a ten foot pole. I thought that "thousands" of public school teachers were going to join the NDP en masse to get Prue elected leader so that the separate school system could be torn down? What happened? i guess no one really cared anough in the end.

 Oh well, back all those BORING provincial issues like the state of the economy, health care, quality of education, the environment, transportation, poverty etc...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

dippergal wrote:

I just have two names for you - John Tory and Michael Prue. Two political careers virtually ended in two days.

John Tory was proposing to compound the error of using public funds to finance religious schools. That's what killed his career. Michael Prue has already had a political career. But unlike John Tory, he never got to be judged by the population of Ontario - only a small sampling of people to whom power means more than principle.

Anyway, this tired old argument about how doing the right thing is so unpopular with the voters has been debunked about half a dozen times in these threads.

Besides, telling us the present funding system works, and then in the same breath calling for change to the funding formula is the height of hypocrisy.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

By the way, if John Tory had won the last election, and Ontario were now funding every religious school in Ontario, the NDP would still be trotting out the same arguments they use now to justify their refusal to do what's right.

They can't even begin to understand the hypocrisy involved in opposing Tory's funding plan, but supporting Bill Davis's funding plan.

Stockholm

FYI: Bill Davis only extended funding of separate schools to include the last two years of high school - which were previously not funded. But the principle of separate school funding goes back to 1867.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

Our party .the ONDP, had the balls to have,. in the middle of  a  leadership race, a  debate on school funding.  After a great heated debate  the ONDP convention passed a resolution that , while it firmly commits  to the existing 4 schood system at this time and  speaks of other funding  issues, establishes a task force to examine all aspects of schhol funding.  That resolution had been given first prioirity by our leadership on a block of  resolutions to be debated and it guaranteed we had  a great  democratic debate, with strong criticism of existing policy.

  I am proud of  my party and its leadership,  especially Dennis Young.  WinkJoin us . Let's continue the debate within our party,

solidarity

 

Peter

George Victor

BA:

"No to beating a dead horse over and over and over and over and over - like it is the only issue of importance in an economy where people are losing their life savings, their drug plans, their homes and so on."

--------------------------------------------------------------

Right on, BA.

And Andrea Horwath was just presented on CBC radio noon, with just such an urgent message in the legislature about thousands of newly unemployed.  

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

My yawns are actually a signifier of boredom; boredom with an issue that gets compared to some of the great fights for equality like equal marriage, civil rights and so on when in reality it is little more than a distraction compared to real issues in education. 

My, you speak glibly about the battles of the past.

In 1994, the Ontario NDP government, frightened of "the voters" and of its own caucus, shamefully allowed same-sex benefits to be defeated by calling a free vote.

Was that one of the "great fights for equality"?

It's always better to be on the side of history while history is actually being made.

 

madmax

I heard that Mr. Prue was sunk by the school funding issue and that issue alone.  

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Even if that is true (and there is no way of proving it), it means nothing more than what we already know: that the majority of voting NDP members are opposed to their party calling for the end to funding separate schools.

That doesn't mean we can't try to change their minds. 

Fidel

madmax wrote:

I heard that Mr. Prue was sunk by the school funding issue and that issue alone.  

I wasnt mad about his proposal for corporate fund raisers. If the NDP ever becomes a tool of corporate fat cats and banksters, I will no longer support them. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:
FYI: Bill Davis only extended funding of separate schools to include the last two years of high school - which were previously not funded. But the principle of separate school funding goes back to 1867.

FYI:

Bill Davis started public funding for separate schools up to Grade 10 in 1964. Before that, the separate schools were funded through property taxes designated for the purpose by "separate school supporters".

In 1984 he extended funding for three (not two) additional years, up to Grade 13. The NDP supported this extension of public funding.

In 2007 John Tory came up with a proposal that would extend funding for religious schools from the 93% of faith-based schools that were Catholic, to the other 7% that weren't. This proposal represented a far more modest increase in the funding of religious schools than was the case with Davis's 1984 extension, and yet the NDP opposed it.

Hence the hypocrisy in opposing Tory's funding plan, while having supported Bill Davis's funding plan.

Fidel

And just as a reminder, Howard Hampton was really disappointed that our two stale old line party leaders actually volleyed this stale issue back and forth all through the last week of the election campaign sooner than debate real issues, like:

  • 300, 000 jobs lost on the Liberals' watch

  •  the $100 billion dollar infrastructure deficit

  • half a million children living anywhere below poverty

  • 1.2 million adult workers still not earning a measly $10 dollars/hr

  • the environment

  • more than 50 broken Liberal election promises

It's no wonder more than 4 million Ontarians didnt show up at the polls

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It's a pretty tenuous, if not pathetic, argument to say that if not for the education funding issue those other issues would have been resolved - or that more voters would have voted in the election.

And how would those voters have voted? Was there a mass abstention of NDP supporters on election day? If so, whose fault was that? 

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:
Bookish Agrarian wrote:

My yawns are actually a signifier of boredom; boredom with an issue that gets compared to some of the great fights for equality like equal marriage, civil rights and so on when in reality it is little more than a distraction compared to real issues in education. 

My, you speak glibly about the battles of the past.

In 1994, the Ontario NDP government, frightened of "the voters" and of its own caucus, shamefully allowed same-sex benefits to be defeated by calling a free vote.

Was that one of the "great fights for equality"?

It's always better to be on the side of history while history is actually being made.

 

Well in those days I was writing in spousal benefits into my Locals contract for the first time ever- how about you?

 

Banning Catholic education in Ontario under publicly administered funding is not anywhere near any of these issues.  Please let me know the name of even one student who has been denied an education in Ontario because of seperate school funding.  That one child being denied would be an issue worth comparing to some of the issues you want to compare denying constitutionally guarenteed minority rights too.

The fact that you will never find that child tells us all how small an issue this really is.  As well the premise of the thread is just plain idiotic.

On with real issues like the collapsing economy, our health care system, pension viability, loss of young farmers, greening our economy for the future, home care, child care, long term care, education funding and energy issues just to name a few.

Fidel

It was a failure of our news media as well as the two stale, dirty old line party leaders to discuss issues that mattered. Separate school funding really is a pathetic issue. It's why McGuinty's Liberals are laying low with their 22% dictatorship today as a result. They cant discuss real issues publicly, and it's because they have performed so badly on real issues. And this is a Bay Street party with no shortage of money backing from banks and corporations. They are reduced to haggling with that other old line party over stupid-stupid issues like this old line party legacy issue. As a result,  their own supporters have no alternative but to be so fascinated with it in turn. That is pathetic.

4 million people stayed home. What does that say about the state of electoral dysfunction in this Northern Puerto Rico?

riffraffrenegade

Something to ponder....

Liberal Democrats Vote to Demand Fairness From Faith Schools:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/8888

Clearly this was a hot topic in the old country this weekend.

Just sayin'

Fidel

And the reason Liberal Democrats are nowhere with British voters and Europeans in general is that they figured out long ago there isnt much daylight between Whigs and Tories, political Liberals or conservatives.

There are much more important issues facing the world than fear of a return to the days of Spanish or Catholic inquisition. Today we have the American inquisition with full support by Canada's dysfunctional democracy, and theyve needed very little support from the Church in pursuing neocolonialism and colder war around the world. 

Lord Palmerston

dippergal wrote:

Although some of my dipper brothers and sisters despise the fact that Catholic schools are publicly funded, it appears that they just can't or won't understand that mentioning religion and politics in the same breath in Ontario is political suicide. I won't even get into the many arguments that might have to do with the pro's or con's of funding four public systems....we've been there enough times. I just have two names for you - John Tory and Michael Prue. Two political careers virtually ended in two days.

Most Ontarians agreed with Tory that the current system is unfair.  It's his "solution" that was massively rejected.

Another thing to keep in mind - Tory's plan was far less popular than the PC brand.  One school system is far more popular than the ONDP among Ontarians.  

Horwath, Bisson and Tabuns were complicit in framing Prue as a "one issue candidate."  Instead of saying "sure Michael, we welcome the debate let's have it and move on to what are more pressing issues," they spent far more time and effort huffing and puffing about how "divisive" and "unpopular" having a debate on separate school funding would be than Prue actually spent tepidly calling for a debate.

G. Babbitt

Well said LP.  When it comes to minority rights the ONDP sounds like the conservatives circa 1950.  When the courts and human rights commissions point out a breach of civil rights for religious minorities the ONDP caucus denounce it as divisive and claim those who support it are dupes of McGuinty.  The ONDP seems to prefer tokenism rather than actually considering minority rights.

madmax

Liberal Democrats 62 seats

Others 584 Seats

Goodluck and Good Bye.

Lord Palmerston

If you're saying the ONDP will do about as well as the Lib Dems in the UK in 2005 if they come out in support of one school system, they received 22% of the vote and about 10% of the seats in the British parliament.  The ONDP in the last provincial election received 17% of the vote and 10 seats at Queen's Park.  That hardly suggests that it's "suicidal."  So I don't see your point.

 

wage zombie

M. Spector wrote:

Even if that is true (and there is no way of proving it), it means nothing more than what we already know: that the majority of voting NDP members are opposed to their party calling for the end to funding separate schools.

That doesn't mean we can't try to change their minds. 

No, of course not.  By all means try to change their minds.

The thing is, to change someone's mind, you have to listen to them first.  And then speak to their concerns.  And i don't really see that happening to any great extent on babble.

Janfromthebruce has been one of the few babblers actually speaking calmly and trying to make arguments.  Most other babblers arguing for one school system do it by calling the NDP cowardly and hypocritical.

I've said it before, calling people cowardly seems to be an incredibly poor way of motivating them to take bold stands.

When dippers say, "we'd like to take this on, but we feel that it would detract from other important issues," then you cry "bullshit!" and call them names.  You don't seem to understand that people are being honest about the reasons for their reluctance to take the issue on, and you don't seem to feel the need to actually speak to any of their concerns.

If you're honestly trying to change people's minds, you are doing a piss poor job, even making things worse actually, because you're alienating the very people that you're trying to bring on board.

Get a clue--you're not making any headway here, maybe a change in tactics would be the way to go, if you're really trying to change people's minds. 

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Well in those days I was writing in spousal benefits into my Locals contract for the first time ever- how about you?

No kidding, BA. Our collective agreements, like many throughout Canada, outpaced legislation on same-sex benefits, right to refuse, non-discrimination. duty to accommodate... Where does anyone think all these laws came from? Either from strikes and settlements, or from arbitrators' decisions - long before they were enshrined in legislation.

We're talking about the NDP, however, which should be the political wing, the public expression of those movements. It must not, like the Liberals and Conservatives, wait for the courts and human rights tribunals and (in this case) even the U.N. to explain to it, very slowly, the difference between right and wrong. It should be in the vanguard. And all this talk about "committing political suicide" is shameful. You want to avoid risks? Join the Liberal Party. You'll get social and economic justice - eventually - maybe - someday - or not.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

wage zombie wrote:

The thing is, to change someone's mind, you have to listen to them first. And then speak to their concerns.  And i don't really see that happening to any great extent on babble.

I certainly don't see it happening here on the part of the defenders of Catholic school funding. They don't listen to the many concerns, detailed facts, and logical arguments put forward by their opponents. All they do is recite talking points about political suicide (dippergal), as though it's not important to consider the merits of a position, but only whether people can be conned into voting for it. And this despite all the evidence presented on babble that a single public school system is a lot more popular in Ontario than the NDP. 

Or they respond to reason with ad hominem attacks (you) or contemptuous yawns (Bookish Agrarian) or formulaic attacks on the Liberals (Fidel), etc. etc.

But thanks for the lecture, anyway.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Case in point.

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:
Most Ontarians agreed with Tory that the current system is unfair.  It's his "solution" that was massively rejected.

Another thing to keep in mind - Tory's plan was far less popular than the PC brand.  One school system is far more popular than the ONDP among Ontarians.

Proportional voting is more popular than Campbell's BC Liberals by far according to election results last.

Here in Ontariariario by contrast, proportional voting was only five percent less popular than McGuilty's Liberals. This doesnt mean that our 22 percenters in Toronto were not elected fair and square according to rules of an obsolete electoral system. It means simply that we have a large minority of relentless voters choosing governments in Toronto, and that there seems to have been a difference in funding levels for public information campaigns in BC and Ontario referenda. It simply means that some large minority of Ontarians will vote Liberal and Tory provincially and federally come hell or high water. How would the grey hairs and relentless voters have voted had McGuinty actually made a stand on school funding? We'll never know, because the Liberal Party is all about not rocking the boat and maintaining a lower than low public profile. Pinocchio's party still clings to their 22 percent phony-baloney majority, and I think theyll try to ride that "wave" of popularity to a third phony-balogna majority in 2011. And I think the ONDP should let our fearless leaders in Liberal government take the lead on this oh-so important issue. I really do.

Fidel

I'd alow my hands to vote Liberal, but then I'd have to scrub layers of skin off in a bath of sulfuric acid and steel wool with heavy action 5 grit sandpaper, or something, in order to not feel so dirty afterwards. And so I'm a little hesitant about doin' that

Lord Palmerston

When it comes to school funding, the public is far ahead of Ontario's three major political parties.   By at least talking about having a debate later, hopefully the ONDP will eventually catch up. 

Fidel

Ontarians may be further ahead than all parties on this issue, but why are they so behind the times when it comes to issues common to all of religionists and fair minded people in general, like child poverty, and basically not running the economy and environment into the ground since Harris and McGuinty? It's as if some large minority of not-so informed voters choosing governments in Toronto never actually read more than the entertainment section of the Toronto Star and Gob & Pail, or something.

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:
Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Well in those days I was writing in spousal benefits into my Locals contract for the first time ever- how about you?

No kidding, BA. Our collective agreements, like many throughout Canada, outpaced legislation on same-sex benefits, right to refuse, non-discrimination. duty to accommodate... Where does anyone think all these laws came from? Either from strikes and settlements, or from arbitrators' decisions - long before they were enshrined in legislation.

We're talking about the NDP, however, which should be the political wing, the public expression of those movements. It must not, like the Liberals and Conservatives, wait for the courts and human rights tribunals and (in this case) even the U.N. to explain to it, very slowly, the difference between right and wrong. It should be in the vanguard. And all this talk about "committing political suicide" is shameful. You want to avoid risks? Join the Liberal Party. You'll get social and economic justice - eventually - maybe - someday - or not.

 

Still waiting for that one student that has been blocked from receiving an education because of seperate school funding.  That is a fundamental issue if true. 

Of course it isn't the case, so please all of you stop conflating this with some fundamental issue of importance rather than one of many that ranks low, and reasonably so, in level of priority for others.

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Still waiting for that one student that has been blocked from receiving an education because of seperate school funding.  That is a fundamental issue if true.

My understanding is that white and black children both "received educations" also in the U.S. before [url=Brown">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education][i]B... v. Board of Education[/url]. Was that a "fundamental issue" for you? Was segregation not a problem - only the course content and child-teacher ratio and the state of repair of the buildings?

We can improve the quality of education as well as eliminate segregation, discrimination, and funding of religious indoctrination, all at the same time. We're all grown up now.

 

Lord Palmerston

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
Still waiting for that one student that has been blocked from receiving an education because of seperate school funding. 

Another red herring on your part.

Fidel

Theyre destroying public education in America. Why do some babblers think US education is a model for us to follow? Our two old line parties have been playing Simon says with the Yanks for three decades, but do we really want to follow them for much longer?

Lord Palmerston

Yeah, it must be because they don't fund Catholic parochial schools there.

Bookish Agrarian

Oh for fuck's sake you can not compare African-American education in the United States, particularly the south under the Crow laws to Catholic school funding in Ontario.  Funding for minority education in Ontario that was guarenteed in the Consititution is no where near the poor level of education available to Americans of African descent, or even mixed descent.  Children were actively denied educational opportunities, denied justice and the opportunity to be all they could be through education was taken away simply because of the colour of thier skin.

Not one child in Ontario is denied a public education, or blocked in any way from attending a public school or acheiving their potential due to Catholic school funidng.  Using such overheated rhetoric is beyond foolish, it borders on offensive for diminishing real fights for justice and equality. 

Again, if it was the case that even a single child in Ontario was barred or even had their opportunity for a quality education curtailed even a smidge you might have a point.  Since that is not the case, you only make the case for a different funding arragement and the destruction of minority rights enshrined in law weaker and weaker by such foolishness. 

Much better to focus on kids who are denied opportunity here in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada due to poverty, overt and covert racism, remote location and other real barriers to acheivment.  That's something I could get lathered up about.  And thankfully the majority of NDP members have shown they would rather focus on.

Lord Palmerston

Unionist wrote:
We can improve the quality of education as well as eliminate segregation, discrimination, and funding of religious indoctrination, all at the same time. We're all grown up now.

Sorry, we can't do both. 

G. Babbitt

Okay Wage Zombie, I'll take the bait.  The Catholic School issue within the ONDP has become a bit of a lightening rod for those who see the party incapable of fresh thought.  I do see the political utility of avoiding this issue, but the Party has also shown disregard for the type of civil rights issues which funding one religion over others raises.  The same arguments of "distracting from other issues" was used in the Lord's Prayer debate.  The latter debate was a low point for the party where not one single elected NDP even seemed to consider that a religious minority may not feel as welcome by an opening Christian prayer. Not one single elected NDP said that the party should be on the side of human tribunals and judges who said it was a breach of minority rights (jurisdictional issues saved it).  Instead the ONDP denied the issue and tried to convince people that McGuinty started it for nefarious reasons.  The ONDP squandered political capital which it earned by legitimately pointing on shortcomings in the Liberal government by accusing them of bad actions when they tried to bring the Legislature in line with most other provinces and human rights legislation.  Can anyone out there please explain what McGunity would have gained if the NDP had supported him on this?  Does anyone not realize that his caucus would have been torn apart. 

 It is perhaps not Catholic school funding itself that irritates people as the ONDP's backwards looking view of things and contempt for those who promote a wider rights agenda.

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