Catholic School funding main issue of Ontario leadership debate

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madmax
Catholic School funding main issue of Ontario leadership debate

 

madmax

[url=http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081108/ont_ndp_081108/2... to lose an Election[/url]

.

quote:

Catholic school funding surfaces in NDP debate
Updated: Sat Nov. 08 2008 2:57:56 PM

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The controversial topic of public funding for Catholic schools re-emerged Saturday at the first debate between candidates vying to become leader of Ontario's New Democrats,


Seems like the NDP intend to put issues like Temp services, poverty, job losses, equality and the environment on the back burner while they focus on Catholic School funding.

So many people felt let down in the last Provincial Election because the media focused on Religious school funding. It was one of the main reasons people choose not to vote. They didn't feel any party was addressing their concerns.

Clearly the NDP want to have a John Tory style of beating while they allow the media to focus on this MAJOR Issue.

Apparently Mr. Prue has determined that he wants media attention on this issue and that this is the issue he will highlight. That means that anything else he says will not be heard in the media.

8 more dates, expect the same coverage

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: madmax ]

[Edited by Michelle to remove all-caps from the thread title.]

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

Lord Palmerston

I'm glad to hear this is finally an issue in the ONDP. The status quo is unacceptable.

ohara

And I will bet that the status quo remains

Tommy_Paine

Just because there was a backlash over Tory's idea to extend taxpayer backed indoctrination of children into the superstition of one's choice, doesn't mean that there would not be a similar backlash over ending it.

People resented having the election highjacked by religion, period.

So, as much as I think funding to Catholic or any other indoctrination centers is mind blowingly wrong, there are certainly more pressing issues at hand.

And the electorate would be right in rejecting any party that attempted to bring this to the fore at this point in time.

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by ohara:
And I will bet that the status quo remains.

Would you consider voting NDP if the Liberals and Tories supported the status quo and if the NDP was supporting an end to separate school funding?

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ]

TCD

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]Just because there was a backlash over Tory's idea to extend taxpayer backed indoctrination of children into the superstition of one's choice, doesn't mean that there would not be a similar backlash over ending it.[/b]

I'd say the fact that a leader's debate that focussed on a broad range of issues ended up with a headline reading "Catholic school funding surfaces in NDP debate" is a pretty good indication that the media will give it prominent play.

And, if I'm a Liberal, in ridings with a large Catholic population - like York South Weston, Davenport, Timmins, Sudbury, Ottawa - what do I say? Unless the Liberal party has completely changed they say, "The NDP hates Catholics."

And while it's true that that's not true and there's a billion reasons why scrapping funding of Catholic schools in no way indicates a prejudice against Catholics, we'd still spend most of the campaign explaining it to angry Catholic voters who'd been lied to by Liberals.

I think the advocates of this should be realistic about what the 2011 campaign will look like if we take on this fight. I'm not convinced it's worth it.

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: TCD ]

Coyote

A word to my Ontario NDP friends: This issue goes to the backburner, and now. Wearing this issue is just nonsensical.

Coyote

Millstone. Neck.

Your decision.

Wilf Day

quote:


Originally posted by Coyote:
[b]A word to my Ontario NDP friends: This issue goes to the backburner, and now. Wearing this issue is just nonsensical.[/b]

What he said.

Fidel

What he said! We'll win more votes by playing good hockey not by lumber company rules.

aka Mycroft

Did anyone here actually attend the debate? I've been looking around on the blogosphere and I see nothing.

Bookish Agrarian

I did and to say it was the main issue, or even a focus of the debate is complete and utter nonsense.

However, for those that think this is the ticket, take heed of the media coverage. No other issue would be listened to. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The NDP could offer gold codpieces to every Ontario citizen who wishes and nothing but Catholic school funding would be covered.

To fight an election from oppostion, with no opportunity to lay the ground work through government would make the NDP campaign be eventually about hanging on to seats, not gaining new ones.

And frankly I don't want to answer questions from my Catholic friends and neigbours about why we want to close the only school, of any kind, in their community. Because like it not, correct or not, that is exactly how it will be seen and you can bet the farm that is how it will be spun.

If you want to know what two issues dominated the debate 1. the economic collapse in Ontario's manufacturing sectors 2. How to bring the party towards government.

Clear winner in my opinion Andrea Horwath
Gilles Bisson was also very strong
Micheal Prue was stronger than I expected
Peter Tabuns was weaker than I expected.

Only one candidate came across to me as someone average voters could see as a potential Premier and that was Horwath.

Lord Palmerston

The difference between John Tory bringing up religious school funding and the NDP bringing it up is: Tory was the leader of the Opposition and his school funding plan was much less popular than the Conservative "brand." In contrast, the NDP has about 10 seats at Queen's Park and is basically invisible in Ontario politics, and support for one school system is far, far more popular than the ONDP is.

We keep hearing how the media will focus entirely on the schools plank and that will kill the NDP. So if they don't do this do they expect the media to give lots of postiive coverage of the NDP, or just ignore them?

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
[b]The difference between John Tory bringing up religious school funding and the NDP bringing it up is: Tory was the leader of the Opposition and his school funding plan was much less popular than the Conservative "brand." In contrast, the NDP has about 10 seats at Queen's Park and is basically invisible in Ontario politics, and support for one school system is far, far more popular than the ONDP is.

We keep hearing how the media will focus entirely on the schools plank and that will kill the NDP. So if they don't do this do they expect the media to give lots of postiive coverage of the NDP, or just ignore them?[/b]


I see no evidence this is some hugely popular issue that voters are just chomping at the bit over to elect and NDP government on. I do however, see lots of downside.
I agree the Tory example is a red herring. Except it shows how the media will spin a story. Tory's position was at least honourable. It was the wrong way to go - funding all rather than funding no religious schools, but without a postion in government to lay the ground work for a campaign on the issue, it is doomed to become the sole focus and a millstone for NDP candidates in riding after riding across Ontario.

I talk alot to parents and others about education, not once has an average person brought up seperate school funding as a major concern for them.

That's my buck zero two anyways.

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
I talk alot to parents and others about education, not once has an average person brought up seperate school funding as a major concern for them.

Even if it's the case that "most people" don't see it as the most pressing issue, the status quo is still unacceptable. And guess what - if the NDP seems to be coming on strong, it will receive lots of negative coverage in the media, regardless of its position on religious school funding. Might as well go with what's right!

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ]

Unionist

quote:


"(In) the last four conventions this issue has been on the convention floor and (in) the last four conventions the party brass has refused to allow it to come forward -- that is not democracy," said Prue, a former East York mayor.

The ONDP should promise public auto insurance. That's how they won last time.

Anyway, why worry about democracy? This is about winning elections.

burlington

This is a pretty neat debate. For some, it's more important to have a principled party to vote for, what's the purpose of having a party that is inconsistent with a core value or a large part of its core supporters? For some, it's more important to have representation in the House, even if the party is inconsistent with a core value.

There's not right or wrong - both have downsides. It's interesting to watch the to and fro of our "democracy" and the current party system. I think what it will come down to is the party membership deciding - is doing the right thing worth the risk of having fewer New Dems and more Liberals in the Leg? It may be, it may not be, and if so, that's democracy.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: burlington ]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by burlington:
[b]This is a pretty neat debate. ...
There's not right or wrong - both have downsides. [/b]

You forgot a third alternative. What about a party that presents itself as very different from the others - devoted to the people's interest - then once in power, is so grateful and overwhelmed that it breaks its promises, abandons its constituency, and governs from the right?

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
[b]

Even if it's the case that "most people" don't see it as the most pressing issue, the status quo is still unacceptable. And guess what - if the NDP seems to be coming on strong, it will receive lots of negative coverage in the media, regardless of its position on religious school funding. Might as well go with what's right!

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ][/b]


It is not a case of finding it acceptable. It is a matter of tactics. Running on ending seperate school funding from opposition, without having government to prepare the way on the issues, would be very, very foolish and the best way to ensure I have a Liberal MPP in my riding into the distant future and in the majority of ridings across Ontario.

By the way unionist - the failure to do the right thing on auto insurance was brought up by one of the candidates as a major mistake and failure- and in my recollection all of the candidates agreed with it- some by addressing it, some by nodding and saying that's right and so on. So I would stop beating the dead horse. But then again there are lots of threads on babble where posters of all kinds are contributing to the world wide shortage of deceased equines.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]
By the way unionist - the failure to do the right thing on auto insurance was brought up by one of the candidates as a major mistake and failure- and in my recollection all of the candidates agreed with it- some by addressing it, some by nodding and saying that's right and so on. So I would stop beating the dead horse. [/b]

I didn't hear the debates. Did the candidates say they would correct that mistake by introducing public auto insurance now? Or did they say it was a mistake to promise it?

Also, how do the candidates analyze the Rae government's unilateral changes to collective agreements - and how exactly will such mistakes be avoided in the future?

I'm of the old school which believes that future action is in some measure predictable by past behaviour, unless the ingredients for change can be spelled out clearly. Broken promises don't become "dead horses" just because of passage of time.

TCD

quote:


Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
[b]We keep hearing how the media will focus entirely on the schools plank and that will kill the NDP. So if they don't do this do they expect the media to give lots of postiive coverage of the NDP, or just ignore them?[/b]

By that logic, the NDP should endorse killing all firstborn children as a cost-saving measure. Just because an idea gets attention doesn't mean it inspires people to vote for you.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

I didn't hear the debates. Did the candidates say they would correct that mistake by introducing public auto insurance now? Or did they say it was a mistake to promise it?

Also, how do the candidates analyze the Rae government's unilateral changes to collective agreements - and how exactly will such mistakes be avoided in the future?

I'm of the old school which believes that future action is in some measure predictable by past behaviour, unless the ingredients for change can be spelled out clearly. Broken promises don't become "dead horses" just because of passage of time.[/b]


No but repeating the same argument over and over does put one in mind of flogging the equine after it has passed on.

The context was in promising auto insurance AND not following through. In other words not keeping the promise when the NDP could have and should have done so.

Not sure about the soical contract. I had to leave the room for a few minutes to take a call about missing hockey socks and a game pending so I might have missed it.

ETA
The main focus was not on the past but on the future. Personally I am much more interested in selecting a new leader, not re-fighting fights more than a decade and a half old. I am focused on who will be the best candidate to move the NDP forward not gazing at the naval. I saw a potential Premier yesterday and that is what excites me.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]I saw a potential Premier yesterday and that is what excites me.[/b]

I'm old enough to remember (from afar) people being excited about a youngish potential Premier in 1990, and being ecstatic when he won. What he and his caucus did once in power (bad things for workers) dealt the ONDP a blow from which it has never yet recovered. Still #3, no?

I think it's worthwhile analyzing why that happened and discussing how to avoid it in the future (i.e. with which policies and which leader).

Some here would like to separate the two processes: "Say what we need to say to get elected, then we can do whatever we want."

Isn't it [b][i]precisely[/i][/b] that which destroyed your party last time round?

Bookish Agrarian

That is not at all what I am saying and I am shocked that you would be so patently disrespectful of someone who has attempted to address your posts in a straight forward manner.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]That is not at all what I am saying and I am shocked that you would be so patently disrespectful of someone who has attempted to address your posts in a straight forward manner.[/b]

Well, I wasn't actually referring to you, and anyway, that's an odd sort of comment to make. Why not just forget about the whole thing, shall we?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

quote:


Originally posted by TCD:
[b]By that logic, the NDP should endorse killing all firstborn children as a cost-saving measure. Just because an idea gets attention doesn't mean it inspires people to vote for you.[/b]

I have no problem with the principle of funding only public secular schooling (which, btw, consists of two systems throughout most of Ontario, English and French).

Shall we go ahead and assume mass murder to be a principle you endorse?

ohara

quote:


Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
[b]

Would you consider voting NDP if the Liberals and Tories supported the status quo and if the NDP was supporting an end to separate school funding?

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ][/b]


I prefer the equal funding of all faith based schools that meet Min. of Ed requirements

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]I did and to say it was the main issue, or even a focus of the debate is complete and utter nonsense.

However, for those that think this is the ticket, take heed of the media coverage. No other issue would be listened to. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The NDP could offer gold codpieces to every Ontario citizen who wishes and nothing but Catholic school funding would be covered.

To fight an election from oppostion, with no opportunity to lay the ground work through government would make the NDP campaign be eventually about hanging on to seats, not gaining new ones.

And frankly I don't want to answer questions from my Catholic friends and neigbours about why we want to close the only school, of any kind, in their community. Because like it not, correct or not, that is exactly how it will be seen and you can bet the farm that is how it will be spun.

If you want to know what two issues dominated the debate 1. the economic collapse in Ontario's manufacturing sectors 2. How to bring the party towards government.

Clear winner in my opinion Andrea Horwath
Gilles Bisson was also very strong
Micheal Prue was stronger than I expected
Peter Tabuns was weaker than I expected.

Only one candidate came across to me as someone average voters could see as a potential Premier and that was Horwath.[/b]


The Ontario Public School Board association representing 72 public school boards in the province and alot larger than its neighbour board association has as a policy one school system. Ontario public school supporters represent 67% of Ontario pop vs 33% for RC, and just because they support by attending the later school does not indicate necessarily that preference focus. In fact in a study put out by OSSTF, religious instruction was number 4 on preference of parents in choice of school, where quality of education was number 1.
My local public school board put forth a motion, supported unanimously supporting one school system.
In the last election, we were told that in a middle of election was not time to debate one school system. Now those same NDPers are saying now is not the time either. I never thought I'd see the day where in the NDP democracy of prevented at the executive level. I am sure this group is making sure that they get their troops elected in positions to block a debate and vote at the floor level.

quote:

And frankly I don't want to answer questions from my Catholic friends and neigbours about why we want to close the only school, of any kind, in their community. Because like it not, correct or not, that is exactly how it will be seen and you can bet the farm that is how it will be spun.

You won't have to worry about that with the way the system functions now - with all that surplus space in the public school system and ARC's happening, it's public schools that are closing. So with say 2 schools in small communities, public school closes, and they can walk down the street to that catholic school or they get on the bus for a nice long bus ride. The response will be - funding formula dictates and consolidation needs to occur.

In my area, our neighbour board has not had one accommodation review process although their student enrollment is declining faster than ours. And nor is that on their radar for the future. Recently they put a kitty together in the province to promote your system over public, with public tax dollars.
Board chips in $21,000 to promote Catholic education [url=http://www.walkerton.com/news/article/59585]Board chips in $21,000 to promote Catholic education [/url] and also same article on the Brampton Guardian in another paper. I guess they don't have problems enticing public school students to their schools with better busing, no user fees and so on and thus making the neighbouring public school student population decline and thus trigger an accommodation review.

Of course the local school would not close, it would just mean that all local kids attended the same school, and if that happen to be the only one in that community, it would remain open. And religious instruction of any faith/non faith would be a possibility for an after school activity and not funded. Therefore, it would be equitable and fair and not give privilege to any group. Sounds positively NDP.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]I did and to say it was the main issue, or even a focus of the debate is complete and utter nonsense.

However, for those that think this is the ticket, take heed of the media coverage. No other issue would be listened to. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The NDP could offer gold codpieces to every Ontario citizen who wishes and nothing but Catholic school funding would be covered.

To fight an election from oppostion, with no opportunity to lay the ground work through government would make the NDP campaign be eventually about hanging on to seats, not gaining new ones.

And frankly I don't want to answer questions from my Catholic friends and neigbours about why we want to close the only school, of any kind, in their community. Because like it not, correct or not, that is exactly how it will be seen and you can bet the farm that is how it will be spun.

If you want to know what two issues dominated the debate 1. the economic collapse in Ontario's manufacturing sectors 2. How to bring the party towards government.

Clear winner in my opinion Andrea Horwath
Gilles Bisson was also very strong
Micheal Prue was stronger than I expected
Peter Tabuns was weaker than I expected.

Only one candidate came across to me as someone average voters could see as a potential Premier and that was Horwath.[/b]


Horwath is not being supported in the Hamilton area by the other riding associations. That sure tells one something.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]

I see no evidence this is some hugely popular issue that voters are just chomping at the bit over to elect and NDP government on. I do however, see lots of downside.
I agree the Tory example is a red herring. Except it shows how the media will spin a story. Tory's position was at least honourable. It was the wrong way to go - funding all rather than funding no religious schools, but without a postion in government to lay the ground work for a campaign on the issue, it is doomed to become the sole focus and a millstone for NDP candidates in riding after riding across Ontario.

I talk alot to parents and others about education, not once has an average person brought up seperate school funding as a major concern for them.

That's my buck zero two anyways.[/b]


I guess that means that your not the local school trustee.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]

It is not a case of finding it acceptable. It is a matter of tactics. Running on ending seperate school funding from opposition, without having government to prepare the way on the issues, would be very, very foolish and the best way to ensure I have a Liberal MPP in my riding into the distant future and in the majority of ridings across Ontario.

By the way unionist - the failure to do the right thing on auto insurance was brought up by one of the candidates as a major mistake and failure- and in my recollection all of the candidates agreed with it- some by addressing it, some by nodding and saying that's right and so on. So I would stop beating the dead horse. But then again there are lots of threads on babble where posters of all kinds are contributing to the world wide shortage of deceased equines.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ][/b]


Of course, you can spin it anyway you want it, but BA, it is still spin. One would not run on it like that but on being inclusive for all and ensuring that dollars go into the classroom rather than propping up 4 reluctant ed systems. You sound positively liberal.

Bookish Agrarian

All I am saying is strategically the time to run on a single school board is from a postion of government.

There will be many, many public school supporters (In tax terms) who will object to schools being taken away. And let's be clear, the reality won't matter - that is how it will be spun and a lot of people will buy into it. The NDP does not have the money provincially to launch a massive education media campaign on what the NDP really means.

I have no problem with it coming to the floor of convention. I support a single school system. Depending on what a resolution said I would likely support it (What it said would be a huge quailifier) However, I would never support something that should suggest we run the 2011 election on it. As a parent with kids in the school system, as I know you know I have, I think there are much bigger issues in education than one public system or not. If we can find billions to support bad business decisions by banks we can find the money to educate our children. Right now we are forcing good trustees to try and do that on the cheap and that, I would suggest, is the real core issue, not the one board issue.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by janfromthebruce:
[b]

Of course, you can spin it anyway you want it, but BA, it is still spin. One would not run on it like that but on being inclusive for all and ensuring that dollars go into the classroom rather than propping up 4 reluctant ed systems. You sound positively liberal.[/b]


This is beneath you Jan

janfromthebruce

What I find interesting is that if the NDP adopts a United education system based on both official languages that we would automatically make that a central blank of the next election. No we don't have to and that the central campaign is a choice of the executive. So that is a strawhorse put out by Horvath and thought it was weak.

But actually having that debate at the convention is called democracy. Preventing that debate is elitest and sure doesn't represent an NDP I'd want to be involved with. Positively elitest.

I know lots of lapsed NDP members in my section of Bruce county who would rejoin the party and others who would join (and might just to vote on the new prov leader)if that was on that leader's ticket.

In the last election, I heard from lots of folks in education, parents, admin, and so on who wondered why this sacred cow was still there. Incidentally, they would be considered progressives but voted LIBERAL, all potential NDP voters. And one school system excites them. They see and amount of fundraising they have to do in their public schools and they are tired of it. They are tired of increased "user fees" for extracurricular activities such as sports. They see that no more "new money" is going to come into education and wonder why we are wasting resources keeping redundant and competing ed systems propped up and see that the way to quality education for all based on equity for all is one school system. Makes sense to me from a social, political, and economic perspective.
And I can tell you that there are folks with there kids in those schools and it's not because of the religious part.

Bookish Agrarian

quote:


Originally posted by janfromthebruce:
[b]What I find interesting is that if the NDP adopts a United education system based on both official languages that we would automatically make that a central blank of the next election. No we don't have to and that the central campaign is a choice of the executive. So that is a strawhorse put out by Horvath and thought it was weak. [/b]

I don’t know why you would single out Horwath. I simply reported what I saw on balance as someone who is not a single issue leadership campaign voter.
3 candidates said the same thing. One candidate Prue – made noises about supporting the debate but there was NO indication that he supported a one board system. By not taking a stand I have to say he is just playing at getting passionate supporters to come to him, with no cost.

I think what happens with passionate supporters of this issue is they forget that education politics in Ontario is a media magnet. So even if a call to end public fiancing was only found on page 87 of the platform the MEDIA would make it front and centre. The NDP would have no ability to run a counter campaign to the spin. It will be spun as the NDP wants to close your Catholic school. If people think OECTA, Catholic organizations and many others would not launch a major campaign against the NDP in that situation they are naive.


quote:

But actually having that debate at the convention is called democracy
Preventing that debate is elitest and sure doesn't represent an NDP I'd want to be involved with. Positively elitest.


I agree and would not support not having it.

quote:

I know lots of lapsed NDP members in my section of Bruce county who would rejoin the party and others who would join (and might just to vote on the new prov leader)if that was on that leader's ticket.

And I know current members and supporters who would walk away. So what? Does that make it a good idea.

quote:

In the last election, I heard from lots of folks in education, parents, admin, and so on who wondered why this sacred cow was still there. Incidentally, they would be considered progressives but voted LIBERAL, all potential NDP voters. And one school system excites them. They see and amount of fundraising they have to do in their public schools and they are tired of it. They are tired of increased "user fees" for extracurricular activities such as sports. They see that no more "new money" is going to come into education and wonder why we are wasting resources keeping redundant and competing ed systems propped up and see that the way to quality education for all based on equity for all is one school system. Makes sense to me from a social, political, and economic perspective.
And I can tell you that there are folks with there kids in those schools and it's not because of the religious part.


No a lot of those parents are there because they don’t like tolerance taught in public schools. They don’t like their kids teacher for having daring to try to disciple their kids. They are there because the Principal hates their kid because they expect them to behave while at school and not do things like punch other kids. They are there because Superintendent or Trustee refused to fire the teacher who favours some other parents kid. And you know what the public system gets new students from seperate schools for many of the same reasons.

You are trying to convince people who already agree with you on the larger issue. But due to your passion you don’t see that they agree with you. They just don’t think the way the people who most vocally support a system change want to go about things as the best way to do it. Yet whenever those people speak up they are called Liberals or unprogressive and a whole host of things. If that is a sign of how a campaign would go with this plank in a campaign, they wonder how ugly things might just get.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by ohara:
[b]And I will bet that the status quo remains[/b]

I'm afraid you may be right, given that it seems many people in the NDP who support the idea in principle of ending state-sponsored discrimination think it will kill the party to bring it up.

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
It is not a case of finding it acceptable. It is a matter of tactics. Running on ending seperate school funding from opposition, without having government to prepare the way on the issues, would be very, very foolish and the best way to ensure I have a Liberal MPP in my riding into the distant future and in the majority of ridings across Ontario.

Let's say an NDP leadership candidate called for raising taxes significantly on corporations and the wealthy. I assume you'd agree with position. But wouldn't it be a bad idea in terms of "tactics" because the MSM would spin it as simply "the NDP wants to raise taxes on Ontarians", ignoring the fact that the vast majority would not be affected?

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ]

Stockholm

My attitude is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The fact that separate schools exist doesn't affect my life one iota - so who cares.

Raising corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy is something that could give the government vast amounts of revenue to advance social policies and reduce inequities. I don't see any advantage to stirring up a giant hornet's next over eliminate the entire separate school system. It would just mean a horrific emotional battle that would divide the party cause mass resignations, lead to the loss of seats in many areas of the province and probably cause a rift between the NDP and separate school supporters that might last a generation to heal and all for what? Nothing.

I thnk you have to choose your battles. If the NDP is going to adopt a really controversial policy that could repel a lot of core supporters - let it at least be something that actually benefits a lot of people as opposed to saying "we want to scrap all separate schools just for the sake of doing so".

Jonas

Since this is already becoming a central issue in the leadership debate (it certainly took over the debate organized by the Socialist Caucus) the real question becomes - how do we allow for debate on the issue within the membership (because after all we have the word DEMOCRATIC in our name!) but NOT let it become the only issue in the next election campaign. Unfortunately, what becomes the central issue in an election campaign is completely out of our control (as John Tory learned the hard way.)

I sympathize with the 3 leadership contenders who don't want this issue to derail the next election, I don't either. And I think Prue has jumped on this issue, not because he necessarily believes in a one board school system but because it's a way to distinguish himself from the others. That doesn't appeal to me as a tactic even though I do agree that some form of debate should be allowed.

My feeling is that at the next convention most time and all the focus will be spent electing a new leader and that's as it should be. There will be little time for a fulsome debate on amalgamating school boards. Also, conventions are attended by a very small number of members (and usually the same few from each riding.) This also doesn't lend itself to the kind of debate this issue requires. Debate needs to happen at the riding level with full participation of all members who wish to participate.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]All I am saying is strategically the time to run on a single school board is from a postion of government.

There will be many, many public school supporters (In tax terms) who will object to schools being taken away. And let's be clear, the reality won't matter - that is how it will be spun and a lot of people will buy into it. The NDP does not have the money provincially to launch a massive education media campaign on what the NDP really means.

I have no problem with it coming to the floor of convention. I support a single school system. Depending on what a resolution said I would likely support it (What it said would be a huge quailifier) However, I would never support something that should suggest we run the 2011 election on it. As a parent with kids in the school system, as I know you know I have, I think there are much bigger issues in education than one public system or not. If we can find billions to support bad business decisions by banks we can find the money to educate our children. Right now we are forcing good trustees to try and do that on the cheap and that, I would suggest, is the real core issue, not the one board issue.[/b]


And you know that I don't want this to be what the NDP runs on - as its big issue - but I do not want to be in another election where the NDP does not have a position that is based on equity, fairness and inclusiveness. And whether we make it an election issue or not, I believe it will be again. I'd much rather have the NDP being on the right side of this policy and beginning able to lift off from that place to where we would rather have the frame, such as say economic, environment and so on. As an aside, this is hugely economic issue, considering how much of the Ontario budget is given to education.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]

This is beneath you Jan[/b]


You are right. I am sorry. I an angry that people in positions of power within the provincial party would prevent this from coming to the floor at convention, and have done so for over 4 years.

As you well know, my local political position puts me in contact with many people connected to education, and thus why most of my conversations centre on education. As the local trustee, I have to talk about why the board cuts this and that and can't afford to support the things that parents and students say are important to them. There is only one pot of money and saying more money is the answer to the problem does not address the issue at the level of equity and fairness for all and providing quality education.

And I wanted to add, that I (like you) are mindful of the public purse, and where I would much rather that a well-funded one school system that provides excellence in education to all, and have money that I don't have to put into education to prop up 4 redundant ed systems to make them all great, and put else where into areas that are also of interest to folks, such as social services (the poor cousin to health and ed), economic development, agriculture reform and programs and so on.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]

No a lot of those parents are there because they don’t like tolerance taught in public schools. They don’t like their kids teacher for having daring to try to disciple their kids. They are there because the Principal hates their kid because they expect them to behave while at school and not do things like punch other kids. They are there because Superintendent or Trustee refused to fire the teacher who favours some other parents kid. And you know what the public system gets new students from seperate schools for many of the same reasons.

You are trying to convince people who already agree with you on the larger issue. But due to your passion you don’t see that they agree with you. They just don’t think the way the people who most vocally support a system change want to go about things as the best way to do it. Yet whenever those people speak up they are called Liberals or unprogressive and a whole host of things. If that is a sign of how a campaign would go with this plank in a campaign, they wonder how ugly things might just get.

[ 09 November 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ][/b]


I am quite aware who would come out of the woodwork, and know this from the last election being in the eye of the storm, so to speak. I would suggest that we study closely how NFL progressed without an referendum. One does not have a referendum on "rights."

Lord Palmerston

Steve Paiken weighs in:

quote:

John Tory insisted his plan to publicly fund faith-based schools was motivated by the inherent unfairness of the current education system, which provides Catholics with a publicly funded secular and a publicly funded faith-based system in which to send their children. No other
religions enjoy two such options.

(We know why that anomaly exists. The grand compromise of 1867 ensured that the minority
education rights of Protestants in Quebec and Catholics in Ontario would be protected, thus
enabling Confederation to happen).

What Tory didn't realize was that most Ontarians agree with him that the system is unfair. But
their preferred method of leveling the playing field would be to de-fund the Catholic system, not
give tax dollars to more religious groups.

Which brings us back to McGuinty.

Some of the premier's most eloquent speeches during the 2007 campaign focused on the marvels
of the public education system.

"I want a system where the Jewish kids sit beside the Muslim kids, who sit beside the Buddhist
kids, who sit beside the Hindu kids," the premier often said with genuine passion.

But the group always missing from the premier's multicultural list were Catholics - merely 30 per
cent of the province's students - who are hived off in their own schools.

McGuinty is a smart man. Most of the time, he has demonstrated considerable compassion in his
job. In fact, he has said if we were going to design a school system from scratch today, we would certainly not design what we currently have.

So, he surely must be aware of the intellectual inconsistency of his position. He certainly was a
few years ago, when he acknowledged he was open to resolving the faith-based conundrum, but
only after he had improved the public school system first.


[url=http://www.onessn.org/Nov7-07-1.pdf]http://www.onessn.org/Nov7-07-1.pdf[...

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Jonas:
[b]Since this is already becoming a central issue in the leadership debate (it certainly took over the debate organized by the Socialist Caucus) the real question becomes - how do we allow for debate on the issue within the membership (because after all we have the word DEMOCRATIC in our name!) but NOT let it become the only issue in the next election campaign. Unfortunately, what becomes the central issue in an election campaign is completely out of our control (as John Tory learned the hard way.)

I sympathize with the 3 leadership contenders who don't want this issue to derail the next election, I don't either. And I think Prue has jumped on this issue, not because he necessarily believes in a one board school system but because it's a way to distinguish himself from the others. That doesn't appeal to me as a tactic even though I do agree that some form of debate should be allowed.

My feeling is that at the next convention most time and all the focus will be spent electing a new leader and that's as it should be. There will be little time for a fulsome debate on amalgamating school boards. Also, conventions are attended by a very small number of members (and usually the same few from each riding.) This also doesn't lend itself to the kind of debate this issue requires. Debate needs to happen at the riding level with full participation of all members who wish to participate.[/b]


I think you should ask Prue where he seats on the issue as opposed to suggesting that he is doing so as an election tactic. I have talked with him, and he fully supports the membership debating this issue. We could ensure that parameters are put into place. Considering we have one member one vote, where the leaders seat on an issue becomes relevant. Prue will tell you that in the last election the education issue happened at every door step and he does not want to left hanging there again.
Education funding effects every Ontarian whether we have children in the system or not - we all pay for it, and it is the 2nd largest pot of the overall budget, right behind Health care, as they are the twin responsibilities at the provincial level of govt. The more money we have to put into this pot the less we have for other areas, so for example, indirectly it effects social housing, for example.

Stockholm

And whether we make it an election issue or not, I believe it will be again.

I'm not so sure about that. After what happened in 2007, the PCs will never touch this issue again with a ten foot pole. The Liberals won't go anywhere near it. The only way this becomes an issue is if the NDP makes it an issue.

janfromthebruce

Stockholm wrote:

And whether we make it an election issue or not, I believe it will be again.

I'm not so sure about that. After what happened in 2007, the PCs will never touch this issue again with a ten foot pole. The Liberals won't go anywhere near it. The only way this becomes an issue is if the NDP makes it an issue.

In the last election, the Greens had a plank in their platform under education promoting one school type system of education in the province. Their major focus was the environment and did not make their education policy the major issue. However, when asked about their education position, they were able to state that they supported all kids, no matter their race, class, creed or religious/non religious afflication attending to school together under one system. 

They were able to move from that position to talk about their environmental polices. Remember being able to shift the frame in issues that are important to a party is being in a position of strength in the first place. Because their position of education was on the public side of the education debate meant they got the mike (so to speak) and able to talk about other platform planks like their environmental policies. 

 

 

Michelle

ohara wrote:
And I will bet that the status quo remains

I'll go in on that bet with you, ohara.  This is the Ontario New Christian Supremacist Party we're talking about here.

janfromthebruce

I don't want to be sitting in this place in the next election, where we as a party guessed wrong and it won't be an election issue. Why wait for that to happen, let's have a position we can defend and that we listened to the public.

Does our party believe in equity, fairness, equality for all. Do all policies promote those fundamental human rights concepts? 

Which ones don't and why? What do we need to change to ensure that our policies do promote that?

If not now, then when?

Last time, it was we can't change this "now" because we are in the middle of the election. Wait till after the election. Now that election is over with and now more delaying "means are given" but essentially work to the same end - lets not talk or do anything about this hopefully nobody will notice.

Now the reason given by some is that a) we don't want to upset the status quo; b) we don't want this to become a focus of an election campaign, c) we don't want the membership in the NDP to debate tough issues; d) we don't want to talk about this or make any decisions until we are elected in government.

To the last reason, I say well it doesn't look like we are going to get into govt anytime soon but being in opposition does put us in a place where we can push the govt of the day in a certain direction and influence that direction. 

And if not us, then who? Who will speak up and talk for and on behalf of the 70% of Ontarians who yearn for unified public education system? One where all kids are welcome and provides quality education for all.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

quote:


Originally posted by ohara:
I prefer the equal funding of all faith based schools that meet Min. of Ed requirements


Whereas I loathe the thought of my tax dollars going towards segregation and the indoctrination of the innocent with myths of all-powerful and vengeful sky-fairies.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:
Horwath is not being supported in the Hamilton area by the other riding associations. That sure tells one something.

I'm not sure where you got that impression, Jan, but it's not an accurate one. I was at her launch on Friday and she was joined onstage by Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson, Hamilton Mountain MP Chris Charlton and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MP Wayne Marston. The room was overflowing (The Spec estimated the crowd at 250 which sounds about right to me) with Hamiltonians and people who, like me, came in from out of town for the event.

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