Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why did I pick on John Tory?

In this post, I single out John Tory as one of the people working against educational options for children. Tory is a pretty minor, forgettable figure (who might not have the career he does were it not for his last name), so some may wonder why I mention him.

Well, here's why.

Tory and the PC's got raked over the coals for their proposal to expand the current funding of religious schools. I'm not arguing that religious schools should necessarily be funded by the government. Well, I'm not directly arguing that. The point isn't religious schools anyway. The point is that Tory abandoned this very minor step towards educational freedom for Ontario's students.

Tory and the Tories were championing school choice... or, at least, that is what they should have been doing. Giving parents control over their children's education is not merely defensible, but it is also one of the few 'feel good' sort of policies that conservatives/libertarians/right wingers actually evangelize. A leader who will fight for middle- and working-class parents against unions and bureaucrats is the type of leader we need.

So, with this entirely worthwhile initiative, what does John Tory do? He makes it appear as a sop to religious voters, looks at some polls, and then abandons the idea - tacitly supporting the current oppressive system.

I didn't have a daughter when Tory's craven political ambitions superseded any honourable platform the Progressive Conservative Party might have been able to cobble together, but I have one now. It would have been nice if Tory had shown some leadership on this issue.

It would have been nice if Tory, not by act but by omission, had not worked to hinder my daughter's future.

[UPDATE: JTL has a nice little line on another reason to disdain Tory. I may disagree with JTL on what constitutes "public" education (though I'd say his idea of public education would match my idea of "public" education if that makes any sense), but, damn, I miss J.C. Watts and Skip Walker.]

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