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Conservatives Unwrapped

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Product branding. From Ford to Coke, corporations, organizations and political parties rely on it to build their customer loyalty. During past weeks the brand of the Conservative Party has taken a beating.

Conservative Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin were tossed from their party caucus due to alleged irregularities with their expenses. Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau also faced questions about his expenses. Brazeau had already been expelled from caucus when he was charged with sexual assault.

Then another bombshell! Two reporters from the Toronto Star and the editor of the website Gawker reported viewing a video where a person appearing to be Conservative poster boy and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, appeared to smoke from a crack pipe in the company of drug dealers while spewing homophobic slurs about Justin Trudeau and racist references about the young people he coached.

While headlines set out conservative malfeasances, Ontario Tory leader Tim Hudak ducked the scrutiny he should have received for his double-talk on provincial gaming.

For those who have followed this provincial story, part of the job creation strategy of the McGuinty/Duncan Liberal regime called for an end to the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP), even though ending this programs killed rather than promoted jobs. This double-talk meant an end to the jobs of thousands of men and women employed in horse-breeding and racing throughout rural Ontario.

SARP was a partnership established under the NDP to help create over 50,000 decent jobs in rural Ontario.

When the Liberals pulled the plug on the program, Hudak quickly accused the Liberals of hurting rural Ontario. He didn't say that he agreed with the move. In fact, Hudak and his party wanted to go further by fully privatizing gaming. With privatization, a big part of the cash Ontarians gamble in slot machines would end up in the pockets of Hudak’s rich pals.

Next, OLG boss and Tory bagman Paul Godfrey was sacked by Premier Wynne. And who came to his rescue? Tim Hudak. Godfrey, who was head of the OLG, was the architect for rural destruction through his role in ending SARP. Even so, he was defended by Hudak, the supposed savior and ally of rural Ontarians. Talk about hypocrisy.

So in both cases noted above, Hudak feigned support for rural folks while watching their livelihoods disappear. That is the point. Conservatives are seldom accountable or transparent. They seldom play by the rules.

It’s all a charade. By using jingoism they try to tap into the electorate's search for decency. They offer up platitudes while being anything but decent inside.

I hope that people will see through this nonsense and understand that Conservatives have one goal. They strive to help their rich friends by enhancing the classism that divides Ontario. For Conservatives, income disparity isn't a problem, it’s a desired outcome. They want to keep working people in their place. Keep them scared so you can keep them down.

This is why Conservatives hate unions. Unions believe that all boats rise on higher waters. Unions believe in a strong middle class that can be accessed by most. Unions strive for democracy, accountability and decency. Unions fight back. I am glad to face down the hate coming from the right-wing. We are on the high road.

When a Conservative makes reference to being on the high road it cracks me up. Why? Because I know their best and brightest, whether on a road or not, are probably just high.

In solidarity,

Smokey Thomas

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