We fail to understand how OCAP leader Clarke cannot realize
that his tactics -- from gas-masked thugs throwing rocks at
police in front of the Ontario legislature to a mob
terrorizing staff and students working in Flaherty's constituency office --
play into the hands of the slipping-in-the-polls Tories.
Violence on the public lawns and streets of Ontario will
guarantee a public backlash benefitting the Tories. Ontario voters have
repeatedly shown their antipathy to violent protest, turning their support
towards those who would quash it. The opposition parties, the
CAW, and most other anti-Harris organizations in the province know
that. OCAP's up-yours attitude must drive them to despair.
This isn't about squeamishness, as Clarke claims, but about maintaining
a valuable tradition of civility. Even discourtesy is alien to
our traditions. Many Ontarians were horrified this week by the
screamed insults at the hearings into independent-school tax credits (hurled
not at politicians but at parents supportive of the credit).
Union leaders planning province-wide shutdowns and general strikes later this
year will be smart to strongly distance themselves from OCAP
and its tactics. Otherwise, they too might inadvertently find themselves
on Mike Harris's thank-you list. Source.