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CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:46 am
 


The Conservatives are in power, that must be it. 8O


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:47 am
 


Lemmy wrote:
I'm not defending McGuinty; I agree with your monkey analogy, but I think the blame falls on the system much more so than whomever happens to be its figurehead, which is what a premier really is after all.


In all the McGuinty-this and McGuinty-that, his name is headlined on supposedly-positive things that were done under his watch. So I think it's fair that the not-so-savoury things that happened should stick to his shoes as well.

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But I strongly disagree with your assertion that Ontario has been "run into the ground". Life in Ontario is pretty good. Ontarians enjoy a strong economy, public safety, good infrastructure, healthcare, you name it. I can't think of a place on Earth where things are better than right here in Ontario.


That was a bit of hyperbole on my part, yes, since we still seem to be able to manage to do OK, but I was thinking more of things like the big monetary picture and our grossly enlarged public deficits and public debt under his leadership.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:30 am
 


Jonny_C wrote:
In all the McGuinty-this and McGuinty-that, his name is headlined on supposedly-positive things that were done under his watch. So I think it's fair that the not-so-savoury things that happened should stick to his shoes as well.

That's fair. I'm somewhat pressed into a devil's advocate role when defending McGuinty. I'm not a fan. What happened to his promises undo all of the Harris government's fuck-ups, like MPAC and the Ontario College of Teachers? How come I have smuggle Weed & Feed across the border? I'm no more happy about Ornge than anyone else. I've said it many times that McGuinty's been asleep at the wheel.

But I think people hugely overstate the role of the parliament in the overall function of government. The deputy ministers and other bureaucrats who remain in their jobs as parliament changes are the ones who need to be held more responsible for the failures of our government. What we need is a complete over-haul the system. Changing the faces at Queen's Park has no impact on what happens in the government offices around the provinces.

Jonny_C wrote:
That was a bit of hyperbole on my part, yes, since we still seem to be able to manage to do OK, but I was thinking more of things like the big monetary picture and our grossly enlarged public deficits and public debt under his leadership.

Our provincial debt/deficit problem is, primarily a demographic one. We have an ageing population and rising healthcare costs. That's not going to change until all you Boomers are dead. :P We can yell screaming "Oh my god, we're in up to our eyeballs in debt", but it's a temporary circumstance. I think we're better off running up some debt to maintain our lifestyle (and "your" cutting-edge cancer treatments) and worry about paying if off when the source of the problem disappears in 20 years or so.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:00 am
 


Lemmy wrote:
But I think people hugely overstate the role of the parliament in the overall function of government. The deputy ministers and other bureaucrats who remain in their jobs as parliament changes are the ones who need to be held more responsible for the failures of our government. What we need is a complete over-haul the system. Changing the faces at Queen's Park has no impact on what happens in the government offices around the provinces.


I think you may have been watching too much "Yes, Minister." It doesn't really operate like that. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:19 am
 


Zipperfish wrote:
I think you may have been watching too much "Yes, Minister." It doesn't really operate like that. :lol:

Should I be embarrassed that I had to Google "Yes, Minister"? I've never heard of it before now.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:35 am
 


Lemmy wrote:
How so?


Just take a look back between the previous PC, NDP and Liberal governments. I think it's fair to say McGuinty's government is far and above the worst at overseeing large public projects. They've proven that time and time again.

Lemmy wrote:

That's a show stopper. Yeah, Newfoundland is the envy of the entire nation in every possible measure of quality of life. ROTFL ROTFL Sorry, I've just pissed in my pants and no one can do anything about it.


We were discussing "good bones". Specifically, Provinces that are in a good financial position, unlike Ontario.

Newfoundland and Saskatchewan have their finances in order. You make fun of NFLD all while the province you seem to praise is at the bottom looking up.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:38 am
 


Lemmy wrote:
Changing the faces at Queen's Park has no impact on what happens in the government offices around the provinces.


You contradicted yourself.

You have no problem placing blame for certain things at the feet of Mike Harris yet when it comes to this particular Liberal government.

Quote:
I think people hugely overstate the role of the parliament in the overall function of government. The deputy ministers and other bureaucrats who remain in their jobs as parliament changes are the ones who need to be held more responsible for the failures of our government.


But when it comes to Harris, it was all his fault.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:40 am
 


Lemmy wrote:
But I think people hugely overstate the role of the parliament in the overall function of government. The deputy ministers and other bureaucrats who remain in their jobs as parliament changes are the ones who need to be held more responsible for the failures of our government. What we need is a complete over-haul the system. Changing the faces at Queen's Park has no impact on what happens in the government offices around the provinces.


I'm reminded of what the head of Quebec Hydro once said to a premier of Quebec with whom he was having a dispute: "In four years you'll be gone and I'll still be here."

I have absolutely no problem with your idea of an accountable civil service. It's the politicians, however, who have to set their guidelines, and I think a lot of politicians are maybe too lazy, or too ignorant of the workings of their departments, to try to make things more efficient. There seems a general reluctance to "clean house". Just the old method of "cut your budget by 10%" isn't specific enough to really do the trick.

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Our provincial debt/deficit problem is, primarily a demographic one. We have an ageing population and rising healthcare costs. That's not going to change until all you Boomers are dead. :P We can yell screaming "Oh my god, we're in up to our eyeballs in debt", but it's a temporary circumstance. I think we're better off running up some debt to maintain our lifestyle (and "your" cutting-edge cancer treatments) and worry about paying if off when the source of the problem disappears in 20 years or so.


20 years is a hell of a "temporary circumstance"! :D

We do have a lot more to worry about than just health care though.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:53 am
 


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Newfoundland and Saskatchewan for starters. They have their financial house in order right now. Ontario and Quebec are at the bottom of the barrel so to answer your question....anywhere but Ontario and Quebec.


Aside from the environment, well documented in the OP,

Harris left us with one of the worst education records in Canada. Thanks to McG, it's now internationaly ranked among the world's best.

Harris left us with some of the longest wait times in Canada, now we have the nations' shortest.

There may be alot of reasons to criticise McGuinty, but on Health Care, Education and the Environment (what many would consider to be the real "bones" of the Province) he not only got it right, but he nailed it.


Last edited by BeaverFever on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:54 am
 


OnTheIce wrote:
You contradicted yourself.

You have no problem placing blame for certain things at the feet of Mike Harris yet when it comes to this particular Liberal government.

But when it comes to Harris, it was all his fault.

There's a difference between McGuinty's government not knowing what the civil service was up to and Harris' government CREATING fuck-ups, like MPAC and OCoT.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:22 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
There's a difference between McGuinty's government not knowing what the civil service was up to and Harris' government CREATING fuck-ups, like MPAC and OCoT.


No Lemmy, the only difference here is what you choose to see and what you choose not to see.

eHealth is a fuck-up created by the McGuinty government.

Presto was a fuck-up by McGuinty.

Moving power plants was a fuck up directly from McGuinty.

These aren't oversights on existing programs, these are programs/projects that were created by the McGuinty government that turned out to be failures and/or boondoggles.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:39 pm
 


No, the difference is that an e-health system, public transit smartcards and air-ambulance service are GOOD ideas, put forward by government, that were poorly implemented by bumbling civil servants. OCoT and MPAC were bad government ideas that should never have been implemented. I agree with you on the powerplant disaster.
typo edits


Last edited by Lemmy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:50 pm
 


Zipperfish wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
But I think people hugely overstate the role of the parliament in the overall function of government. The deputy ministers and other bureaucrats who remain in their jobs as parliament changes are the ones who need to be held more responsible for the failures of our government. What we need is a complete over-haul the system. Changing the faces at Queen's Park has no impact on what happens in the government offices around the provinces.


I think you may have been watching too much "Yes, Minister." It doesn't really operate like that. :lol:


Old Brit Humour. The Machiavellian yet well-meaning Deputy Minister and the oafish yet well-meaing Minister. Worth a watch, if a little aged now. Like all good comedy, tehre's an element of "it's funny because it's true."

Politicians tend to be individualists, typically with large egos. Consequently, they often fail to realize that a system the size a of provincial or national bureaucracy has an immense amount of momentum behind it, and they--though at the top--have a limited ability to chnage its course. Changing the direction of such a beast is a mammoth undertaking requiring a strong and concerted effort. To further confound the Minister's efforts, the bureacracy itself punishes innovation, and thus bureacrats will--subconsciously--resist change. They have been conditioned to fear innovation and change.

The system, in other words, more or less runs on its own, so blaming the bureaucrats or the politicians is ultimately of subsidary importance. We've created a machine that we can't stop and we can barely steer.

The feds at the most senior levels--Ministers and the Privy Council Office--have been trying to "overhaul" the human resources in the federal governbment decades, and yet, apart from not being callled "Personnel" anymore, it is much the same beast it was in the 1960s.

You could overhaul the civil service, but not in the ways most people would expect. Most people want more oversight and accountability. But they are already swimming in oversight and accountability. It just makes them yet more resistant to change. The way to change it would be to reduce oversight, increase the risk profile. But that would result in some unpredictability and increased risk for the Minister, and since the name of the game, as far as all of them are concerned, is to get re-elected, they are not comfortable with that.

Get rid of teh Auditor-General for example. Everytime she releases another overwrought report, layers more of oversight are introduced to protect the public. So the centre grows, at the expense of front-line services, and the whole shebang starts to be crushed by its own weight.

A similar view is held by Donald Savoie, the Canada Research Chair in administration and governance at the Université de Moncton
Thirty years of business-like “reforms” have backfired on the public service: expert


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:18 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
No, the difference is that an e-health system, public transit smartcards and air-ambulance service are GOOD ideas, put forward by government, that were poorly implemented by bumbling civil servants. OCoT and MPAC were bad government ideas that should never have been implemented. I agree with you on the powerplant disaster.
typo edits


But that's your opinion, on what's a good or bad idea.

You may think MPAC and OCoT are bad ideas, but many would disagree.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:35 pm
 


Really? Who? Who thinks useless bureaucracy is a good idea?


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