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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Financial Post: Toronto has become a monolithic, suffocating liberal swamp

...A basic tenet of Toronto liberalism is that all problems can be addressed by the public sector with the proper mix of data, analysis and bureaucratic oversight. Problems are not given market solutions nor time to resolve themselves; they always require government intervention. Business is regarded as cynically greedy, while the saintly public service is above self-interest, despite conspicuously soaring salaries and benefits. Liberalism is relentlessly prescriptive in telling people how to think and behave, all in the name of freedom and justice. Individual actions are divorced from consequences; moral hazard does not exist for liberals.

The most obvious symptom of Toronto’s capture by left-wing ideology is how media elites and the intelligentsia (most of whom live off the public payroll) have come to believe that their perspective is no longer a point of view but an objective account of reality that will brook no discussion. One of their most central truths is that conservatives are ill-informed or borderline idiots in the vein of Rob Ford or Donald Trump. Ignoring their ideas is not therefore proof of an anti-conservative bias at the CBC or TV Ontario, but the justifiable sheltering of a puerile public from unsettling exposure to dangerously uninformed opinions. Questioning the factual basis of commonly repeated claims, such as that crime is falling, that fossil fuels are anachronistic, or that government spending stimulates growth proves your unfitness to participate in public debate. Never mind that Toronto is the only provincial capital whose unemployment rate consistently exceeds its province’s average, despite the large number of government jobs there.

What explains the ubiquity of left-wing ideology in Toronto? Start with an intolerance of dissenting ideas. William F. Buckley Jr. quipped that “a liberal is someone who claims to be open to all points of view — and then is surprised and offended to find there are other points of view.” ...

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