Friday, October 12, 2007

When a Faux Hillary Votes...

It's Britney Bitch.

No it isn't! It's the Faux Hillary.

Anyway... there was a pretty boring provincial election recently. You probably didn't notice because really... we all have better things to do with our time; like contemplate kitchen renovations [crown moulding?], book winter vacations, listen to Once More With Feeling (the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical) or stalk ex boyfriends on Facebook. Know what I'm saying?

And really what more is to say about Dalton McGuinty that hasn't already been said? The Connies once called him a Kitten Killer, I ask how can the Faux Hillary come up with a zinger, zingier then that? Honestly, I can't. While the election itself was inherently dull there was one hot spot. Upper Canada Old Boy (see previous post) John Tory, head of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (not to be confused with the federal Conservative party, boo hiss, Stephen Harper), promised that, if elected, he would offer public funding to private religious schools. This set off a maelstorm of discussion and created a perfect storm for the McGuinty Liberals, which intelligently rode the "John Tory is going to destroy public education, create a class based society, and ruin our only one true national motif - mutliculturalism" without having to lift a finger. To be a provincial Liberal right now... is to laugh. Laugh your cares away.

The Village, bucolic and peaceful, is part of St Paul's riding. St Paul's contains the Faux as well as a couple of high-rise blocks around Yonge and Eglinton and a bit of the multi-ethnic St Clair and Bathurst. Although the riding is statistically diverse, the riding is overwhelmed by Village interests. The riding is traditionally known as a bell-weather riding. Bell-weather ridings are sorta like the town whore; they support whomever is in charge. No surprise really... the well healed like to back a winning team.

For most of my life the Faux has gravitated towards the Liberal Party. In part this is because for a large chunk of my life the country has been a federal Liberal bastion (And save for the Common Sense revolution - Liberal provincially as well). Idealistically however the Faux is also a Liberal bullwark. Liberals, considered friends of Israel (not to be confused with me - I'm a friend of Dorothy), with their middle of their road politics, have long-since represented Canadian Jewish ideals, probably since the Yids decamped from Kensington Market and made their way up Bathurst St to the land of Forests and Hills.

To quote Dylan - the times they are a changing.

When walking up to synagogue to vote the other day (irony is not lost on me that the electoral proceedings took place at a synagogue...) I happened to notice an overwhelming number of blue, John Tory's conservative (remember the distinct branding, Boo Hiss Stephen Harper) signs. Now any political hack will tell you that the sign war means very little, yet I found the proliferation of Conservative signs was very very telling... there is a sort of public rumbling within some circles that the Jewish vote, long-since Liberally inclined, is migrating to other pastures. Certainly in the current provincial election there was feeling that with Tory's pledge to fund religious schools the Jewish vote would move en masse to the Liberals. In fact one of the key movers behind the push for private school funding is the Jewish community and Jewish oganizations. The Faux is something like 50% yid...

At the Rosh Hashana dinner table a couple of weeks ago my aunt, long-time Liberal, admitted that it was hard to not want to vote conservative, when she has long been an advocate for religious school funding. Papa Len (who cried more tears when I came-out as a Liberal, then when I announced my faggotry) laughed and said, "looks like you'll be joining me on the blue team."

Federally, the Jewish vote is even more precarious. The Liberals are no longer seen quite as friendly to Israel, what with Stephen "I'm a Mentsh" Harper professing his love for all things Israeli, [Harpers continued condemnation of Hamas scores big points]; while the Liberals are seen as 'soft' in their support in Israel. The Conservative's unflinching support of Israel's war against Lebanon last summer, which was domestically panned, scored big points amongst Jewish voters, while Michael Ignatief's Qana flip flop on war crimes during the Liberal Leadership campaign further alienated long-time Liberals, including power-couple Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz as well as the wife of Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice, also publically switched her allegiences.

I'm not going to bother getting into my thoughts on the private school funding issue, or how I feel about Israeli politics (as viewed from the murky lens of the diaspora)... that isn't the point. What I find interesting, when I see the continued proliferation of Tory signs come election time, is actually a bit more worrisome. But are Canadian Jews so finicky that their political support rests entirely on Jewish causes? From a purely objective standpoint I gotta say it makes it look like the Jewish vote is solely defined by religion. I find that problematic, non?

Bet you didn't see this one coming?

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