Opening Statement



Monday, 12 November 2012

Kennedy Joins the Race!


Gerard Kennedy has entered the OLP leadership race! He made the announcement on this morning's t.v. news talk show circuit starting with channel CP24 in Torornto. Former OLP MPP heavy hitters Joe Cordiano and George Smitherman are working on his campaign. Kennedy criticized Bill 115 as unnecessary. He says he will recall the legislature after he is elected. He has stressed the need for the OLP to reconnect with Ontarians. It is"off kilter"with it's original goals. He is running as a progressivehttp://m.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1286232--ontario-liberal-leadership-race-gerard-kennedy-promises-to-be-different-if-he-takes-grit-helm



Look who's laughing now. GK challenges the OLP status quo with his leadership bid.

Media Analysis

Watch Gerard Kennedy's "soft launch" news announcement on CP24 this morning: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2011/04/my-class-at-school.html


Kennedy's launch lacks the big punch of the other contenders, but by and large they have been quite awful anyway. Youtube and the morning t.v. talk show news reach more everyday folk too, who are the audience Kennedy is aiming for with his grassroots campaign. Notice the focus in both cases is on being somebody who believes that what he is doing is necessary for the common good and shows conviction. The delivery is very DIY and staccato. Still he is defining himself clearly aside from and in contrast to the other contenders with the big money and big name support. Only time will tell if it works. It's quite possibly a long shot at best. 

Commentary: 

Gerard Kennedy is a very popular, charismatic and recognizable former Ontario Liberal MPP and Education Minister who laid the framework for rebuilding our school system after 7 years of Tory tax cuts and very hostile teacher relations. He is well respected in Toronto for his work with the food banks. OECTA worked closely with Kennedy and had a very direct and open relationship with him. The same with Kathleen Wynne who most regretfully voted for the MOU and Bill 115. It will be interesting to see if OECTA Provincial will directly or indirectly support him, Wynne, or even God forbid Sandra Pupatello. Some think she was okay in the Education Minister portfolio also.

Kennedy is the first and so far only OLP leadership candidate who has openly and directly criticized prorogation and Bill 115. He is not popular at Queen's Park but has two former heavyweights in his corner. "Furious George" Smitherman is a real political pitbull. Joe Cordiano was Kennedy's main opponent in the 1996 OLP race. 

Kennedy is not associated with the recent OLP strategic and policy reversals. Before that our teachers had enjoyed and benefited from two very good Liberal terms in office working co-operatively for the common good of our education system. In his t.v. announcement Gerard noted that although he doesn't have the big resources of the other candidates he has beliefs. Should Kennedy win the OLP leadership race and the next provincial election, his victory will need to very much be a grassroots Liberal rebellion based upon principles that once again capture and engage the popular support the party has lost. 

Politically speaking, the OLP race is all or nothing for Gerard. His political future cannot suffer a third loss at running for party leader. He lost the last OLP leadership race to Dalton McGuinty, then the federal leadership race when he helped Stephane Dion get elected. PC leader Hudak will contrast very poorly against Gerard, and as a progressive he will be a formidable challenge for a resurgent NDP. For the other Liberals contenders and rank + file? Kennedy is the black sheep in the race. He is putting everything on the line and coming out of the gate openly fighting against the OLP status quo. That will not go over well at first but he might eventually be seen as the only way voters including many Ontario teachers will ever support the OLP again. It could also serve him well as opposition leader.

Why care? An NDP election win is still far from a given. NDP pundits will be ready to roll the dice no matter what. Teachers need to be much more careful. A Hudak win will be disastrous for us and the union movement in Ontario. If Kennedy can rescue anything from this OLP Liberal train wreck of a government, especially from the outside without the luggage and bad track record, he deserves a chance.

Meanwhile back in Ottawa: Justin Trudeau's federal campaign is based upon Obama's successful US leadership strategy of doing an end run around the party establishment. Justin and Gerard are good buddies. Gerard must be aware of his plans. Of course the Federal Liberal leadership race involves a lot more voters and is a lot less restricted in limiting who votes. Could Kennedy still successfully adapt parts of the straegy for his own campaign? Maybe. See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/team-trudeau-taking-a-page-out-of-obamas-playbook/article5187867/?ord=1352728081033


Justin + PET in 1986: Northern Magus lite? Can he measure up to expectations?

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

By God David you truly do have stockholm syndrome. Do you really think for a minute that Kennedy is any different than the rest of this Liberal gang? These people are directed by the party and have very little independent decision making ability. Kennedy as the progressive, consensus building, inclusive Premier? Sure. Wait until he gets a taste of power and the backroom Bay street Liberals start pulling his strings. When will so called unionists/progressive teachers like you wake up and smell the coffee. The Liberals are corrupt, manipulative, anti democratic and buy teachers support with wage increases. Then you take their pay cheque and turn a blind eye to their numerous abuses of power. Don't be such as cheap date. Stand up for social justice and dump this party.

David Chiarelli said...

Hmmm. Well, during my teaching career we have been dumped as you describe above by all 3 parties whatever the perks or lack thereof; PC, NDP and now Liberals too. Are you ready to just roll the dice on the NDP and hope for the best? What if the PC beat them this spring? Or should we just not get involved in politics as some readers have said?
Whats the solution then?

Anonymous said...

Teachers are pawns in any government's game. This is why we should support no one and keep our member's money in the bank. We might as well save it to wage legal battles instead of sending well heeled political action types to 1000$ per plate Liberal fundraisers. The larger issue is this. Liberals are owned by the real estate developers, banks, and corporate elite of Ontario. You know them as the 1%. They get by masquerading as socially progressive but once in power operate with a neoliberal agenda. They buy so called social justice advocate teachers with pay increases and reckless investment in education initiatives like all day k. When the bill comes due they enact austerity and destabilize the system and ultimately, peoples lives. They meet in secret to enact laws to suppress people's rights to organize and demonstrate collectively. They steal tax payer's money to save seats. They starve non Liberal rural ridings to balance their books. They stack ministry positions with their most devout followers. They are corrupt to the core. I just can't picture how anyone who teaches people for a living could be excited about the prospect of another Liberal leader, cut from the same old cloth, with the same old lies to peddle to the same old teacher union sheep.

Anonymous said...

All political contributions by OECTA need to be banned.Then refund that saved money back to members to buy back the benefits we have lost. The OECTA APPRENTICE...O'Dwyer you're fired!

David Chiarelli said...

Anyone else? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

why do some units only have one vp? Other than president, are unit executives paid positions? Does oecta have courses in collective bargaining/grievance procedures that members can take? How to apply/enrol?

David Chiarelli said...

Unit size determines number of release officers with funding assistance through OECTA Provincial. The Leadership Training Program provides special course sessions on the issues you mention. Visit www.oecta.on.ca website for more info, or phone provincial.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that politically speaking, teachers are nothing more than 'pawns in the game'. David, your acknowledgement that we have been hammered at various points by all three political parties only highlights this point. There is no such thing as loyalty in the political realm. We are the easiest target there is, and the first to be publicly flagellated when 'times get tough'. I have always understood this point and taken it as a given that sooner or later, we will get whacked. However, what disgusts me more than our political affiliations is that as an OECTA member, right now I feel like a pawn in a game played not so much by the government, but by my own union 'leaders' who cynically sold us out, divided us against each other, and ultimately betrayed us.

Anonymous said...

What O'Dwyer did was BULLY OECTA members by silencing their VOICES (right to vote on the MOU). He also BULLIED the Unit Presidents by telling them the MOU was a done deal and making their vote symbolic. The Bullying Must Stop Here! O'Dwyer needs to be removed from office and not be allowed to sit as past president. That's called natural consequences for behaviour like that.

Anonymous said...

Unions need to amalgamate, consolidate resources, and form their own political party. Unions need to wake up to the fact that they are being defeated in the public and political arenas. Soon we will be like the US of A. A neutered labour movement will be the legacy of the union leaders that never truly understood the principle of solidarity. God help us workers.

Anonymous said...

Something needs to be done to check the power of the provincial president so that the MOU can never happen again.

David Chiarelli said...

One might also want to consider the powers of the provincial secretariate. They are not elected + should be working for us, not making political decisions. Check the names/ signatures on the MOU and tell me what's wrong!

David Chiarelli said...

In addition our constitution and by laws say that OECTA does not approve of province wide bargaining. What good are these if they aren't followed? Is it fair representation to do so on our members behalf? Oh and by the way, who is working for who in OECTA these days? Isn't membership supposed to have it's priviledges? Don't we elect and hire an executive to represent us? Or do we do so to have somebody to tell us what to do? I can't believe any of this. Bah!

Anonymous said...

Where can I see the names and signatures on the MOU? Also, the OECTA HANDBOOK did not protect members from O'Dwyer's MOU. What good is a HANDBOOK that the President doesn't have to follow? The suggested reforms in the NEW OECTA BILL OF MEMBERS' RIGHTS (check your unit mailboxes) need to be part of James Ryan's campaign platform.

David Chiarelli said...

You are absolutely right! The OLRB complaints will argue the OECTA handbook was not followed. The names should have been released but noooobody is giving me a copy. I'll keep trying. Is there a word file of the members Bill of Rights I can see and use for the blog?

David Chiarelli said...

Regrets! I must've misunderstood. The signatures on the MOU itself are on the last page.

Anonymous said...

ok the government signed the MOU too...how about getting a copy from a friendly NDP MPP or the Ontario Ombudsman or the Ontario Privacy Commissioner?

Anonymous said...

Any progress on finding out the results of the MoU Council of Presidents endorsement vote, David? Seems like some more stonewalling on that info? They should also be releasing officially how each person on the Provincial Executive voted in the ratification vote, given that, you know, they didn't bother asking us to vote.

Anonymous said...

Stop the presses! George Orwell's 1984 Ministry of the Truth has just released the November issue of the OECTA AGENDA. A response to Marnie Daly's article/lesson on democracy: People in democracies are allowed to vote not denied their right to vote like in OECTA.

Anonymous said...

who are the Metro6 secondary teachers.....not their names but what are they doing?

David Chiarelli said...

An active link to the MOU with the official signatures has been restored on my site on the November 15 blog. The COP and executive votes? Still looking. Nobody is saying anything. I have also attached a copy of Bill 115 there for your easy reference as you read the news links for yourself.

The Toronto Mystery 6? The OLRB included their private Duty of Representation complaint with the one from Bad Boy Brock's Halton unit, to be dealt with at the same time.

Anonymous said...

It looks like The Oecta Agenda is inviting guest columnists. Can someone please encourage the author of None Dare Call It Betrayal to submit his article to the Agenda for publication? Should be interesting to see the response of the Agenda's editorial board (O'Dwyer, Chris Karahunga, etc.)

David Chiarelli said...

I'll pass it on!!! BTW I post their website link all the time. Do you think they will add my blog link to Agenda? Their Website? :-)

Anonymous said...

They won't link u. You are someone who thinks for himself and questions authority. Dangerous and subversive qualities in today's OECTA. Keep up the good work!

David Chiarelli said...

Ha! Ha! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Saw on twitter that OSSTF Executive assures members they "won't pull an OECTA" on them. It's a sad day when your association's disgraceful actions become a catchphrase another federation uses to assure its own membership.

Anonymous said...

Cast a vote by returning your copy of the OECTA Agenda back to your unit president to return to O'Dwyer. Fight the bully! Print on it "An Oecta member against the MOU."

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