The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

Mr. Wonderful and Other Thoughts

Web posted on May 04, 2017

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

Every so often my column gets overtaken by events. Last week I wrote about the Conservative leadership race and mentioned that the last person they needed was an unreality TV star as leader. Mr. Wonderful pulled out of the race after I had already sent in my column. Rather than make some quick changes I let the column stay as written. I always like to have some time to think about things before commenting. Several other candidates should have pulled out of the race by now because they also have little chance of winning.

It was a foregone conclusion that he could not win in Quebec. Here is a person who was born and raised in Montreal and does not speak French. He spends more time in the U.S. than here in Canada. A degree in political science was not needed to see why he really did not have a chance to win an election. There are many theories floating around about his real motivation to enter the race in the first place. There has to be a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye. I am also sure that we have not seen the last of Mr. Wonderful and his antics.

If I were one of his supporters or had contributed to his campaign, I would be seriously pissed off at this point. He waited until the ballots were printed and being sent out before pulling out of the race. I wonder how many of his supporters are going to vote for Bernier? Some might vote for another candidate, and others might just mark his name on the ballot anyway. Some might not even vote.

Most people I have talked to on all sides of the political spectrum are quite relieved that Mr. Wonderful has dropped out of the race.

This has shaken up the race to become leader, and there might still be an upset. The party needs to figure out where they want to be on the political spectrum. If they move too far to the right could cost votes and seats in the next election. Something closer to the middle could attract voters from the other parties who are not happy with the shift to the left. As we have seen over the last year or so, it is very hard to judge the mood of the electorate. The members have a lot to think about before casting a vote for the next leader. I still maintain that the voting system they have in place is deeply flawed and it could come back to bite them come the next election if they pick the wrong leader.

I really did not expect to be revisiting this issue until we knew who would be the next leader. Somehow I get the feeling that I might be back before the end of the month with more to say.

While on the subject of voting, in a rare logical move Guelph council, in a split vote, has decided not to use internet voting in the next election. While I like the theory of being able to vote on line, there are still too many issues out there. Until they can absolutely guarantee that the system cannot be hacked we should wait. The prospect of being able to hack into any system is always a challenge to hackers even it they have no malicious intent. Unfortunately there are more black hat hackers than there are white hat hackers. Elections come with their own set of issues as we keep finding out. There is a lot at stake with every election everywhere. Look at what may or may not have happened in the recent election down south, depending on who choose to believe. People have been trying to manipulate elections since they invented elections. Some things are best done the old fashioned way. There are a lot of safeguards in place to make sure that only eligible voters cast a ballot. The current system seems to be working just fine. It's not easy to mass produce fake photo Ids. It is much easier for a person with the right skills to mess up any electronic safeguards.

I would be the first to endorse on line voting if there were sufficient security safeguards in place. As you know by now I like to keep my digital footprint as small as possible. I do not go on any of the anti-social media sites. I do not follow anyone or anything. Only a very small group of people have my email address. Like it says at the bottom of my columns, I prefer to use owls. I do not conduct any financial activities on line. I do not give out any information on line. In other words if you want me to vote on line you must be able to guarantee that you will not be hacked, and none of my personal information gets out. I expect a one million dollar guarantee.

We got our provincial budget last week. The fiberals are calling it a balanced budget, but didn't they sell of parts of Hydro One to get extra money? They have also talked about selling off other assets. The money for health care is long overdue and won't even begin to offset the cutbacks over the years. The same could be said for education. Nothing is being done to reduce the debt; in fact it is still going up. If there is a sudden rise in interest rates we will be in the same trouble that the people who over extended themselves assuming that low rates would be around for a long time. There is a lot of spending but nothing for a rainy day. Just as expected they are trying to buy your votes with your money. They are even trying to get the votes of the people who sell illegal tobacco products by raising cigarette taxes again. I mentioned that hotel taxes exist in some cities a few weeks ago. Well those taxes will be coming to Toronto soon and maybe the rest of the province. There are hints at high speed rail between Windsor and Toronto, but that is so far down the road that a couple of elections will have come and gone. Don't be taken in by this act of desperation budget. No matter what they say, no matter what they do, their only goal is to get re-elected. This is only a hint at all the goodies that will be coming before next year's election. Four more years of these people and there won't be anything left of the province.

It won't be long before fiberal MPPs start announcing that they will not be seeking re-election. They will all give the same story that it is time to move on or maybe spend time with family. Some will actually get out of politics, some will go to the private sector and rake in the dollars, and a few will try to run in the federal election, or maybe run for mayor somewhere. I believe the proper political term for this is "rats leaving the ship." We saw this happen just before the last federal election to the Conservatives.

By the way, have you noticed the flyers from our local MP talking about real change for Guelph. If he were truly serious about this, he would be pushing the government to bring back the penny. Otherwise he should change the slogan.

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library are looking for a place to host this year's Giant Book Sale. It is hard to find a venue that is large enough to host the sale that is rent free and is available for two to three months. If you have about 20,000 square feet of space not being used between August and the end of October, that has lots of parking and good washroom facilities, please let them know as soon as possible. They are on a very tight time line and need to know by the end of May. If you have an empty TARDIS that you are not using at the moment, they might consider it as well. That would solve a lot of logistical problems because they could pick up donations and save a lot of time.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

Other Stories of Interest

Our Curmudgeon Will Be Missed
( July 07, 2017 )

The Ultimate Conspiracy Theory
( June 22, 2017 )

Our Bundled Universe
( June 15, 2017 )

Naming Rights, Sponsorship and Sports
( June 08, 2017 )

June Daze Political Daze and Some News
( June 05, 2017 )