Plus: The Conservative Party's survival will depend on its ability to become relevant to a changing demographic
Re Ford Government To Freeze Rent In 2021 (NOW Online, August 29)
The province’s proposed ban on rent hikes for 2021 would benefit millions of tenants who are employed and/or wealthy. This ban may be needed by tenants in precarious economic circumstances, but they are the only ones who should receive it. In other words, this benefit should be means tested. In many cases, this ban will simply transfer wealth from one perhaps well-off person (the landlord) to another perhaps well-off person (the tenant) with no obvious social-policy justification.
The province is not telling Ontario’s municipalities they cannot raise property taxes and water bills that the landlord must pay any more than it is telling Enbridge or Toronto Hydro they cannot hike the bills many landlords pay.
Re: Ford Government To Freeze Rent In 2021 (NOW Online, August 29)
We needed a rent freeze years ago in Toronto, where we are facing a housing affordability crisis. As for stopping evictions for non-payment of rent – this makes sense for late payments or short-term delays. But we need to remember tenants are still using utilities, so it does come at a cost. It cannot go on indefinitely or many small landlords will be forced to sell – particularly if property taxes increase to cover municipal deficits. This will result in a further transfer of property from middle class homeowners to wealthier people who will either take back the extra housing for themselves or flip to accumulate more income-generating assets. Indefinite moratoriums on evictions aren’t sustainable.
Re The Taiwan Model (NOW, August 27-September 2)
One of the differences between mainland Chin-a and Taiwan is that in Taiwan approximately 50 per cent of the electorate is female. As of the end of 2018, only 27.2 per cent of the members of the Communist Party of China were female out of a total of 90.59 million members. Members of the Communist Party are effectively the electorate in mainland China.
Although gender equality is not the same as democracy, it would go a long way to promoting diversity of views and reducing cronyism. President Xi Jinping should be inspired by Taiwan and many other countries and take steps to introduce gender equality in Party membership. Why? Because it’s 4718!
Re: Analysis: Five Takeaways From Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party Leadership Win (NOW, August 27-September 2)
To say social conservatives are the engine of the conservative movement is as obvious as saying the Nile was the backbone of ancient Egyptian civilization. The party is designed for a predominately white male audience that favours economics over education, religion over permissiveness, conformity over individuality, age over youth. They are also the go-to voice for religious people uncomfortable with the secular world and the voice of corporations.
The party’s survival will depend on its ability to become relevant to a changing demographic. How will Mr. O’Toole protect human rights? How will the party make itself relevant outside anomalous members like Leslyn Lewis? It won’t be easy for the leopard to change its spots. It is far easier for a liberal to adopt conservative policies than vice versa.