Anti-Democratic Nature of Government Attacks on Education

Ontario Minister of Education, Lisa Thomson released the government's "vision" for elementary and secondary education on March 15. The vision was delivered in the form of a number of government press releases with bullet points about the various parts of the vision, the Minister's remarks and a memorandum to school boards from Deputy Minister Nancy Naylor.

One issue of significance is the undemocratic way the government is operating. Its election platform did not present its vision for education. Instead, it focussed on emphasizing the following:

- changing the way math was taught and requiring new teachers to take math courses as part of their bachelor of education;

- rescinding the sections of the physical and health curriculum dealing with sexual education;

- initiating a moratorium on school closures and reform of the process for school closures;

- increasing funding for children with autism;

- and "fixing" the current standardized testing regime overseen by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

Now that the PCs are in power they have issued their vision of what should be done. They claim they have a mandate to do as they please since being elected. They did not put forward these proposals during the election because they clearly knew their vision would not be acceptable to Ontarians. This itself shows the extent to which the cartel political parties have ceased to function as mechanisms for the people to participate in political affairs and put forward a vision for the society around which they find acceptable and can organize.

Instead, these parties employ marketing and consulting agencies whose only purpose is to ensure they take power and once in power serve the biggest financial interests. Of note in this respect is that the PCs do not claim a mandate for their proposals but instead for a "mandate to govern." In other words, having a mandate to govern is not related to what the cartel parties are putting forward for the society but simply a matter of gaining the power to do as the government pleases irrespective of the public opinion that exists amongst the people.

This shows the serious crisis in which what are called the democratic institutions in Canada are mired as governments are elected without any popular mandate and then use their police powers to impose measures that harm the people and the programs they rely on.

This article was published in

Number 11 - March 28, 2019

Article Link:
Anti-Democratic Nature of Government Attacks on Education


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