The socialist case for funding Catholic schools

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Lord Palmerston
The socialist case for funding Catholic schools

What is it?  Besides "it will cost us votes if we end Catholic school funding" or "there are more important issues so let's not touch it"?

 

Fidel

I think fixing our dysfunctional electoral system invented before electricity ranks fairly high on the list. Toronto cant even fund a decent public information campaign for MMP let alone public schooling. Who are they trying to fool with feigning concern over school funding?

Lord Palmerston

Thanks for your non-answer.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

And how would you recommend we vote on the referendum, Fidel, and why?

Fidel

I think it should be put to a referendum, the first of many referendums to come. Do you think our two old line parties would be comfortable with so much democratic choice all at once instead of leaving this issue to volley between them during the last week of an election campaign that produced record low voter turnout? Apparently McGuinty didnt think it an important issue seeing as he made all of two public appearances during the campaign: the cancer guy episode, and then the tractor plough. I can't remember which campaign appearance of McGuinty's was least inspiring.

Fidel

That's up to Ontarians not me. It's the democratic way. Same goes for well informed public choosing to modernize our electoral system. First comes the well-informed public, then the referendum as it was in BC, one of the few provinces where the NDP has a chance of winning phony-baloney majority government

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Um, so you won't be campaigning for either the Yes or No side in such a referendum?

Fidel

As a socialist, I dont care which way people might vote on such an issue. Accept the results and live with it. We have private colleges across Canada today since NAFTA, and nobody seems to care about that or the fact that PSE tuitions are some of the highest in the world.  

But to have this tired issue from the Bill Davis era played out in the pro old line party news media brought back from near-death one week before the vote is not my idea of a democratic election campaign, no. Poor old Bill. The large voting minority liked him as long as long as he was mismanaging the economy and not supporting expanded Catholic school funding. Supporting Catholics was a death knell for old Billy.

We have two 22 percenters now, one in Ottawa and the other at Queen's Park in HogTown. And they're laughing their heads off in Toronto with 100% of power due to an osbolete electoral system, and Harper only found the cojones to show up for work after LPC had a totally fabulous makeover with installing Iggy.  I think this very undemocratic situation needs some attention. Dont you, M? Of course, you were defending the indefensible Red Chamber in other threads, so I, not so sure.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

As a socialist, I dont care which way people might vote on such an issue.

So your answer to the thread title is that there is no socialist case for [public] funding of Catholic schools.

Do you see it as a completely non-political issue?

Would your answer change if the NDP took a position one way or the other on such a referendum? 

Unionist

Fidel, you're not on the witness stand, you don't have to answer these questions.

Even though you have in the past, over and over again.

Back to the topic - funding of Catholic schools, or not, has nothing to do with "socialism". Anyone who believes in 18th century democracy, never mind the modern variety, would reflexively support the complete separation of church and state. Only some hypocrites describe this as an "American" principle, in order to avoid having to make the case for supporting Catholicism itself (or whatever other religion).

I think to talk about a "socialist" case narrows the necessary range of support for such a simple democratic measure.

lagatta

It is not specifically (US) American. France went even farther, as the public school system is secular. That is also the case in strongly-catholic Mexico, once again as a result of the revolution.

There is no socialist case for any religionin the public school system, or for state funding o religious schools. What there is a case for is eliminating vestigesof the old Protestant nature of the "public" schools in Ontario.

lagatta

It is not specifically (US) American. France went even farther, as the public school system is secular. That is also the case in strongly-Catholic Mexico, once again as a result of the revolution.

There is no socialist case for any religion in the public school system, or for state funding of religious schools. What there is a case for is eliminating vestiges of the old Protestant nature of the "public" schools in Ontario.

Unionist

And even though the optional religious instruction has (at least officially) been eliminated from Québec public schools as of last September, there is still the problem of public financing of private schools (not just religious ones) to a hefty tune.

lagatta

Indeed. And that has proven much more difficult to take on than confessional school boards.

Unfortunately for the left defending public health care is such a (necessary) priority that there is little energy left for the defence of public education and eliminating all the funding funelled out of it for private schools.

Stockholm

"I think it should be put to a referendum, the first of many referendums to come."

That is the dumbest idea of all. Whether you support the existence of separate schools or not - you can't start having referendums on what many would regard as a minority rights issue. The two thirds of people who are public school supporters would all vote yes and the one third who support separate schools would vote no end of story.

It would be like having a nationwide referendum on whether there should be bilingualism in Canada or if only English should be an official language. Or how's about having the whole population vote on whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry? Or maybe have a statewide referendum in Alabama on whether Blacks should be allowed to vote.

Bad, bad idea. 

Unionist

Agree with Stockholm. Although I'm quite sure Fidel wasn't being serious. Fidel supports the status quo on funding - he has made that clear in dozens of posts. In my limited understanding of Ontario politics, the only way the status quo will ever change is if the NDP takes a firm stand against public Catholic schools. That will force the Liberals to take a stand.

But back on topic: There is no "socialist" case to be made to fund Catholic schools, not according to my dictionary definition of "socialist" and "Catholic".

Unionist

Hey, Fidel, I didn't notice anything about funding Catholic schools in your last post, except to say that we have to dethrone the Liberals and Conservatives before we dare hope to accomplish anything else.

But once we dethrone them, will the NDP stop funding the Catholics - or will they fund them and others more? What does socialism have to say on this account?

Fidel

Stockholm wrote:

"I think it should be put to a referendum, the first of many referendums to come."

That is the dumbest idea of all.

What might be done is to include it in one constitutional referendum that includes everything from abrrogating the stupidest trade deal in history to creating a national investment bank to a made in Canada national energy plan. Fixing our dumb electoral system could be a separate referendum.

But as I was saying before, these jokers in the two old line parties tend not trust Canadians with national referendums, and provincial ones are few and far between, too. Paternalistic rule by phony-baloney majorities is their way. 22 percent in 2011, or anything over and above what Bay Street can buy themselves next election. That's our focus not alienating the Franco-Ontarian base of support in the North. Rae's NDP made inroads for the party with clean and safe god damned drinking water for the first time and saving the mills from collapse and even more US ownership of Northern economy in Mulroney's time. We have to dethrone these jokers first and foremost before we can feign being a democracy in this Northern backwards Northern Puerto Rico with an economy going down the toilette and only province experiencing net outmigration of people. Let's not kid ourselves eh

Fidel

It seems our two tired old line parties and a few posters here think separate school funding is the issue for the school system in Ontario. It's not. And I really dont think the ONDP should shoot ourselves in the feet in Northern Ontario with pandering to a large minority of anti-Catholic bigots who, more than likely, wont be voting NDP regardless. Aim higher, NDP. We dont need this nonsense at this point.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

It seems our two tired old line parties and a few posters here think separate school funding is the issue for the school system in Ontario. It's not. And I really dont think the ONDP should shoot ourselves in the feet in Northern Ontario with pandering to a large minority of anti-Catholic bigots who, more than likely, wont be voting NDP regardless. Aim higher, NDP. We dont need this nonsense at this point.

LOL! You managed to use both excuses that LP predicted in the OP:

Quote:
Besides "it will cost us votes if we end Catholic school funding" or "there are more important issues so let's not touch it"?

You've gotta come up with the real reason, old friend. The stale ones are getting staler.

ETA: Oh yeah, what does it mean when you warn the the NDP not to shoot itself in the foot, and then immediately after call upon it to "Aim higher"!?

Laughing

Fidel

What does it matter to unionist? He doesnt vote in Ontario anyway.

Reframing the question to reflect the reality of the situation: How would socialists deal with the non-issue of separate school funding in Ontario given our obsolete electoral system and political maneuvering by the two Bay Street parties?

Prue said it, that we need a better ground campaign early on and cash where it's needed.

NorthReport

This is an excellent issue for the NDP to address but will they? 

If the NDP came out 4 square in support of public funding for public schools only, and not one cent of government financial support or tax breaks to the private/separate/religious/ schools, it could be a winner. Yes they would lose some support in certain areas but there would be a shuffle, and they might gain more support than they lost.

Does such a situation exist anywhere?  

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

What does it matter to unionist? He doesnt vote in Ontario anyway.

What about the thread title, the opening post, or the forum ("Central Canada") indicated Ontario to you? Or is Ontario synonymous with "The Known Universe"?

Interesting, though, that some people who DO vote in Ontario answer the question this way:

"Ummmmmmmmmmm.... Hey, look over there!!!!!"

Stockholm

"But as I was saying before, these jokers in the two old line parties tend not trust Canadians with national referendums, and provincial ones are few and far between, too."

What so we can be like various states in the US where every two years millions of dollars have to get spent fighting against statewide referenda stripping same sex couples of the right to marry or daclaring English to be the only official language etc...??? We need that like we need a hole in the head!

NorthReport

I wonder what the results would be in BC for a referendum to decriminalize mj? Laughing

Unionist

Talk about our political system going up in smoke...

Fidel

We already have TWO parties making clear promises to:

1. continue breaking their promises to fix school funding in Ontario, AND

2. continue running the economy into the ground while ignoring poverty and homelessness

The ONDP shouldnt cut in on their turf. We shouldnt want to compete with those tried and true policies raking in 22 percent of registered vote for McGuinty in the last election. The ONDP needs to reach out to the non-voting public who apparently werent all that impressed with McGuinty and Tory tossing Catholics back and forth in the last week of an election campaign.

lagatta

I'm a Catholic anti-Catholic bigot... Seriously, sure, I know about the Orangemen. But we got rid of the fucking confessional schools. That is like an 18th-century democratic-revolution issue, but socialists do often have to deal with such issues, such as rights for people of all races and confessions, land reform, etc.

What do Catholic schools have to do with Franco-Ontarians? Couldn't there be a secular sytem of Francophone schools? When we eliminated the f-ing confessional boards, linguistic boards were brought in.

Nowadays there are actually francophones in Ontario who aren't Catholic- many with no religion, Muslims and Jews from North Africa, plenty of other origins. The main francophone association in Ontario changed its name to reflect this change.

Fidel

It's not my idea of a pressing issue considering all that's wrong in this province. We've had non-socialists in power for decades. That's the problem. We should be as economically competitive as Sweden given the comparable population and surplus of natural wealth here in Canada's largest province. We'll continue the downhill slide unless we elect social democrats to begin fixing things for at least as long as its taken our two old line parties to run it into the ground

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

It seems our two tired old line parties and a few posters here think separate school funding is the issue for the school system in Ontario. It's not.

Actually, the big school issue in Ontario is funding for the public system. And when you're looking at where you can get more money for the public system, the obvious place to look is at the public money wasted on funding separate schools. Especially since the additional funding allocated for separate schools to the end of high school came out of the pockets of the public schools in the first place.

Separate school funding is the elephant in the room when you're talking about the chronic underfunding of public education.

It's like trying to cut the Defence budget without considering the billions spent on the War.

To return to the topic, I am delighted to see that nobody in this thread has attempted to make a case for separate school funding based on socialist principles.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
Fidel wrote:

It seems our two tired old line parties and a few posters here think separate school funding is the issue for the school system in Ontario. It's not.

Actually, the big school issue in Ontario is funding for the public system.

I said the exact same thing you did only worded differently, just to be clear. And remember, I live here, too.

Quote:
And when you're looking at where you can get more money for the public system, the obvious place to look is at the public money wasted on funding separate schools. 

No. What you're talking about is a province with the largest provincial economy in the country going down the tubes after too many years of neoliberal policies and downloading from Ottawa. And now we have governments in Toronto that refuse to do their jobs and playing blame games with the old line federal party counterparts, both of which believe in smaller government and reducing transfers to provinces in order to run this country according to a failed neoliberal business model. It's failed in several other countries where tried, and now the fact that it doesnt work here either is becoming increasingly clear as time wears on. That's Liberals and Tories to be even clearer.

 Our two numb from the arsehole up old line party leaders want us to believe that separate school funding is a central issue, but it isnt. The real problem is funding for publicly-funded schools, both public and separate. And parents in both systems are having to raise funds for basic school functions like never before. We have candy bar school funding since Harris and McGuilty. Blame where it's due, but not on the ONDP for driving this Northern Puerto Rico further into the ground with failed economic policies and crumbling economy and infrastructure as a direct result of those bad policies for the last 30 years or more.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

Spector wrote:
And when you're looking at where you can get more money for the public system, the obvious place to look is at the public money wasted on funding separate schools. 

No. What you're talking about is a province with the largest provincial economy in the country going down the tubes after too many years of neoliberal policies and downloading from Ottawa.

One of those neoliberal policies is underfunding of the public school system. That's exactly what I'm talking about. And why are you seeking to blame Ottawa - to deflect responsibility from Queen's Park?

Fidel wrote:
The real problem is funding for publicly-funded schools, both public and separate.

Yes, the problem in the case of public schools is not enough public funding, and the problem in the case of separate schools is too much public funding.

Gee, what to do, what to do? 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
Fidel wrote:

Spector wrote:
And when you're looking at where you can get more money for the public system, the obvious place to look is at the public money wasted on funding separate schools. 

No. What you're talking about is a province with the largest provincial economy in the country going down the tubes after too many years of neoliberal policies and downloading from Ottawa.

One of those neoliberal policies is underfunding of the public school system. That's exactly what I'm talking about. And why are you seeking to blame Ottawa - to deflect responsibility from Queen's Park?

The federal Liberals carried on with pursuing Mulroney's neoliberal policies with the infamous federal budget of 1995. Since then it's been a running problem of which vital program spending to cannibalize next. All of you, McGuinty, and Tory are saying faith-based school funding is a central issue in Ontario. It's not. The problem is that our's is a rich country that has pared down spending on vital areas while spending far too much on socialism for the rich and shovelling energy and resource wealth south of the border, and all the while propping up banksters who, coincidentally, have been financing thousands of foreign takeovers of this country with our own money since 1985 or so. But the central issue in Ontario is not faith-based school funding, not then during the last week of an election campaign and not now.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I never said it was the central issue.

Funding is the No. 1 issue in Education, a provincial responsibility.

Fidel

The money is there for a wide range of social programs that just isnt collected as tax revenue. We're a rich country with a $130 billion dollar infrastructure deficit and economy hamstrung by colonial-style resource exports.

NDP would honour Grit education pledge (2007)

Quote:

Mr. Hampton says the real focus should be on fixing the funding formula - a pledge made by the Liberal Party in the 2003 election campaign but not carried out.

"The Conservatives broke the formula, and the Liberals broke the promise to fix it," Mr. Hampton said during a campaign stop in North York on Monday morning. Giving all children "the education they deserve" is the fourth plank of the NDP platform.

"Our kids are suffering because Mr. McGuinty didn't keep his promise to fix the Conservatives' flawed formula," Mr. Hampton said

"They're both hiding behind [the issue of] faith-based schools."

The NDP says parents and boards in the public school system had to fundraise $515-million in 2005-06 to pay for things like educational assistants, textbooks, gyms and music programs.

Mr. Hampton wants to introduce an annual review of the funding formula, led by an all-party standing committee on education, as promised by the Liberals in 2003.

The NDP would also restore the Local Priorities Grant at a rate of $200 per student, as recommended by the Education Equality Task Force. That would be backed up with an added $125-per-student for at-risk students.

I dont blame the ONDP for not wanting to roll in the mud with these jokers. If you play with pigs, you tend to get shit all over yourself.

 

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

nobody seems to care about that or the fact that PSE tuitions are some of the highest in the world. 

Oh, that's rich.  Whenever students in Manitoba talk about PSE you tell them to shut up.  I care, a lot of people I know care, and the general public seems to care.

 

But back on topic, I suppose you can make a case that certain groups need to have the cirriculum tailored a bit more to their needs and history (such as FN communities) because the current system is to some extent eurocentric and culturally imperialist based on the fact that it is essentially created by (mostly) white people for (mostly) white people.  However, I don't think you could argue that Catholics fall into one of those disadvantaged groups.

lagatta

Actually, genstrike, there was great systemic discrimination against Catholics - and not only Francophones - in Ontario's history. "Separate" education used to be most unequal indeed.

FN communities are an utterly different issue as they are NATIONS and have the right to dictate their own curriculum, but what you say could be applicable, for reasons of affirmative action, for other groups (such as the issue of "Afrocentric" schools, for example).

Fidel, I don't see this as a priority, except as concerns funding for universal public education (and funding for elite private schools is more shocking still) but secularism is an important progressive principle.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:

nobody seems to care about that or the fact that PSE tuitions are some of the highest in the world. 

Oh, that's rich.  Whenever students in Manitoba talk about PSE you tell them to shut up.  I care, a lot of people I know care, and the general public seems to care.

[THREAD DRIFT] CFS grades political party platforms NDP earns B+ on tuition fees - Whigs, Tories and Greens all "F" grades [/EOD]

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

[THREAD DRIFT] CFS grades political party platforms NDP earns B+ on tuition fees - Whigs, Tories and Greens all "F" grades [/EOD]

Actually, I wasn't talking about the NDP, I was just challenging you when you pretend to be the only person who cares about PSE when you aren't the only person who cares, and you oppose students who do.  It sounds almost like the equivalent of Rod Bruinooge lamenting that nobody cares about a woman's right to choose.

 

lagatta wrote:

Actually, genstrike, there was great systemic discrimination against Catholics - and not only Francophones - in Ontario's history. "Separate" education used to be most unequal indeed.

FN communities are an utterly different issue as they are NATIONS and have the right to dictate their own curriculum, but what you say could be applicable, for reasons of affirmative action, for other groups (such as the issue of "Afrocentric" schools, for example).

I guess I agree, but I just don't see a lot of evidence that Catholics are particularly disadvantaged in Canada today (although maybe it is different in Ontario), especially now that we have a secular school system as opposed to a Protestant one.

 

Lord Palmerston

M. Spector wrote:
Actually, the big school issue in Ontario is funding for the public system. And when you're looking at where you can get more money for the public system, the obvious place to look is at the public money wasted on funding separate schools. Especially since the additional funding allocated for separate schools to the end of high school came out of the pockets of the public schools in the first place.

Separate school funding is the elephant in the room when you're talking about the chronic underfunding of public education.

It's like trying to cut the Defence budget without considering the billions spent on the War.

That is very well said.  But such an obvious point is lost on the ONDP.

 

Lord Palmerston

Unionist wrote:
LOL! You managed to use both excuses that LP predicted in the OP

I was at an all-candidates debate this afternoon.  The question was do you support an end to Catholic school funding.  Prue said let's have a debate and the other three candidates came up with the same excuses, "it divides us" and "it's not the most important issue."  Horwath and esp. Bisson tried to divert the question to other issues.  Horwath said there are more important "funding" issues (busing, school supplies, ESL, etc.) than this "unimportant" question of separate schools.  Bisson said this was the "third rail of Ontario politics" and said we already debated this question 20 years ago let's move on.  He then suggested it was inconsistent for the NDP to have opposed amalgamation of cities during the Harris years and now call for an "amalgamation of school boards."   Nobody made a principled, social democratic/socialist/progressive case for the status quo.

Tabuns was more reasonable and I had a chat with him afterwards.  I asked him if his opposition to debating the question was based on any principle.  He told me it was entirely "strategic."  He said the issue distracted everyone from the other issues and said if we want to be a broader party than just a school funding, we can't talk about school funding because it is the only issue that will be discussed.  And he said consitutents never call him based on that issue.

Fidel

I can just imagine haggling with NDPers over separate school funding when everything else is falling down around their ears in this province. 

Maybe all McGuilty needs is a third phony-baloney majority to un-reneg on over 50 broken election promises since 2003. Third time's a charm, we can be sure.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Nobody made a principled, social democratic/socialist/progressive case for the status quo.

Can't really blame them for not doing the impossible, can we?  Wink

 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
Lord Palmerston wrote:

Nobody made a principled, social democratic/socialist/progressive case for the status quo.

Can't really blame them for not doing the impossible, can we?  Wink

You can always not vote NDP as a show of solidarity for the neoliberal shitstorm swirling faster and faster down the bowl. Can't get any more progressive than that. Cry

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

I want to be rude. Those who want to take away funding for Catholic schools in Ontario are the ones who have to make the case- something they have failed to do for over a hudnred years.  The socialist case for full funding of  Catholic schools in Ontario is based on history, diversity, equity and justice.  We won, you lost, First step for many who want to cut funding is admitting your ignorance of the issue and then you can work to educate yourself.

What you are seeing from me right now is a strong gut reaction to the stench of  ignorance, and bigotry  associated with many, not all, but many,  of those who want to deny funding.  Many of them have so little  basic knowledge of the issue  I find it  hard  to have an intelligent discussion with them.   Then when  I hear these ignorant knuckle walkers say they don't care about the constitution and the rights of Catholics, we have broken the constitution before and got away with it, , we have taken away their rights before, and got away with it,  I get pissed  off.

Yes,. I grew up in a time in Ontario when people openly talked about the priest ridden French  and how we the English, beat the "frogs" on the Plains of Abraham and how those "pea soupers" better learn to "speak white" and " I don't want french on my cereal boxe". and I don't want Catholic schools funded here..  That  White Anglo Saxon Protestant Orange Order Ontario  suffered a major setback that long ago time of twenty four years ago  when the earth shook, and  the political landscape or Ontario changed forever.and finally, free at least, Catholic schools got full funding. That was the socialist and progressive position then, full funding, equity, justice,  and it still is the socialist and progressive position today . See, now you have learned something. G:>

 
I was proud of my party for supporting equity and justice, full funding for Catholic schools, and  for resisting the bigots who wanted to deny it  I still have a problem  listening to the losers  bleating: "Why can't we all be white  and all speak the same language and all worship the same God and same Queen?"  They are so dumb they don't even know they lost and why they lost and all they do is bleat away again.

I am committed to doing what I can to facilitate a debate on funding for religous schools in the ONDP . But those who want to cut funding  for catholic schools have  a lot of work to do not to educate themseleds on the issue if they want to present themslves as oemthign better than ignorant bigots.   Leave the  pillow cases at home.

Peter J. Cassidy

Unionist

How eloquent. You'd think Québec, overwhelmingly French-speaking and Catholic, still had Catholic schools! Peter, you are confused. There is no room in today's Canada for state funding of religion. If the Constitution isn't up to date, change the antiquated foolishness. That's what Québec and NL did. Ontario is on Eastern time, not Mediaeval time.

Lord Palmerston

Peter, there is far more anti-Muslim bigotry in Ontario than there is anti-Catholic bigotry...so should we extend funding to Islamic schools?

 

 

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Peter, there is far more anti-Muslim bigotry in Ontario than there is anti-Catholic bigotry...

Puh-lava!

Sunday Hat

I think the onus in the question at the top should be reversed. 

It's the responsibility of socialists to organize the working class.

For that reason I think the NDP, if it is a socialist party, should focus on issues that unite people as a class.

A campaign to end funding for Catholic schools, no matter how it's explained, will divide people along religious lines and give parties like the Liberals all the excuse they need to avoid talking about issues of class.

So, I think the real question is what's the socialist case for making this the defining fight of our times?

And, more importantly, for the "socialist" caucus, what's the "socialist" case for this issue that's so strong you're backing the most right-wing candidate in the leadership race, one who supports corporate tax cuts and pursuing more corporate donors?

Lord Palmerston

Sunday Hat wrote:

For that reason I think the NDP, if it is a socialist party, should focus on issues that unite people as a class.

Interesting argument, but by that logic the NDP could never have taken up abortion rights or gay marriage because these issues cross class lines and divide the working class. 

Fidel

Sunday Hat wrote:

And, more importantly, for the "socialist" caucus, what's the "socialist" case for this issue that's so strong you're backing the most right-wing candidate in the leadership race, one who supports corporate tax cuts and pursuing more corporate donors?

Who's courting Bay Street money? As far as I can tell, no one except the usual suspects: WhigsNTories Inc.

 

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