The provincial election in Ontario is only a week old. Polls suggest a tight race lies ahead, and of course campaigns matter. All that said, on June 13th Kathleen Wynne will still be Premier of Ontario and if she had a slim majority to go with it I would not be surprised.
That may sound like a deliberately bold pick, or even partisan shilling. Before you dismiss it as either ask yourself one question. Have you seen anything from either the NDP or the PCs yet, that would suggest I’m wrong?
Andrea Horwath triggered this election by rejecting a Liberal budget the NDP might as well have written. I already wrote why this seemed an odd choice, and may cost her soft or even stalwart NDP support. Her early efforts may have convinced them to stay with her, but I can’t imagine why.
On CBC’s Metro Morning, Horwath claimed Liberals were “on track to privatize the TTC” Surely the sort of talk that could galvanize those leaning NDP. Except it wasn’t true, it wasn’t even close. Her own comments on partnering with business to build transit confused matters further. Until her clarification that “engaging business” meant raising their taxes . All this did little to remove the impression that the NDP leader is unprepared for an election that she herself caused.
If Horwath is looking for some solace she may have to be satisfied with this fact. She is not Tim Hudak. If the NDP campaign so far has been a bit of a circus, Hudak’s is the freak show out back. Not once but twice he held photo ops at companies who received the sort of government subsidies he staunchly opposes. Even amateurs learn from mistakes.
Speaking of amateur, did no one in the PC camp think “One Million Jobs” sounded awfully close to Ford’s widely debunked “Billion Dollars Saved”? That isn’t a judgement of the plan itself, Hudak would have to provide some details for that. There must have been a phrase though that wouldn’t make it sound like Hudak was pulling a number out of the air as Ford often does. Also, when you talk about creating jobs don’t outsource work to do it. Especially to one of the least popular countries in the world.
Tim’s transit “plan“of paying for it through eliminating government waste also makes him sound like Ford. In the spirit of bipartisanship here’s one last tip. If any part of your platform sounds identical to the talking points of a crack smoking serial liar try something else.
Kathleen Wynne does not have an easy path to victory, much less to a majority. Loyal Liberal Warren Kinsella pointed out poll numbers which look to voter opinions on the province and not the parties are a more accurate barometer, and that they do not look good for the Premier. I can’t say I disagree with him on either point.
Campaigns do matter though. So far the Liberals have kept on their message about jobs, pensions, and transit. Wynne has talked about standing up to an increasingly unpopular Prime Minister both to show leadership, and reach out to the progressive support she will need to win a majority. Add voters who would vote for her over the NDP simply to keep Hudak out of office, and that majority may be attainable.
Campaigns matter, and the Liberal campaign has been focused both in message and in strategy. In contrast the NDP and PCs seem like they are barely capable of running a campaign, much less a government.