9 Replies to “Liberal 3-Peat in Ontario!”

  1. Ontario wanted change and I firmly believe the Tories would have handily won this election …but the PCs picked Tim Hudak as leader.

  2. tofkw is right, Hudak is/was just a complete loser.

    Last polls seem to have been pretty close, knew it would be a Liberal government, most of the big companies were thinking majority.

    Anywho, doesn’t matter, Ontario is screwed. We’ll see a PC majority way before we reach 2016 once budget numbers come out and people are disgusted to find out that they actually have to pay for clean energy. Job picture won’t get any better either.

  3. So whos the speaker? The Liberals won’t want that and lose a seat, the opposition would lose a vote and we’d end up with a tie?

  4. The polls undercounted Conservative support in the last two weeks. Some were even predicting a ten-point landslide for McGuinty. The Liberals eked out a narrow 37-35 victory in the popular vote.

    Sure, Hudak made some mistakes. I don’t think his campaign was as bad as the pundits made it out to be. Running on law and order issues can only get so many votes. And Canada has a federal criminal code, anyway (Harper is already punching the hippie pot smokers who didn’t vote for him). The crime rate is going down, overall. Perhaps video games and the internet do have a useful function for keeping poor ‘yoots’ (as My Cousin Vinny would say) from bothering to go out and form street gangs to cause mischief.

    Hudak should and will stay as leader. The Conservatives will have very favorable winning conditions the next time around. If they just increase their pop. vote by a few points, they’ll win quite a few seats that they lost this time around. And they can run against 12 years of Liberal corruption if the Liberals survive until 2015.

    His is a Pyrrhic Liberal victory. A Conservative who takes the long view is a bit disappointed with the results, but happy not to inherit the proverbial shit sandwich when we enter the second dip of this Great Recession.

  5. Tofkw: I didn’t follow the Ontario election all that closely, but even I got sick and tired of Hudak framing everything through the prism of his daughter, Miller. Perhaps it came from a sincere place, but it was cringe-inducing and even downright creepy at times.

  6. Hitfan: Ah yes, everyone who didn’t vote for Harper is a soft-on-crime “hippie pot smoker”… Very nuanced analysis there. But I guess you just had to say that, didn’t you?

    Anyway, you’re right about it being a Pyrrhic victory of sorts and doubly so about the thankless nature of the undertaking if (more likely when) the next unfortunate phase of the Great Recession manifests itself. A “shit sandwich” indeed! As former BoC Chairman David Dodge said a little while back, no matter who won this election, when confronted with the dismal reality of the economic situation that’s emerging, they will eventually be proven to be liars.

  7. I used “hippie pot smoker” as a term of endearment :). While I did vote for Harper, I can’t say I support heavier criminal sanctions regarding marijuana, but it’s not my #1 issue. Violent crime is going down, I think that can be attributed to technological advances (the iPod is a great pacifier). Perhaps the optimist Ray Kurzweil is right, that technology will solve many of our social and environmental ills in the long run.

    So Harper and McGuinty haven’t really been punished electorally for the recession thus far. I wonder if it’s the result of an electorate that understands the nature of the boom and bust cycle of the economic system. I recall the early 1990s when Mulroney was getting blamed for everything that went wrong. I think voters are a bit slower to succumb to anger nowadays (save for 2010 US tea party of course).

    So now we move on to the next big election — 2012 Obama VS Generic Republican. Romney best fits that description, his appearance alone is out of a Hollywood casting call. I think the Republicans should just throw the election–it would pay off for them in the long run (shit sandwich and all that). They seem to have a lot of fun venting against Obama, so why should they deny themselves that pleasure?

  8. Hitfan: With a few exceptions (Winnipeg being one of them, unfortunately) violent crime in this country has been going down for years, but it’s most likely due to a demographic shift rather than any judicial or law enforcement actions being taken by government. Not sure how iPods figure into the mix…

    Re Harper and McGuinty not being “punished” by the electorate, I think people have mostly bought into the corporate media spin that this country weathered the recession in fairly good shape, all considered, which has redounded to their benefit. Perhaps too the public is better informed or generally more “aware” than was the case 30 years ago about the macroeconomics of globalization and have seriously lowered their expectations regarding what they feel their own governments at various levels can do to resolve problems.

    As for an Obama v. [insert name here] match-up, though it may be an entertaining contest, I really can’t see that it makes any difference whatsoever given all the profound corruption of the American political system.

  9. Perhaps this is the cynic in me, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the reversals given the Ontario relection. For example, McGuinty actually led a pretty steady campaign, but if you notice, he adopted a lot of incumbent rhetoric that was almost identical to what was used by the CPC last May: The need for an experienced ministry to guide in economic uncertainty. From what I recall, any criticism, hyperbolic or otherwise, were swatted down by partisans in gleeful expressions of schadenfreude, especially since those same foot soldiers revelled in the irrelevance and ineptitude of Ignatieff. In Ontario, it was Hudak who was wearing that similar mantle so much so as to reduce a very clear polling lead. One of the major difference is that the PCPO was far more organized and not ailing like the Federal Liberals, which is why they were able to at least force a minority assembly.

    Nonetheless, the fact that Ontario still opted for a Liberal government, but in the minority sense, still set off a lot of those partisans using the very same rhetoric and hyperbole they dismissed so wildly 5 months earlier. It was amazing to see them summarily reject the “steady hand” thesis so overtly and vociferously while clutching it so hard in May. Talks of “McGuinty destroying the province,” citing debt, corruption, and misguided vision never seemed to rub against the series of apologies for those very similar criticisms aimed at Harper 5 months earlier. Usually you can allow for a certain level of tribalism; politics practically necessitates it, but this was pretty distinct.

    In any event, the PCPO has indeed turned to a more populist stream of political participation. One just has to take a look at the ousting of Norm Sterling because that basically confirmed that the constituency led by Randy Hillier has achieved enough heft AND relevance that throwing someone respectable as Norm Sterling under the bus was of little consequence in the PCPO’s own internecine turf war. This might also be an indictment against McGuinty as well because many people were willing to hold their nose to vote in Sterling’s replacement.

    The drawbacks of the McGuinty campaign is that they got too comfortable with ridings where they should have won. The Education Minister lost, and she was fairly well liked; for pete’s sake, she was the Minister of Education! That was probably one of the few files in which McGuinty’s government has excellend, especially since his work has been recognized specifically by the OECD, who cited Ontario as one of the best jurisdictions for educational standards.

    This was a “best of a bad lot” election, really, but I think the key thing is that McGuinty will have to rip a page out of the CPC playbook and force Hudak to prop up a lot of the legislation. Hudak couldn’t bring himself to scrap the HST because he knows that was a very pro-business policy, implicitly supported by the CPC. If McGuinty sticks to his “family centric” thesis when it comes to more progressive moves while appealing to pro-business policy with respect to economic policy, I think he could weather this. After all, in Q4 of last year, Ontario had the highest increase in GDP since 2000, and recently, Forbes has named Ontario one of the desirable places to do business.

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