Thursday, June 12, 2014
Ontario's voters choose to take the pathway to being the next Detroit
The reelection of Kathleen Wynne can be attributed to the convergence of a few factors that have kept Ontario's most unethical, incompetent government in power.
Money is one of the more apparent reasons the Liberals could hang on. Their campaign had a lot more of it to spend than either opposition party and that was reinforced by the special interests and unions effectively campaigning for the Liberals by taking out third-party ads viciously attacking PC leader Tim Hudak.
Then there's the obvious factor that half the population have below average intelligence. And there's no minimum IQ required to vote.
But there's more to it than that. Another significant factor is was the ineptitude of The Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, whose milquetoast personality,uninspiring leadership and campaign flip-flops reinforced the lack of confidence the province showed in him the last election. By keeping Hudak as leader after his loss to Dalton McGuinty, it almost looked like the PC's were telling Ontario they weren't planning on trying very hard in the next election. There was nothing about Hudak's campaign to dispel doubts about him and an even more disorganized NDP led by Andrea Horvath didn't provide a credible alternative. So Wynne's corrupt, scandal-plagued Liberals became the beneficiaries of the deficits of their opponents.
But beyond all that, the basic reason the Liberals came out ahead is because of the way that people tend to think when stepping into the poll. Voters usually pick the person they like the most (or at least dislike the least) on a personal level. Kathleen Wynne, as I experienced myself last month, is a very likable person. By contrast, the weird, plastered-on smile of Tim Hudak makes him comes off like an untrustworthy used car salesman.
The Liberals also had an advantage of running some pretty good individual candidates. And a silver lining to last night's election results is that at least some deadwood will have been cut from Queen's Park, like the creepy NDP legislator Jonah Schein in Davenport, who lost to Liberal Christina Martins.
Ontario's voters have sent the message that corruption, dishonesty and incompetence will be rewarded with impunity. So get ready to see an education system and economy fall apart in the province. When that happens, the voters can try to blame the government, but they really have no one to blame other than themselves.
(election results can be seen here)