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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)


Anonymous said...

We're doomed. I'm frightened. Very frightened.

Richard K said...

It'll take decades to undo the damage

Brian Henry said...

Hudak's main election promise was to cut 100,000 jobs. I'm not surprised he lost.

Pyrodafox said...

I do not mean this as an insult to all Ontarians, but those who voted Liberal made themselves the laughing stock of the country. As an Albertan, I wonder if this is a sign that Wildrose Country should "get outta dodge" before Wynne drags the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Richard K, some things get broken beyond repair, and I think at this point this Province has become one of them.
Missed opportunities can never be fixed.

The Phantom said...

So, how long do you figure before the housing prices crater in Toronto? I'm saying by Christmas.

Reader said...

Since some of the architects of this Liberal campaign also are involved in federal election planning, I have concerns that in 16 months we will have Prime Minister Trudeau Jr.

Between Wynne and Trudeau that would be devestating to the economy.

Richard K said...

Thomas Mulcair was smart to hold on to his French citizenship. If Justin Trudeau ever gets hold of our economy, moving to France wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Skippy Stalin said...

Hudak made virtually every political mistake possible.

First, he never should have been as specific as he was, especially given the faulty methodology of his plan. When that was discovered, and he doubled down on it, he was essentially doomed.

A mistake that Canadian conservatives constantly make is that we're basically the same as Americans. We're not. When presented the choice between corrupt and stupid, we'll pick corrupt every time, while they go for stupid south of the border.

Second, he looked like he was going to enjoy firing 100,000 public workers, which makes for horrible optics and hands your enemies a club to beat you with.

Third, I think Hudak's strategists thought they could have trapped Wynne in a pincer movement between them and the NDP. But when Wynne ran as far to the left as they did, they were at a tactical loss.

It should also be said that Kathleen Wynne ran a brilliant campaign. It's very hard to ignore that fact. Even if the Tories weren't bent

The Tories thought that the NDP would take votes out of the Grits' hide, which didn't happen. Hudak lost ten seats and Horwath stayed steady.

Fourth, Timmy ignored the Iron Law of conservative campaigns: Secure the base in the pre-writ period and run to the centre during the campaign. Hudak could never do that, so he had two campaigns where he went back and forth during an election, with predictable results.

I predicted a Liberal minority. But Hudak handed Wynne her majority, all nicely wrapped with a bow. Blaming everybody else might feel good, but it ignores reality. It's also hard to blame the Liberals for having supporters that want to give them money, or outside groups that want to support their message.

This should have been Tim Hudak's race to lose. And it was. And he did.

Waffle said...

What I find most disturbing is that only 46% of the eligible voters cast a ballot. The fate of Ontario has been determined by 17% of the electorate (approx. 9 million). How can this be? Is it legitimate? Do citizens have any legal recourse to this travesty of democracy?

Richard K said...

There are plenty of complaints I have about the outcome, but the process being undemocratic isn't one of them.

We don't force people to vote in Canada, nor should we. Proportionate Representation, which many people argue for, is actually less democratic than the first-past-the-post system we have. In that system, it's the political parties that get to choose who sits in the legislature rather than the electorate getting to pick them directly. I would like that a lot less than what we have now.

The election of Wynne comes down to a simple equation - the same one I tell people who complain about Rob Ford. If you don't like who won the election, then run a better candidate against her who can get more votes. Maybe the PC's will finally learn that after putting Tim Hudak forward twice.

Waffle said...

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a member -- and I was for 5 years -- was having absolutely no way to express your thoughts or feelings. Quite often letters were e-mailed out signed "The Party" or something as equally idiotic.

So, although Thursday night was a virtual blood bath, it was the only way the peons could have their say.