08.16.2011 12:00 AM

In today’s Sun: ch-ch-ch-changes

The political truism is that “change” is good. Except when change isn’t the kind of change voters want, in which case change is bad. Got that?

It’s not an idle question. There are, or have been, a bunch of federal, provincial and territorial election campaigns taking place this year. In each one, the concept of “change” has or will be a factor.

The reason why you hear about change so much during election years is simple: It’s a simple, inoffensive way of saying “throw the bums out” — we want a new direction, new faces, new energy. It’s a powerful message, too.

Brian Mulroney rode “change” to a massive victory over the tired old Grits in 1984. Jean Chretien rode “change” to a massive victory over tired old Tories in 1993. Stephen Harper’s win in 2006 wasn’t massive, but it had everything to do with change. Barack Obama was arguably the most successful “change” campaign ever — he crushed Republicans across the U.S. People wanted change, people voted for it.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty also greatly benefited from change in 2003, when his campaign slogan was “Choose Change.”

9 Comments

  1. Chamberlain Winner of the Most Arrogant Commenter Award (2011) says:

    So Ontarians has equal trust in McGuinty and Hudak with the economy. In other words, they are as comfortable with the kid whose biggest job has been oversight over himself as the other guy, who as been in the Premier’s chairs for the past eight years. Surely, Warren, you have to be concerned about how that will play out. Yes, the sentiment is, let’s give someone else a shot at it.

  2. Chamberlain Winner of the Most Arrogant Commenter Award (2011) says:

    So Ontarians has equal trust in McGuinty and Hudak with the economy. In other words, they are as comfortable with the kid whose biggest job has been oversight over himself as the other guy, who as been in the Premier’s chairs for the past eight years. Surely, Warren, you have to be concerned about how that will play out. Yes, the sentiment is, let’s give someone else a shot at running things.

  3. JStanton says:

    seen on a bumper sticker in up-state New York yesterday:

    “I’ll hold on to my guns, my freedom and my money. You can keep the change”.

    .

  4. WildGuesser says:

    Accountability of government is the concept, not change for changes sake. Secret wage hikes and bonuses for public sector unions, a surprise fair share health care levy to help boost up health funding as general revenues are wastefully spent elsewhere, the E-Health boondoggle, and just on and on with government waste and mismanagement. If there is to be any concern for voter accountability by any politician of any stripe, McGuinty needs to go on principle of having done a very poor job. I am not buying the fearmongering of ‘Hudak could be worse’ and I doubt Ontarians will either. We know McGuinty’s record and its not somehting we want a third helping of!

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Boondoggles, waste and mismanagement are nice catch phrases, but the reality is that Ontario, like every other jurisdiction in the entire developed world, is grappling with structural issues re the cost of health care, education and infrastructure. Yes, e-Health was a cockup, but like Rob Ford is finding out, there IS NO GRAVY to cut. We have to decide how shabby or not we not public services to be, soundbites aside.

  5. Chamberlain Winner of the Most Arrogant Commenter Award (2011) says:

    “Accountability of government is the concept.”

    Bingo.

  6. Roger says:

    Why did Hudak call his platform “Changebook”? So he can change his mind on everything in it to get elected. Be careful, Ontario, Hudak’s (or Harris’) change is not the kind of change we need!

  7. A few months back, a person on the Ontario PC mailing list sent me a scan of an envelope he/she had received. Stamped on the front of the envelope: a statement saying that the Hudak PCs would bring “HOPE AND CHANGE”.

    Sounds about right: a slogan recently-used by an American president who has left them HOPELESS and largely CHANGELESS. Defeated and penniless: the PC promise to Ontario.

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