08.14.2011 09:39 PM

When he stops telling lies about us, we’ll stop telling the truth about him

Recent attack ads against Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak seem to have found their target, with Dalton McGuinty’s governing Liberals closing the gap between the two provincial parties, a new Nanos Research poll shows…

The negative ads launched by both the Conservatives and the Liberals have narrowed the race but it is too early to predict longer-term trends, pollster Nik Nanos cautioned.

The Liberal surge is explained by the proximity of their attack-ad campaign, Mr. Nanos said.

Mr. McGuinty…fought back last month by launching his own negative campaigning initiative, unveiling ads that said Mr. Hudak treated voters like “dolts” and “chumps.”

Support for the Liberals rose from 34 per cent in May to 37.6 per cent in the latest Nanos poll, conducted last week for the Globe and Mail and CTV.

43 Comments

  1. Sean says:

    Mowat
    Whitney
    Hepburn
    Frost
    Robarts
    Davis
    McGuinty

    • DJ says:

      It seems like he’s going to join that club of long-serving Ontario premiers. I can’t see Ontarians handing power over to a guy like Hudak. McGuinty is the better bet, and it helps him that Conservatives are in power federally. I think he should start talking about the next federal-provincial health care negotiations and how he would fight for a better deal.

    • Mulletaur says:

      I wish you had a ‘like’ button, Warren.

  2. Uncle Ted says:

    And yet, the next line in the article:

    “Support for the Conservatives remain stable, at 42.1 per cent. It was 41.3 per cent in May.”

    Spin it however you want, you haven’t even chipped away at Ontario PC Support… it’s still rising.

    • Scott Tribe says:

      Ah, but it confirms the Ipsos-Reid poll last week that showed a neck and neck race (and Conservative support dropping).

        • Cath says:

          locally the ground game on the part of both the NDP and PCs to this point have been non-existent. That’s giving the Liberals a pass and releases left unchallenged. If the thinking by both oppositions are that it’s summer and folks aren’t paying attention, they need to think again.
          The rural/small town mood for change is still strong, don’t get me wrong because the green energy issue is still what’s going to sink the Liberals in the counties, but I’m sensing a mellowing among some in the more populated towns.

          • Ted says:

            Farmers are for McGuinty’s Green Energy Plan. It puts dollars in their pockets and helps them keep their farms and support their families. Special interest groups have risen up and made a lot of noise, but farmers support it.

            Moreover, farmers are very much for McGuinty’s crop insurance. It puts dollars in their pockets for events outside of their control and helps them keep their farms and support their families. They have been asking for crop insurance for decades and McGuinty has finally delivered it to them.

  3. Chamberlain says:

    IF (no assurance of the competency) and when Mr. Hudak and his team finally dial down on how poorly the full-day kindergarten program was thought through and implemented, and put it together in a smart attack ad, your boss will be packing moving boxes. (You think working families haven’t been impacted?)

    • Pat says:

      Do you think Tories stand for working families? Cuz I sure as hell don’t.

    • Cath says:

      I agree with you Chamberlain – that program has turned out very differently and in some cases negatively for small communities and school boards. But, we and the Liberal war room knows that Hudak will not touch the education issue.

      • Mike says:

        How has the full-day Kindergarten program been negative? My middle child was lucky enough to be in it and our family loved it. Our son blossomed with the extra time at school, we saved money for day-care, and many parents in our community are moving their kids to schools that have the full day program. So how would you say it has been poorly implemented?

        • Chamberlain says:

          You seem happy with it, Mike. It has been bad on a number of levels from the get-go. I understand you may not be in a position to see why. Maybe Warren knows the kind of issues I am alluding to though. If not, he better ask the right people, and not the ones who lie to him, and try to get ahead of the issues with some kind of response. But spin alone won’t do it. Take it as information.

          • Ted says:

            It’s a simple question: How has the full-day Kindergarten program been negative?

            If no one but you can see how it is negative (including Hudak who is in favour, at least today at 2:30; check back later as it is likely to change again and again), perhaps the onus is on you to explain your position than for us to decipher your cryptic warning.

          • Mike says:

            Odd, I am a parent of two school age children, one child about to go, a teacher, an education activist, and an Ontario Teachers Federation Governor….I think I might have a smidgen of insight into the education system. What position do you hold that makes you so clairvoyant? The only complaints in my area about it are that not every school got it immediately and some daycare providers are losing out. Maybe you could actually provide examples of the issues you allude to but seem hesitant to elaborate on.
            I know that the experts in education that I talk to, Diane Ravitch to name one, are raving about full day kindergarten and the progressive moves we’ve made in the education system with McGuinty’s Liberals leading the way.

      • Ted says:

        It’s a Monday in August. Do you know whether Hudak is supporting full-day kindergarten today or are Mondays “I don’t support it” days? I seem to remember that every third Monday of each month is a “we have no comment” day. I get confused on his various positions.

        When Ontarians complained about Hudak not having any plan for Ontario, the response should not have been to provide us with multiple sets of conflicting and flip flopping plans.

  4. Cath says:

    No Ted – farmers are NOT “For” the green energy plan, and here’s news for you….neither are municipalities and communities which have had their input and influenced nicely muzzled. Not to mention that this issue has pitted neighbour against neighbour that’s created stress where none existed before.
    http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/08/14/18551856.html

    Add that to the problems with the not-very-SMART METERS and glut of school closures cutting the guts out of our communities and there’s another picture being painted out here for quite a while.

    • Attack! says:

      Geez, catastrophize much? And, allergic to consistency?

      Ok, so something like 200 schools across the province were projected to be closed between 2008 and the next couple years, due to about a 15% decline in enrollment, given the demographics (damn boomers and echo boom generations not pulling their weight, only having, what, an ave. of 2 or 1.5 kids per couple — and lots more staying single — instead of 4 or 5, like their (grand)parents)…

      http://www.peopleforeducation.com/schoolclosings

      out of: how many? Thousands? Tens of thousands?

      And that’s to save taxes, which you lot also complain about too much of.

      And how many schools got closed during the Harris years? So do you really think Hudak would be your friend, here, once actually in power?

      And you’re also carping about the full-day kindergarten. Well, surely, adding another 1.5 (pre-)grades of students should help with that 15% decline and give a lot of those schools sufficient numbers so they don’t have to close, then, won’t it?

      Similarly with the hydro issue: everyone’s complaining about the bills. So here the plan is to get more energy production and stabilize or lower the prices…. and you’re complaining about that.

      http://www.peopleforeducation.com/schoolclosings

      • Chamberlain says:

        You have no idea what you are talking about as you muse on full day kindergarten. Stick to the info you directly know yourself.

        • Ted says:

          Right on Chamberlain.

          And while you’re at it Attack!, stop with the links to actual real data that supports your arguments.

          Around here, we like inuendo and brazen unsubstantiated calls to arms, thank you very much.

        • Attack! says:

          Oh-oh, I’ve been warned (and not by the authorized Warrener) by the cross Kindergarten Cop to move along, and stick to my knitting…

          Sounds like you have a headache.

          Or it might be a tumor.

      • Cath says:

        People for Education doesn’t even remotely represent the education issues being faced by rural/small towns. Just ask Doug Reycraft (Community Schools Alliance) and the municipalities backing that group that has to deal with idiot policies and plans cocked-up to snag urban votes, based on the needs of urban constituents.

        Oh, and don’t bother looking for the cost of full-day Kindergarten and the ELP – you will not find it.

    • Ted says:

      Funny that you claim “farmers” oppose McGuinty by sending a link about municipalities and Conservative front groups opposing wind farms.

      The reality is that farmers do support McGuinty on this. It puts money in their wallets and helps them keep their farms. Whether it’s enough, together with crop insurance, to make them vote for McGuinty, I don’t know, but farmers support the FIT Program and the Green Energy Act. That is abundantly clear when you ask them.

      Tens of thousands of jobs. Creation of a future industry to replace a dying one. Money and protection for farmers. No wonder Hudak opposes the Green Energy Act (at least publicly. His campaign is still running around telling us in the industry not to worry – and most importantly not to campaign – because they will re-brand it as something different after they get elected, they just don’t want to say that in public because it blurs the message and makes Hudak look like a weasel).

      • Chamberlain says:

        Given a monkey who knows that full day kindergarten was badly done and is willing to act, a goat who doesn’t but would step up if she did and an incumbent who refuses to acknowledge the layers of issues it has created, I’ll vote for the monkey and the goat ahead of the incumbent.

        And so should you.

      • Attack! says:

        Here’s some more of those pesky facts I’ve been warned are none of my biz. to go bandying about, barring direct knowledge of them.

        Total no. of elementary and secondary schools in Ontario: about 5,000.
        http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/research/PCS.pdf

        Drop in enrollment in them just between 2002/2003 and 2008/2009 academic years: 94,204
        http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-595-m/2010088/tbl/tbla.1-eng.htm

        Projected cost of full-day kindergarten by the time its fully rolled out to all 4,000 elementary schools by 2014-15: $1.5-billion.

        Total expenditures of all public elementary and secondary schools in Ontario as of 2008/9, prior to introduction of full-day kindergarten:
        $22.5 B.
        http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-595-m/2010088/tbl/tbla.19-eng.htm

        Ave. Total Expenditures per Grade in Ontario at that point (22,486.8 M / 12.5): $1.8 B ($1,798.9 M)

        Relative Bargain — or perhaps, likely underestimate — of adding 1.5 ‘grades’ to the system (at just $1.5 instead of $2.7-B [above times 1.5]): $1.2-B.

        Lack of perspective on the magnitude of the costs and growing pains it’s reasonable to expect on such a large program by our sputtering friends here: Priceless.

        • Chamberlain says:

          Sorry, but now you are being ignorant. I appreciate that you may not think so. You think you have info but you don’t, and Warren, either you know what I’m talking about or you better get informed. You don’t know what you are talking about. There is a difference my friend between being partisan and an apologist. Again, sorry, but no.

          The bottom line is you can continue to be ignorant or you can come to grips with how it badly it has been done and address the issues. If you don’t, you will have left yourselves open to being out-flanked by Hudak. Your choice.

        • Ted says:

          Damn facts always seem to have such a damn liberal bias. Or at least an anti-conservative bias.

          No wonder conservatives are always tough on education and research.

    • Pat says:

      The best part about municipalities complaining is that when the green energy legislation started being written the DIDN’T WANT control over that stuff because they didn’t want more responsibilities that they didn’t have the expertise for, and that they wouldn’t receive funding for… now they’ve changed their story…

  5. Reginald says:

    From a strictly objective vantage point, seems to me only the Liberals have shown momentum and at a very crucial time. Being stgnant as are the PCs and dropping as are the NDP is not a good place to be just 7 weeks before the election.

    The Liberals have proven themselves to be smart strtategists with policies that many young families embrace. The PCs are being seen as smug and arrogant, turning off a lot of voters.

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

    One more time: full day kindergarten has been badly implemented. Warren, you are a decent enough of a guy to deserve to be informed of the impact it has had, layers of it. Ontarians deserve it as well. Which means it is up for grabs as an issue. Seems as though you are content to let us read googled data without actually talking to those province-wide who have been impacted.

    • Attack! says:

      One more time: there’s a big difference b/w observing that there have been issues with the planning and implementation of a major new government program which might be exploited in an election campaign…

      and insisting — without providing ANY details — that those are of sufficient magnitude that they would and should defeat the government responsible, if and when they’re brought to light, and dismissing anyone who would gainsay that unless, possibly, they have had direct experience with the program themselves.

      Sure, it’s costing more than they thought (D’oh! Forgot about all the capital costs to expand the schools that didn’t have any room for another class); sure, it’s been a pain to all the school boards who’ve been scrambling to start new program(s) from scratch — like nonprofits do
      all the time — and whose Trustees thus have to do a lot more to earn their paycheques (for a change); sure, there’s been a lot of blowback from the parents who want it now, or who don’t want any change in what they already had, and from the various daycare providers who are losing a big part of their client base.

      But all that will continue under Hudak, who’s latest position on that, was, um, not to change the plan of keeping what’s been done and continuing to roll it out to all the schools, since it’s clear most parents want it.

      As for your denigrating stats in favour of direct experience:

      well, not only, “The plural of ‘anecdote’ is NOT data,” but it’s also quite possible to be SO close to an issue on the ground that one loses all perspective on its larger significance, particularly when it comes to gauging how OTHERS are going to view it, in the longer term.

      Because voters can and do distinguish between good intentions and bad execution and weigh them differently, and also between a poor implementation that seems to be unique to the bad judgment of one person or set of persons and one that anyone else might have done in their place… possibly even worse.

      For a recent example of this, consider the Great H1N1, ‘Swine’ Flu Vaccine Crisis of 2009, where a similarly costly and ambitious program to hurriedly roll out a program involving many thousands of personnel and (in that case) millions of service recipients was: an unmitigated disaster, it seemed to many close to it at the time, with plenty of reason to think there’d been some spectacularly bad judgment and poor planning by Health Canada and/or its Minister Leona Aglukkaq, in only going with one supplier, and not thinking through that they might need sufficient quantities of two types (non/adjuvant), and in hyping up the need for it for the entire population too far in advance of being able to meet that need, and then we went from having too little supply to far too much, and so on.

      People lined up. Panic set in. Furious letters and editorials were written, both about the Canadian Government’s incompetence and about the queue jumpers. Hands were wrung.

      And so at the time, some thought that surely the Health Minister, and maybe ultimately the Conservative Government itself would and should fall over this.

      Except that, largely because the flu itself wasn’t nearly as dangerous up here as we’d been led to believe (and, remind me again, how many have died this year because of these unspecified SNAFU’s in the logistics of rolling out an all-day kindergarten program), it pretty much…

      disappeared from the radar as an issue. In fact, a year or so later, the Health Minister was even given positive reports and polling results for the speed and effectiveness of the roll-out, and I don’t recall even hearing it about it during the election, and of course, Aglukkaq herself won her seat back and the Gov’t won a majority, despite all those possibly foreseeable hiccups in the implementation of an expensive program — probably because the voters decided their heart was in the right place (and no real harm done, apart from some temporary anxiety and wasted money, and few doubt that they would have learned from their mistakes and will do it better in the future).

      Take that for information.

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

        Hope you are getting some billable hours on this. You still don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to what it all has been to implement the full day kindergarten, the way they did. It’s not my job to educate you. Trust me. And move on.

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

          (But it is revealing how cavalier you are: )

          “Sure, it’s costing more than they thought (D’oh! Forgot about all the capital costs to expand the schools that didn’t have any room for another class); sure, it’s been a pain to all the school boards who’ve been scrambling to start new program(s) from scratch — like nonprofits do
          all the time — and whose Trustees thus have to do a lot more to earn their paycheques (for a change); sure, there’s been a lot of blowback from the parents who want it now, or who don’t want any change in what they already had, and from the various daycare providers who are losing a big part of their client base.”

          (But you are still missing a biggest part of it.)

          • Attack! says:

            Again, it’s kindergarten we’re talking about about here — hardly a life and death issue — which is why I seem so dismissive of your concerns: because you’re overreacting to and overestimating their significance.

            And the fact that I seem so “cavalier” about both the communications and planning failures of not only the Ontario Liberal government itself but all the observers on this,*

            and also about what I more or less characterized as:

            Ha! so the school boards & trustees are gonna have to really work for their salaries for the next few years, for a change… boo-hoo (since, whether rightly or wrongly, I consider them relatively underworked and overpaid, compared to their nonprofit sector counterparts doing similar oversight and delivery of government funded and/or mandated programs)…

            well, that SHOULD be a revelation to you:

            viz., that I’m NOT a paid “partisan,” “apologist,” or spinner on behalf of the ON Lib. Party, at all. (Nor am I even a member of it, or of the LPC, for that matter.)

            I’m just a private citizen, doing this as a labour of… dislike, of Conservative Parties, and most of their most dishonest and/or misguided shills, hecklers, and apologists.

            * (the Ministry of Ed. & StatCan doc’s I linked to above both indicate that it costs about $10,000 per pupil per year in the Ontario public schools, all told (incl. for the buildings and past debts), and some of the reports indicated that by the time its fully implemented, as many as a quarter million more kids a year will be drawn into the system because of this, ergo, it’ll cost $2.4-B a year to run, not $1.5. If none of you have figured this out, by now, you’re ALL idiots, and so, might as well continue with the idiots you know, I guess.)

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