11.24.2011 07:36 AM

Prime Minister McGuinty

I have many views on this subject, but I’ll keep them to myself, for now.

What do you think? A good idea?


  1. WDM says:

    I don’t think anyone can fix the Liberals before the next election. Somewhat similar to when Layton took over the NDP in 2003, this is going to be a long-term project. Would McGuinty the Elder be up for such a commitment? I know some feel the stars could align for the Liberals quickly, like they did for the NDP in 2011, but in my mind, the Jack Layton of 2003, 2006 and 2008 couldn’t have had the same success. 8 years of credibility as a leader was a key factor in their success.

    • Woody says:

      But McGuinty has the advantage of being a Premier in the largest province for the last 8 years. Not sure the comparison to Jack works.

  2. Marc L says:

    No, a bad idea. An incompetent tax-and-spender who is still there only because Tim Hudak is such a buffoon. He has basically wrecked Ontario’s public finances because there is not a spending proposal he can’t say no to. All of that — including the lies about not raising taxes during his first mandate and his numerous flip-flops — would make hime a pretty good target for Harper’s propaganda machine.

    • Ken says:

      I’d rather a tax-and-spender than a borrow-and-spend Conservative.

      But Dalton McGuinty is – how you say – not up to the job.

      • Marc L says:

        Ontario is doing its aher of borrowing too, do not fear. A $16 billion deficit and no clear way out. You can only be all thingsto everyone on borrowed money for so long, though. He’s about to find that out,

        • Marc L says:

          I mean share, not aher. I really am a pathetic typist.

        • Ken says:

          But in a hypothetical McGuinty-vs-CPC matchup, it’s the “tax-and-spend Liberal” hypothetical Marc L posited, vs. the borrow-and-spend Conservative that Harper and Flaherty actually are.

          So is borrow-and-spend bad, generally, or only when it’s not Conservatives doing it?

  3. Mike Foulds says:

    He would do a good job I think. But does he want to? His last comment on it in public was “I want to stay married”…

  4. Finn says:

    I doubt it.

    A party that’s looking for a fresh start doesn’t want someone who is having a rough ride in the country’s most populous province.

    The LPC needs a leader from Western Canada to begin anew.

    • Woody says:

      Slim pickins.

      • The Doctor says:

        It’s a bit of a vicious circle problem, isn’t it? I agree that among current FEDERAL Liberals (MPs etc.), obviously the pickings are slim because there are so few, umm, Federal Liberal MPs from the West. Hedy Fry’s pathetic run for the leadership was just an embarrassment.

        However, there are others outside of federal politics — e.g., as others have mentioned, big-city majors like Nenshi, Glenn Murray, Gregor Robertson plus figures from provincial politics like Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark. Just throwing names out there, but you have to be imaginative and keep an open mind in order to rejuvinate and turn around a party.

  5. bigcitylib says:

    Love to see it. But he’s got a job. Was just renewed, as a matter of fact. That might be a problem.

  6. Pedro says:

    I think Dalton would be a great Prime Minister.
    He has a goood deal of experience in running a government with a good deal of success.
    Those who work for him see a person that can grapple with political issues with success and is willing to take advice from able persons he has surrounded himself with that he trusts and that repay him with the appropriate support when it is earned and who can tell him that his approach may not be the best.
    And he has the benefit of humility the US leader to the South hasn’t yet learned.
    We could do much worse with any Canadian political personality on the leading edge today.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      I too think that Dalton would be a great Prime Minister.

      One reason. LEADERSHIP – has every quality that is required of a great leader: Charisma, Individual Consideration, Intellectual Stimulation, Courage, Dependability, Flexibility, Integrity, Judgement, Respect for Others (nod to Federal Express who has the best management training in the world).

      BUT …

      Dalton needs a separation in time from politics …

      Dalton needs time for people to get a better appreciation of all the great things he has done in his time as premier …

      Because right now, Dalton is still to close to some controversies that a professional campaign would successfully focus on (sorry to offend some folks you know WK in the provincial PCs, but they have failed to run a professional campaign the last two trips)…eHealth, OLC, provincial deficit, unresolved costs associated with 2 closed power plants …

      Dalton needs to write a political memoir to explain his story.


      Get back a majority (that has to be the first priority to make the jump to federal politics without some time away from politics).

      I heard about the draft McGuinty talk two weeks ago. Then, and now, I think Dalton needs to stay focused on the job he is in right now. WE NEED DALTON TO LEAD ONTARIO NOW!

      So you hacks who are fearful they will not be at the start of Dalton’s eventual jump to federal politics, please help him first with a majority before getting ahead of yourselves.

  7. JStanton says:

    … it’s all a matter of how the transition from provincial to federal is managed. The man himself can pull it off, despite appearing more “ordinary” than charismatic. His defining qualities, even when Liberal insiders first considered him for the leadership, was that he was a safe pair of hands, a man with no hidden agenda, a team player who could lead but be guided. It need not be over-emphasized that his liberal pedigree tacks him towards a humanistic and holistic approach to solving problems, rather than the simplistic and narrow approaches take by Conservatives.

    While the gutter press (and we all know who that is) will whine and moan, feeding hostility and hysteria amongst conservative naysayers, so what? They were never going to vote for anything but their own, in any case. Liberals may be more measured and subdued in their initial response, but, come election day, they will be reassured enough by Mr. McGuinty to vote for their Liberal candidate.

    Some questions remain, however. Will those voters who eschewed Mr. Ignatieff return for Mr. McGuinty? Will enough dippers be impressed enough to throw in with us?

    But, most significantly, what about Bob? With Mr. Rae front and centre, the question may be moot. Parachuting Mr. McGuinty in, before Mr. Rae’s run is played-out, will reignite the Liberal Wars, and we will then be well and truly finished, destined to live the rest of our lives under the tedious mediocrity of Mr. Harper and his political progeny. God help us all.


  8. Bil Huk says:

    i’ll be the ass.

    from a liberal perspective, he’s just as good as any other i suppose, so long as he’s considered one of the last pieces of the puzzle as opposed to the only piece of the puzzle.

    from a seats perspective, using Chretien totals for western Canada, eastern Canada, and Quebec, which i think are near absolute best case scenarios given a united right, and adding the new seats, unless the Liberals win 98 of 121 ridings in ontario, they basically have no chance of ever forming a majority government.

    and thats lights out performance in the rest of the regions by a liberal party that benefited from vote splitting and a basically useless NDP.

    When you’re only good for a high water mark of 16 seats in a part of the country that accounts for 104 of a 338 seat parliment, you’re done.

    until this is fixed, whomever the leader is seems pretty unimportant to me.

    the PCs and Alliance figured this out.

    and there’s new dynamics to be considered. does western canada and ontario start to vote in step like ontario and quebec basically used to? the NDP doesn’t have to hold onto official opposition status, it just has to remove the stench put on it by the liberals in past elections that allowed the red machine to raid its pantry every time it was hungry for votes late in elections. With a less scary NDP and a potentially new western canadian ontario voting pattern starting, which leader fixes all that for you?

    • The Doctor says:

      The way the Liberals basically concede Western Canada to the other parties these days is tantamout to deliberately handicapping yourself. It’s like tying a hand behind your back before climbing into a boxing ring.

      • pomojen says:

        This is NOT a snarky reply in the guise of a question: What do you think is going to necessary to convince westerners to give the federal Liberal party a chance? I am asking because I really want to know. Or at least hear what you think about it.

        • The Doctor says:

          I think there are a few things. First off, it’s like marketing and client development in business — you can’t expect instant results. It’s about planting seeds. But here are a couple of suggestions — and I’ll just focus on Alberta, the hardest nut to crack:

          1. Do a detailed, dedicated search for quality, high-profile “star” candidates to run as Liberals in the next federal election. Even if you bag one of these, that’s miles ahead of anything the LPC has done for ages in Alberta. Example: many years ago, the Liberals got Bob Blair, who was head of Nova, to run as a Liberal candidate. Now, he didn’t win then, but it was HUGE news then that a high-profile business leader in Calgary was (a) a Liberal and (b) willing to run. It garnered tons of media attention AND it was important also for the message it sent out: we the LPC are dead serious about running quality candidates in Alberta, not just cardboard place-holder candidates. And the thing is, now, decades later, Alberta is more much diverse demographically than it was back then. This is just throwing a name out there, but imagine if one or election cycles from now, they recruited Naheed Nenshi as a candidate. Somebody like that, in a Calgary inner-city riding (e.g., Calgary Centre) would be extremely competitive and could win IMO.

          2. Come up with a specific “sub-platform” of Alberta-specific positions for the LPC to run on in the Alberta campaign next federal election.

          3. Do NOT adopt, in a knee-jerk fashion, positions that are practically guaranteed to piss off Albertans. At least think, discuss and do a rational cost-benefit analysis before you adopt positions that are antagonistic to the energy and extractive industries.

          • pomojen says:

            Thanks for your reply. I feel that the ceding of the west has been a major failing and has only created more festering in the old wounds. It’s a bit like being betrayed by a friend (or perceiving a betrayal) – whether it was through negligence or an intentional act, the harm becomes worse the longer that friend ignores or avoids or refuses to accept responsibility for the harm that was caused. But at this stage, after all the ignoring/ denial, it’s hard to know where to begin. And I think you are correct in stressing the long term nature of this repair work that needs to be done.

        • Philip says:

          I have to admit a certain curiosity as well. Electoral success in urban ridings is a good and necessary thing but reaching beyond these is critical to a truly national party. The only conclusion I can come to is that walking the walk, maybe quietly at first, is going to be more effective than merely talking.

  9. steve says:

    I cant think of a better choice. There is going to be a hellish mess to clean up after Harper. I would like to see him come out in favor of Pot legalization. Australia like royalties on natural resources and restoring Military spending to pre Afghanistan levels.

  10. Wayne says:

    I’d rather see Danny Williams.

  11. matt says:

    Big picture, Stanfield.

    Closer to home (out West), McGuinty’s a Premier who always stood up for Ontario against Harper but never stood up for Ontario and the national interest against other provinces when the feds were acting in the national interest. A great example is Danny Williams and the ABC campaign over the role of resource revenues in equalization and the fed/prov offshore accords. Harper’s position was for fairness for the rest of Cdn taxpayers – and McGuinty/Charest were silent. Or this Asia trade thing – Ontario stands to benefit from greater manufacturing export access to Asia, and is less beholden to the camembert lobby than is Charest, but he’s pretty quiet.

  12. Brian says:

    Meh. What difference will it make?

  13. Chris says:

    I like McGuinty but I don’t see him as a federal Liberal leader. I don’t think he wants it, he’s busy already with his current job and it’s hard to move from provincial advocate to federal leader. I’ll support whichever Liberal leadership candidate supports a merger with the NDP and who is best positioned to make the merger happen. At this point, that person seems to be Denis Coderre. Then the combined party can choose a leader.

    • Pedro says:

      Chris, I commented earlier that I think that Dalton McGuinty has what it takes on paper to be a great federal leader, Prime Minister and Canadian statesman.
      I held back that I think he doesn’t have the cojones to lay it on the line.
      Let’s see if he really has the guts or if he is just another in a long line of Liberal leaders who will only step up if coronation is guaranteed.
      For this I respect Dion and Ignatieff (John Turner gets a nod for stepping up to the gallows Jean set for him. The eyes on Turner’s face showed Canadians how the Liberals work).
      Non-committed Canadians are looking at Dalton.
      The Conservatives may be ruthless but Canadians have observed how spineless Liberals can be.
      Maybe Dalton is nobody’s fool.

  14. Deke says:

    No. But it is a different rat race–with far meaner rats. Dalton–I Don’t think so and we really don’t need another round whizzing on Ontario by Attila The Harper and Co.

  15. Pat says:

    Yep… just like the Harris years have haunted Baird and Flaherty…

    • Philip says:

      “Slick” Tony Clement must still be a shining testament to the Harris years in Conservative circles. What with all the pork barreling and lying about it.

  16. Michael S says:

    Premiers don’t become Prime Ministers. They are too familiar to Canadians.

    Mayors? Another story. There are three former or current mayors that could be Prime Minister.

    • Brian says:

      “Three former or current mayors that could be Prime Minister.”

      Wow, ok. I’ll play. Which three?

      • Michael S says:

        Gregor Robinson, Naheed Nenshi, Glen Murray.

        • Jordan says:

          Gregor is a Dipper, I don’t know what Nenshi is, and as for Murray he couldn’t get elected as a Liberal in Manitoba but he might be able to in Ontario, but he’s old

          • The Doctor says:

            Gregor has been a Dipper, that’s true, but so was Bob Rae and there are other examples of centrist Dippers going Liberal. Robertson’s got some “blue/red Dipper” tendencies. Vision Vancouver, his party, was a very deliberate repudiation of COPE, which is a much more left-leaning party. Vision was deliberately set up as a centre-left party to appeal to urban Liberals (and it’s been extremely successful at that). Gregor also owned and ran a business, which pretty much immediately puts you way out there on the “right flank” of the NDP.

  17. Tim says:

    Notwithstanding Andrea Horwath’s ranting I do thing one thing McGuinty has going for him is that he is respected by many of the elder statesmen of the NDP ala Broadbent, Romanow, Dexter, Harcourt even Adrian Dix(despite the obvious differences on HST) has had good things to say about McGuinty. So in one sense I do see McGuinty as someone from the Federal Liberal side that could unite the left I also think the NDP realizes they have hit a ceiling in Ontario under their own brand provincially and federally so some type of alliance with Liberals is in order to win ON. I also note any chance of a PC NDP alliance has gone out the window provincially with Hudak’s latest enthusiasm for back to work legislation and mandatory wage freezes.

    I wonder how McGuinty though plays with left leaning voters in BC HST in all. McGuinty’s Liberalism is MUCH different than that of Gord Campbell and the BCLiberals but McGuinty was in some ways the godfather of the HST which is absolutely despised by many BC NDPers.

  18. Michael says:

    The second coming of the “best PM we never had”?

  19. smelter rat says:

    He’s virtually unknown outside of Ontario. Can’t see how that works in his favour.

  20. Todd says:

    No better cure for Granma’s insomnia than a debate between Harper and McGuinty.

  21. Glen says:

    I think McGuinty would bring Liberals together. They need someone fresh with no ulterior motives and no federal history in the party. (N.B. Unless your name is Justin Trudeau.)

    Unfortunately he could hurt their chances in Ontario. He’s reaching the end of his political life cycle here. It happens to every politician as voters look for alternatives. McGuinty was able to overcome his own screw-ups this year because people realized the Cons still didn’t have their shit together. If voters had even the slightest reason to believe Hudak wasn’t a raving idiot the result would have been different. Even against the embarrassing Conservative opposition in Ontario McGuinty couldn’t get a majority this time around.

    And keep in mind that while McGuinty won 3 consecutive elections he did it against no real opposition – just like your man Chretien did.

    Just telling it like it is. That’s the nice thing about being a non-partisan observer.

  22. Riaz Khan says:

    Mark Carney… now here is someone who can really strike a real fear in Harperland…

  23. Ken says:


    A million all-caps NOs!

    Absolutely frickin’ not.

  24. JStanton says:

    … and yet, despite Mr. Harper’s failings, he gets a free ride from the flat-earthers, who believe their ability to secretly own rifles is more important than a stable and just society and economy.

    Mr. McGuinty’s record looks really, really good next to Mr. Harper’s, despite Mr. Harper’s continual attempts at hiding facts.


    • Marc L says:

      “flat earthers”? Why do you always feel the need to launch insults at people who are not of the same opinion as you? If you really had the superior intellect you think you have, you wouldn’t need to resort to name-calling to defend your views. This is what is wrong with partisan politics.

      • Justin says:

        Like you’ve been a bastion of non-partisanship. Flinging the word ‘incompetent’ and ‘liar’ whenever describing mcguinty.

        • Marc L says:

          I don’t belong to any party nor do I support one per se. I am just expressing my views. I think mcgunity is financially incompetent. And yes, he lied to the population when he said he would not raise taxes. That’s an objective fact.
          On another note, this is the first time I’ve done this from an iPad. Amazing little gadget.

      • TofKW says:

        “Why do you always feel the need to launch insults at people who are not of the same opinion as you?”

        He learned from the Reformatory base.

      • Ken says:

        You should watch Members’ Statements Mondays to Thursdays at 2:00 EST.

        • Marc L says:

          Hahaha! When I was living in Toronto, my daughter went to visit the Ontario legislature with her class. She was 8 at the time. When she got back, her only comment was “what a bunch of babies”. A class act, those politicians!

  25. Erik says:

    I like the idea. He’s a shrewd, collected politician – a Liberal Harper.

    And who else is it going to be, if not him?

  26. steve says:

    Green will be the stake that drives the Reform out of Canada. Mc Ginty will be a hero in a couple of years for having the brains, vision and courage to face the future.

  27. Dalton McGuinty would be a good choice. He brought the Ont. Grits back from the political wilderness to three election wins–just what the federal Grits need. He has name-recognition and would be instantly known by Ontarians, the largest voting group in the land. I vote conservative, but see Dalton as a valid option for the Grits.

  28. allegra fortissima says:

    McGuinty a “Liberal Harper”! I bet the NDP loves this – I would say precise – definition already. The Social Democrats would be smart enough to use this witty nomen as their war-cry in 2015 – successfully, I think. . .

  29. Dan says:

    Keep in mind that Dalton McGuinty didn’t win.

    Ernie Eves lost.
    John Tory lost.
    Tim Hudak lost.

    McGuinty would be a good choice, only if the Liberals already had a majority, or if people were completely fed up with the conservatives.

    • sharonapple88 says:

      What you’ve said about McGuinty could be said about Harper. He didn’t seem to win eelctions as much as Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, and Michael Ignatieff lost.

      It would be interesting to see a Harper/McGuinty contest. They both seem bland, but one thing McGuinty has for him is that he doesn’t have this aura of nastiness that Harper has.

    • Woody says:

      Just because the PCs couldn’t pick good contenders doesn’t mean Premier McGuinty didn’t win.

      And on your last two points I think we’re halfway there.

  30. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    I like the sound of Prime Minister Bob Rae better……the man who is doing the heavy lifting for the next two years in rebuilding and rejuvenating the party should be allowed to lead the party into the next Federal election, imho…

    Bob Rae has done more for the much needed democratization of the Liberal party in his short tenure as interim leader than his two predecessors combined…..

    In my book, ya dance wit the one what brung ya…….

  31. kre8tv says:

    No. This province has big problems and needs to keep at the helm someone who knows what he’s doing and who can execute a plan. In other words, he should stay right where he is.

  32. barry says:

    Dalton??? That’s like jumping from a sinking ship to a sunk ship.

  33. Bert says:

    Dalton McGuinty has lost the liberal base in southwestern ontario, in eastern ontario, in northern ontario and has been regulated to the premier for Toronto. Rejoicing in his last election minority “victory” is like Scott Reid bragging about Paul Martin’s great win for the federal liberals of 2004. McGuinty’s fate is no better. McGuinty should retire from politics. Take office in his family law firm in Ottawa and move on while he still has something left of his reputation.

    • Ken says:

      Eastern Ontario? Really? How many seats has McGuinty given up to another party (and which one?) in Eastern Ontario?

      I’m not a Dalton fan, but this part of your characterization just plain wrong.

  34. Jordan says:

    I don’t mind the idea of Prime Minister McGuinty, however I think David might be the better McGuinty for the job.

    After being named runner up for “rookie of the year” I think Ted Hsu should be looked at. He’s young, understands economics, speaks three languages and is a fresh face with no apparent baggage.

  35. Windsurfer says:

    I want my own thread.

    Premier Tim Hudak would have stood up to Harper and demanded democracy for the G20 protesters held in the internment camps. He would have gone down to Eastern Avenue (Toronto) and asked the police what they heck they were doing.

    Dalton should give it a rest and stick to Ontario. If a fresh leadership face steps forward to run federally, it should be someone like Nenshi, Robertson or Atleo (Grand Council of Chiefs).

    Gord’s head just exploded.

    My head just exploded.

  36. barry says:

    Going from ‘premier’ to ‘prime’ in the political delicatessen…hmmmm

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