04.23.2012 02:58 PM


Speaking for me, myself and I, a election would’ve been quite acceptable.  We would have won a majority, and the Ontario PCs would have been reduced to third-party status.

Also, I enjoy elections.  I think they’re fun.  The Premier, however, is more sensible than me. He did what people are always calling for: leaders who put principles before politics. And so we will all live to fight another day.



  1. Iris Mclean says:

    Sanity prevails, at least for now.

  2. Dan says:

    The NDP made some very uncontroversial demands, and the Liberal party was smart to take the olive branch.

    Opposing the tax increase would be the height of cynicism. I know there are probably some strategists who believe that opposing both the NDP and the Conservatives would make you appear “reasonable” and “moderate”. But that ignores the fact that so many voters (70%+, and thus even many conservatives) support this tax increase.

    McGuinty might have saved his party from a real boneheaded move. But I guess we won’t find out until the Liberal party decides to repeal the NDP’s surtax next election. (Safe prediction: They won’t.)

    • Tyrone says:

      No need to campaign on repealing of the surtax: it is set to expire once the deficit is slayed. One could argue that balancing the budget will take more or less time than is currently projected, but having made the deal include a sunsetting of the surtax, there’s no reason to back away from that come campaign time.

  3. Pat says:

    Just a question, because I don’t understand. Why is it so important for the Grits and NDP to merge at the federal level, but not at the provincial level?

    Is it just the regional differences that make merger a necessary evil (in your opinion)?

    • Dan says:

      Strategic difference. If you believe the OLP is where the LPC was in 2004, then a merge makes a ton of sense. But if you think that the OLP is ready to reclaim a majority (and indeed, they still can, not to say that they will), then a merge is a bad idea. Regionalism is a big factor.

      What I don’t get is how Warren seems happy to cede the “reasonable progressive” ground to Andrea Horwath. She bucked a lot of party pressure when she made those concessions to Dalton, and the concessions were popular with voters at large, and pretty non-ideological.

      It makes sense for Liberals to reject a progressive coalition in Ontario. But rejecting progressive voters in Ontario — that’s just a recipe for disaster.

      • Steve T says:

        What you are saying, Dan, is that the Libs are treating mergers like a prom date. When it suits them (ie – when they are unpopular), they jump into bed with whomever will take them. However, when they are popular, they act high and mighty and turn everyone away.

        If that is accurate, then the federal NDP better be careful about taking any overtures from the Libs, because they’ll get dumped like yesterday’s news as soon as there is a sniff that the Libs would be popular on their own.

        • Michael says:

          Body has made any overtures to anyone.

        • Pat says:

          I asked because I don’t see how there is that much of a difference between provincial and federal realities – in both cases the NDP, Grits and conservative option hold very definite positions on the spectrum, with variations in policy. The problem at the federal level is that the LPC has drifted so far left that it no longer inhabits its home on the spectrum. Moving back to its roots – business friendly with a social conscience – would solve many of the problems they have. Currently, people are skeptical of the CPC social policy record (and increasingly, their economic/fiscal policy), and they are skeptical of the NDP fiscal policy. Why aren’t the liberals offering the socially responsible and fiscally responsible option? The best of both worlds… I don’t get it.

          • SF Thomas, Ottawa says:

            I don’t think the Liberals have actually drifted to the left. What has happened instead I think is the Conservatives have moved (in appearance) to the center and gotten enough independents to vote for them at the moment through a mix of bogusly playing the fiscally responsible and transparent government cards and doing heavy pre-defining attack ad campaigns on the Liberal leaders. The loss of the centrist and independent support hit the Liberal base a decent amount making the Liberals less likely to win overall. Since the Liberals weren’t so guaranteed to win anymore some left support also bled to the NDP and in the last the NDP Quebec surge pushed them over the top and further eroded the left base support the Liberals had.

            It also didn’t help that the Liberals were the one’s left having to prop up the Conservatives when in a minority situation. The Conservatives played dirty games in the legislature back then as well and made several mundane votes into confidence measures to force the vote on the item lest the government fall. The NDP automatically voted no to a lot of run of the mill legislation just for the sake of it, and the BQ were always a wild card leaving the Liberals to have to either vote with or abstain, otherwise we’d have had an election every 2 weeks. The NDP and Layton then went and bragged that they were the least likely to support the Conservatives while the Liberals supported them on confidence votes. Ironically though as soon as Ignatieff stopped supporting the Conservatives and was ready to vote non-confidence and the buck was passed to them in fall of 09, Layton and the NDP abstained in exchange for a really weak one time EI deal (mainly for laid off autoworkers). Ignatieff had in fact been trying to get a better one for a while but the Conservative’s didn’t even show up for meetings on the subject during the summer as was agreed in spring.

            I think lack of more ambitious policy ideas and lagging in party renewal were also problems, but they were less issues compared to the squeeze from the political right and left and the political damage from the last few campaigns.

            Of course this just explains what happened to the Liberals from my perspective. Where we go from here and what the party does in the future for both policy and the leader’s race we’ll have to wait and see.

        • Corey says:

          That’s exactly the problem with merger talk at the federal level. It’s based on short term assumptions (that Harper can’t be beaten), not on shared values.

  4. billg says:

    Cant wait for the Press Conf to see what Tim…oh wait…they wont be talking to him, it will only be McGuinty and Horwath.
    Tim Hudak…snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.
    Gotta run, Sens / Rangers tickets. Suckers.

  5. G. Babbitt says:

    Oh Warren, c’mon you were being greedy. Horvath was not going to be as stupid as Hudak and act like a petulant brat. Let’s face it she steered through some rough waters that Frat boy put in motion with his refusal to consider supporting the budget. PS the CAPTCHA code is diconcertingly “RAPE”

  6. Mr. Murdoch esq. says:

    I, being the dumbest commentor on your Musings, and probably the slowest, see a big implication in this deal between the Libs and the NDP. I expect this to be seen as a first formal governmental acknowledgement of the Occupy Movement and the 1 %ers.
    I would be really surprised if the Occupiers don’t grab this and leverage it.

    • catherine says:

      well, except for the math. Earners about $500K are 0.3%, not 0.1%, which would have taken it down to around $250K or so. Not sure why it was set so high. Maybe to have more of a just target the millionaires ring to it. Seems even the NDP doesn’t really want to target the entire 1% – maybe too many votes for them? Or maybe because Horwath wants to be Premier and would become one of the 1% and then have to pay more tax?

  7. W.B. says:

    Hey Warren, let’s bury the old partisanship for a minute, and give a hats off to Horwath for handling this in a politically perfect manner. Especially when compared to another opposition leader whose name escapes me right now. I’m a borderline Lib/NDP back and forth with my support type of voter, election to election. Credit to her; she hit this one out of the park.

  8. Tiger says:

    Called it — the tax hike was the make-or-break issue for NDPers.

    The premier decided to cut that deal. That calculation made sense.

  9. Derek says:

    The real losers here are Hudak the PC caucus, who have willingly become hostile observers in the legislature- uninterested in making minority parliament work, and relegated to the sidelines. They had close to zero media coverage over the past few weeks, and could not articulate or explain why they were opposed to a budget they initially didn’t even bother reading. Is it a new nadir for a group that ran a disastrous, 2011 campaign undergirded by xenophobia, homophobia, and arrogance?

  10. Tim Sullivan says:

    I agree, WK. It would have been a good opportunity for Tim Hudak to get into something he would be good at, and out of politics.

  11. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    $100 million saved on not having another election is far better used on education or health care, imho……perhaps a drop in the bucket in comparison to those Ministries budgets, but a tidy sum of Ontarians tax dollars nonetheless……

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