06.14.2014 11:06 AM

In Sunday’s Sun: As The Au Pairs sang, it’s obvious

The first duty of intelligent people, said George Orwell, is to restate the obvious.

In politics, it isn’t done nearly enough.  So, let us state the obvious: Kathleen Wynne won a huge, impressive, astounding victory.  But she didn’t win so much as Tim Hudak lost.

Political reality (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is usually right out there in the open.  You don’t have to go looking for it. 

Now, sure: the tendency of the commentariat – the pollsters, the pundits, the progonosticators – is to pore through columns of data and election entrails, and ascribe some murky cause to unambiguous events.  But those in the punditocracy who got Ontario election 2014 decidedly wrong (and I was decidedly one, for again believing the pollsters), just need to pay closer attention to what is obvious. The big picture stuff.

The big picture stuff: poll after poll after poll, discredited as they so often are, showed the Ontario Liberal leader to be the most popular political leader around.  And those selfsame polls showed the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader to be the least popular.  It never really changed.

It certainly didn’t change when the interminable election campaign got going: it got more pronounced.  Ontario voters weren’t at all happy about serial Liberal controversies, of course.  But they liked Kathleen Wynne – female, gay, inheritor of said controversies – and her economic ideas didn’t worry them overmuch.

Tim Hudak, meanwhile, did.  They thought his economic plan – creating a million jobs, while simultaneously cutting 100, 000 jobs, and then confusing “person years” with “jobs” – was just too radical.  It didn’t make sense to them.  And, in the equivalency in media coverage that an election campaign gives to opposition leaders, Hudak came up short.

There was something in his alchemy – something in his essence, his DNA – that voters just didn’t like.  They never warmed to him, not once.

Sure, Hudak won the single leader’s debate.  Sure, he won more newspaper endorsements than Wynne.  Sure, the pollsters were saying that he was the main beneficiary of a historically-high desire for change.

But they didn’t warm to him.  Wynne, they did.  So, when Hudak and his uncommonly insensible revolutionaries branded everything they did with Hudak’s face, they were courting disaster.  And disaster they got.

By placing an unpopular leader with an unpopular plan front and centre – by being more radical than Stephen Harper has ever, ever been on the hustings – Hudak’s party created the ideal circumstances for Kathleen Wynne to win big.

It’s that obvious.

Take a look at some of the numbers, if all that sounds too simplistic.  Wynne won eight more seats than Dalton McGuinty did in 2011 – but she did so with almost exactly the same popular vote, 38 per cent.  That is, she and McGuinty both won 38 per cent of a shrinking pool of votes – but she got a majority, and he didn’t.

Why?

Because the PC vote collapsed, that’s why.  They captured about 36 per cent of the popular vote in 2011.  On Thursday night, they got 31 per cent.  That drop, alone, accounted for Wynne’s big win.  That, alone – unpopular PC leader, unpopular PC economic plan – allowed the Ontario Liberals to do better than many folks ever expected they would.

Now, in political campaigns, it’s never one thing that determines outcomes, of course.

Other factors contributed to Wynne’s win, and Hudak’s loss.  Among them: Wynne’s war room – led by Bob Lopinski, Brian Clow, Rebecca Mackenzie and Fahim Kaderdina – were better than their PC and NDP equivalents.  Her lead campaign strategists – David Herle, Peter Donolo, Pat Sorbara, Tom Teahen and Andrew Bevan – kept a laser-like focus on the obvious realities: Wynne and her plan popular, Hudak and his plan unpopular.

(And, yes, Virginia, this writer did indeed write that sentence. Clip and save.)

Joe and Jane Frontporch, in their wisdom, always had the same perspective: they didn’t like Tim Hudak.  So, when Hudak turned the election into a referendum on himself, Joe and Jane voted accordingly.

It all may sound simple, and it may be restating the obvious: but after the shambolic mess that was Ontario election 2014, it is – as no less than Orwell said – our first duty, right?

Right.

,

53 Comments

  1. MgS says:

    One other observation regarding the Ontario vote:

    The voter turnout eked up a little over 4%. It is no secret that the right wing benefits at the polls from voter apathy. It appears that voters in Ontario started to re-engage in spite of a sleeper of an election, and that seems to have provoked a shift towards a (relatively) centrist vote.

  2. Ron Waller says:

    “So, let us state the obvious: Kathleen Wynne won a huge, impressive, astounding victory.”

    When you have a horse race instead of a democracy, the obvious is the absurd. There’s nothing huge, impressive or astounding about awarding absolute corrupt power on 38.7% of the vote, shutting the vast majority out of government.

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      Someone’s cranky this morning

    • JimL says:

      Unless of course your party had won, eh?

      • Ron Waller says:

        Unless, of course, you are too dimwitted to grasp the concept of democracy.

        Majority rule means 50% + 1 vote. It does not mean 38.7% of the vote.

        92 countries around the world have democratic voting systems.

        Canada’s democracy is on par with Iran’s. Except ours is a “benevolent dictatorship.”

        • Good Grief says:

          >Canada’s democracy is on par with Iran’s.

          This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in a very, very long time.

        • VC says:

          You, it appears, are the one that is ‘dimwitted.’ Our Parliamentary tradition is a form of representative democracy: it is the majority of representatives, not votes, that determine who governs and how. In determining the representatives, only a plurality is required, which is quite different than a majority.

          And, to correct you, majority rule doesn’t only mean 50% + 1 vote: that is actually one formulation of democratic majority, which is normally called a ‘simple majority.’ You would do well to read up on different formulations of what constitutes a ‘majority’ (i.e. a supermajority, or 2/3 majority, etc.) and under what conditions (i.e. a constitutional amendment in Canada).

          • Jeff says:

            People have been shilling this, “less than 50% isn’t a real majortiy” thing since Harper won his in 2011. It’s lame and it doesn’t have the slam dunk power that people who say this stuff think it does. It makes them look like sore losers.

          • JimDougBob says:

            I’m okay with 37.8%. That’s democratic, in my books, as long as no one else got 37.9%.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      They shut themselves out by not voting! One other thing is true…..if you didn`t vote you can`t complain.

  3. debs says:

    the thing about polls and the media, is they seem to have some confirmation bias going on. The idea that polls are geared to asking questions that they think will give them a good result, and really sometimes the questions I see in surveys seem sort of pointless.
    and the media, dont even get me started, jesus, its like they want to create the winner but writing it, and when it fails, seem shocked. Really it comes down to voters….and it seems many are forgotten by the pollsters, the pundits and the politicians. When I saw Hudaks plan, and his cutting of jobs, I thought Holy hell what is his advisors thinking. They should be fired. But the media and the pundits started going on and on about other stuff, that probably had no relevance.
    and for the debate, perhaps the media and the pundits called it a win for Hudak because he performed better then his peers, but really a mouthful of lies isnt a win, and Im glad the voters saw thru that. Too bad the media didnt, or perhaps they like the rightwing politicians are so far into their insulated bubble of BS they no longer respond to reality.

    • Just askin' says:

      I’d be interested to know who these undecided voters actually are. Do you know anyone who switches which party they vote for election to election?

      • Chris says:

        I did this time. We had a (relatively) decent PC candidate so I voted for (and gave money to) the NDP candidate as she had the best chance to win (which she did, handily). First time in my life I didn’t vote Liberal.

        • Coelocanth_Jones says:

          Oshawa?

          • Chris says:

            Kenora-Rainy River. The Liberal candidate increased his share of the vote in spite of it all. PC candidate dropped 2500 votes even though he was more popular and had a better run campaign than the 2011 candidate.

            We have a young NDP MPP here and I imagine the seat is hers for as long as she wants to hold it.

  4. Bill Templeman says:

    We wonder what sort of campaign we would have had in Ontario if Hudak had run as a traditional Progressive Conservative instead of a Tea Party radical and Horwath had run as a traditional NDP or social democrat instead of a centre-right lobbyist? My hunch is we would be looking at a minority gov’t instead of this majority.

    Yet another sad observation on this election: Does anyone recall any discussion by any of the leaders or any of the candidates on the province’s response to anthropogenic global warming or for that matter anything on the environmental file whatsoever? A friend who works for the MNR said that the PC were set to trash Ontario’s endangered species laws as these laws were viewed as anti-business!

    • Ron Waller says:

      Liberal propaganda that Andrea is right-wing didn’t fool any progressive or centrist voters. She increased the vote by 1 percentage point and 4 seats. The biggest the NDP has gotten since Bob Rae (who was a goofy socialist instead of a moderate like Andrea.)

      Of course, if the PCs had run on a moderate fiscal conservative platform they would have won their own fake majority.

      Wynne’s campaign to out-left the NDP was a failure, considering she didn’t get any NDP votes. It would’ve been a total disaster if Hudak wasn’t a reckless right-wing ideologue. Right-leaning voters held their noses and voted for the lesser of two evils. Not much Wynne can take credit for with that.

      • Scotian says:

        I thought Horwath had 21 seats at dissolution, so where did she get 4 more than that last Thursday, I must have missed it. Oh, are you talking about how many she won in the last election in 2011 when she got 17, not how many she had when she triggered the election? It would be more honest to make that distinction than to do what you just did. The 1% vote increase in an election she triggered, that she if she had done her job properly could have won at least a minority in is not the sign of someone who did well, it is the sign of someone who at best managed the status quo in practical terms.

        Horwath should have been able to do much better, but she did not have infrastructure in place even after 3 years of minority, she did not have a platform ready despite 3 years of minority, and when the shoe dropped based on a decision she triggered she came out looking completely unprepared. That is NOT the sign of a good leader whatever the results, and the results are not anything to wave proudly about or treat like a victory which she certainly made it sound like in her election night speech. Any leader that acted as she did demonstrated exactly why they are not fit to run a government, Hudak ran a much better campaign than she did, and despite having policies and a personality which was less popular than Horwath, despite having his vote collapse he still got several more seats and a good 7+ percent of the vote than Horwath. So what does that say about Horwath, her ability to connect with the voters, how well her platform was received or even understood by voters?

        Horwath demonstrated why she is unlikely to ever bring the ONDP to power in this past election, to pretend otherwise is to allow partisan blinders to ignore the many mistakes she made, and not mistakes like trying to outflank Wynne on the right, but the more basic ones I listed already. When in a minority you always keep certain things prepped and updated as much as possible because you never know what might trigger the next election, this is leadership politics 101. That she failed so badly on these points is bad enough, that she did so when she was the one that knew she was going to trigger the election before anyone else is even worse. She let herself get shut out of the debate in the electorate for most of the election, and it clearly become a two person/party race for the most part because she failed to make herself heard and seem relevant.

        That is not Liberal propaganda, this is the harsh and ugly truth. Horwath made many mistakes which prevented her from taking much better advantage of a situation that she could have used to gain her own government from. This was one of the best combination of circumstances for the ONDP ever, and she ends up with no more seats and a 1 percent increase in voter support from the last election? In what rational world is that a victory, in what rational world can one see that as good leadership?

        She ran against a long term government with massive scandals in the Libs, and a PC party that was doing its best to out GOP Harper on policy with a leader who failed to connect, so what does it say when this is the end result of her leadership? Regardless of whether the Lib attempt to shift NDP votes failed or not (and until I see the detailed breakdowns I am reserving judgment on that, because while it appears it failed I prefer to use these little things called facts to support my conclusions whenever I know they will become available) it is her own failure to capitalize on the best situation any NDP leader has faced in a looooong time in Ontario cannot be called anything other than a failure of leadership in the end. When the best is the status quo with a marginal uptick in voter support with such circumstances, when you controlled the timing of the election, how can anyone not call it a failure?

      • doconnor says:

        Liberal propaganda prevented an Orange Crush that was a possibility with the Liberal scandals and the Conservative’s nuttiness. They also got three Toronto NDP ridings that might have been the difference between majority and minority.

      • michael says:

        Are you using Hudak math? The NDP get not increase their seat count by 4.

      • Coelocanth_Jones says:

        I’d like to think that liberal propaganda didn’t fool any progressive voters, but Trinity-Spadina, Davenport, and Beaches-East York suggests otherwise.

        Oh boy, round two, here I come

        • Fredric Weizmann says:

          Yes, doconnor and Coelcanth, Life is so unfair (sniff, sniff). The NDP lost because they were not prepared for the election they triggered, they couldn’t get a platform out until the campaign was nearly over and when it did come out, it had no overall theme, or vision and was made up of a bunch of small disconnected bits and pieces and read like a Tony Blair 3rd Way non-manifesto. Horwath is a terrible leader. Horwath forgot that regardless of Liberals mistakes, you can’t beat somebody with nobody, and elections are more about the future than the past.

      • james Smith says:

        Call 20-odd year veteran Dipper (& nice fella) Rosario Marchese and tell him Ms W didn’t get any Dipper votes

      • james Smith says:

        You are correct, PR or some kind of run-off would be better, but the good citizens of Ontario didn’t want to change when they had the chance to change our system, I think it was called a plebiscite.

        So rather than being a grump, why don’t you get out into the sunshine & get in touch with Mr Meslin and WORK on his RaBIT campaign?
        http://www.123toronto.ca/main.htm

        You may find if this were to come to pass, you’d never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever see a Tory anything in Canada again. EVER!

        Oh, & BTW almost everyone knows how our system works. Look and the vote counts by riding, many seats were won by close to or a majority of voters in a particular Riding – so what-ev

        • TrueNorthist says:

          You reveal the real ambition behind PR, or any other so-called electoral “reform”; you simply seek to game the system in your favour. Cheat, in other words. Please, keep talking about it. You are doing just fine.

      • TB says:

        Sorry, bud, but you’ve completely misunderstood what just happened in this election. Wynne won over a lot of NDP voters. Horwath’s traditional support was hit hard and almost decimated. However, she grew enough votes outside of her traditional base to hide that, if you look only at province-wide voting numbers.

        That’s why the NDP was absolutely crushed in Torpnto,losing such decades old strongholds as Trinity Spadina to no names, but won in longstanding PC and Liberal strongholds like in Windsor and London. The traditional NDP vote was lukewarm to unhappy with Horwath’s but voters in regions that were economically hard hit were willing to look at her over Wynne.

        There was a goeogr

    • debs says:

      yeah Bill I keep waiting for a politician to take a serious stab at the environment, I have been hoping for 2 decades. at least some green party members have made some headway in my province.
      its a travesty really, the state of politics, yet were told jobs and the economy are the main issues that voters want to hear about. Its too bad they couldnt be more like germany and create green economy jobs, and its too bad they dont realize that the environmental degradation is going to cost the taxpayers and businesses more then we can afford, creating a downturn in the economy.
      and the funniest part, the masses that usually spew how jobs and economy are the only real issues, failed to see how much hudak was failing with those specific points.

      • TrueNorthist says:

        You do realize that Germany has snapped out of it and is drastically scaling back their entire “renewable” sector because it was wrecking their economy, don’t you? It’s all over German media and elsewhere in Europe. 30+ years of massive subsidies to solar, wind and other supposedly green boondoggles which were anything but have cost millions their jobs and homes and they are all scrambling to undo the damage without getting hoisted on pitchforks. But don’t take my word for it — I’m a heretical denier after all — go read any credible German newspaper and you might be surprised at what you see.

        Same thing happening increasingly all over Europe. Massive economic upheaval and ruin with tens of millions relying on shriking government handouts. Rioting, disease and pestilence on the rise. Poor people freezing to death in whatever housing they manage to cling to because they can’t afford heat. All of that and more and not a stitch of reduction of CO2 emissions. Millions in the 3rd world starving, unable to afford basic foods because it is all being used to make “biofuel” for fat westerner’s cars.

        Why would you wish such suffering? Are you mad?

  5. BrianK says:

    I know this is inside baseball, but if you’re ever up for doing a post on the Martin/Wynne strategists and your experiences with them, I’d be very interested in reading that. I doubt I’m the only reader around here who’s interested in that kinda thing. Two of the people you gave kudos to in your column were among your “horsemen of the Liberal apocalypse”, so I’m guessing you have a unique perspective on this Liberal win.

  6. Paul O says:

    Yet another analysis that leaves out the elephant in the room: that the third-party advertisers spent millions of dollars on one message: that Hudak is scary. Never mind that it isn’t true. That message reached voters.

    That is why Wynne won. Nothing to do with what campaign she ran, unless one cares to admit how close the union messaging was to her campaign team’s own.

    I don’t believe Mr Kinsella’s analysis during the campaign was wrong. I suspect perhaps he, like myself, paid too little heed to the effect of that play.

    • Sezme says:

      I don’t believe for a minute that it was Organized Labour that scared the electorate from voting for Hudak. Hudak was perfectly capable if accomplishing that all on his own.

      But if I do accept your premise that it took advertising by labour to warn the voters of the consequences of a PC government, then thank goodness for Organized Labour!

      Honestly, though, it’s simply ridiculous. By your logic, Mike Harris never would have won (twice).

    • ottlib says:

      Mr. Hudak was promising to cut 100k jobs out of a pool of 650k jobs. By doing that he immediately gave those people a reason not to vote for him and to vote for anybody who could stop him. Add to that fact that these 650k are not just abstract concepts but people with loved ones and families and that 650k easily rises to to 1.3 million. (And that is a conservative estimate).

      It was estimated at the beginning of the campaign that only around half of eligible voters would bother doing so and that works out to be about 6 million.

      Doing the math, Mr. Hudak highly motivated almost a quarter of the likely voters in this province to vote against him just two weeks into the campaign.

      That is bad enough but he then he made a mistake on the math for his Jobs Plan and when it was pointed out to him and everybody else by every economist who was not working on any election campaign he denied it. He denied it for days until he was finally forced to admit the error.

      Mr. Hudak lead with his chin twice during the campaign but of course his defeat was all the fault of the unions.

      *Slow sad head shake*

      • debs says:

        well typed, thank you!
        the next candidate should hire you, for your ability to analysis a situation early on, and if not for that, then for your decent math skills:)

      • debs says:

        and on one other note….the numbers….if the pool of jobs/people was 650K and if it was unknown which 100k would be cut, it means 650K have the incentive to vote against hudak and I totally agree that its this group and that campaign promise that sunk the bastard. still surprised his minions didnt pick up on this and tell him to roll it back.

      • Scotian says:

        Don’t confuse the issue with facts and well reasoned logic there, that’s not fair. After all we all know how the Unions are all-powerful, how the public sector unions in this country are the true elites who hold the secret power levers that keep us a “third rate socialistic country” as one prominent Conservative leader referred to use. It was all their fault that Hudak couldn’t do basic math, and when challenged on it chose to go with the faith based answer of knowing in his heart that it would work.

        As you did ottlib, it makes one shake one’s head and go “sheesh”.

      • Matt says:

        There are over 1 million jobs in the greater Ontario public service.

  7. CdnCurmudgeon says:

    To Paul O: With or without the “third party” advertisers, Hudak’s platform was scary. Pure and simple. Liberals won and the PCs lost, let’s spend the next 4 years making it work, not whining about what might have been.

  8. smelter rat says:

    Speaking of which, when is the EIC of the Globe and Mail going to resign for lying to his readers?

  9. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    I agree with your conclusions. However, let’s apply some of them to the federal scene: nearly everyone liked Jack and were ready to have a beer with him but only Quebecers were prepared as a voting block to support the NDP in massive numbers. What about Harper? People do not tend to find him largely likeable. Like Obama said about Hillary, Harper appears to be “likeable enough” but will that win another election?

    What about the government’s conduct since obtaining a majority? Harper uses pragmatism only as a weapon to remain in power. That was amply demonstrated during his two minority mandates. He clearly turned further right after the big win. How have Canadians digested that? Has it alienated part of his voting coalition? I think so. However, he has tended to resist his penchant for implementing austerity to the extent that he might personally prefer.

    As for the power of incumbency, that can cut both ways. Just channel Churchill and Atlee. It was a net positive for Wynne. Will it be equally so for Harper?

    Justin is more likeable than Harper. But he is untested in government. How will that factor into the electoral equation? He is bound to present a more moderate and progressive plan for Canada. That should hold him in good stead with a large part of the voters. But clearly there will be no guarantees for him either.

    • TrueNorthist says:

      Could jump in and respond to a few of your points, if I may?

      I do not think PM Harper’s relatively poor likeability harms him much, as long as he moderates — just as you say. That attracts enough disillusioned Liberals who find the party has gone too far left to put him in majority territory. I can count myself as one of those disillusioned Liberals, as I voted Liberal for >20 years, but have voted for the CPC for the past 10 for that very reason and will do so again as long as they occupy the centre or mild centre-right. That is traditionally where the Liberal party should be and where they have enjoyed all of their successes. As long as the CPC holds that centre ground the Liberals will not gain enough traction to breakout beyond opposition. All they will do next election is win back a share of ~20% of the vote from the NDP. And indeed, Harper’s incumbency doesn’t hurt him a bit. Strengthens him in fact, especially with all the economic and geopolitical turmoil around the world. His cunning ability to take firm, sensible positions also garners a fair amount of respect, even grudgingly from an otherwise very sceptical and hostile press. Justin appears to have a lot of trouble being decisive, even less sensible sometimes.

      You also refer to Trudeau’s relative inexperience, but that is not his true Achilles heel. It is his barely concealed radicalism that brings him down every time. To his credit, he simply cannot tell a lie without betraying himself. That will take years of experience for him to learn as he is simply too young of mind right now to pull it off convincingly.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        TrueNorthist,

        Need I remind you that firm, sensible positions lie in the eye of the beholder but that is neither here nor there — we both know that elections are won or lost on a government’s record when we are talking about an incumbent Prime Minister. Wynne was a de facto caretaker, stove-warming first minister. McGuinty’s record was his alone. She should have explained in the debate what the concept of cabinet solidarity actually means but I digress.

        Furthermore, deliberately courting serial Supreme Court unfavorable decisions is not my idea of serious leadership. This Prime Minister knows damned well when the odds are not in his favour. You don’t reference or just roll the dice in the high court just for the hell of it. That’s basically irresponsible conduct when done repeatedly by a sitting PM. Even non-voters eventually take notice and it starts to stick. Don’t take my word for it — just look at the government’s numbers in the polls. Reliable or not, they aren’t what they once were.

  10. Matt says:

    Any thoughts on a replacement for Hudak Warren?

    There is word Conservative MP Michael Chong has been approached.

    Lisa MacLeod? As a Conservative, I say no thanks.

    Doug Ford? No.

    Frank Klees? See above.

    John Baird? Don’t see why he would leave foreign affairs.

    Tony Clement? He’s helped rebuild the Ontario PC’s once before. Would he want to do it again?

    Christine Elliot?

    With the Lib majority the rebuild should already be underway, but in choosing a new leader how long can they realistically wait, 18 to 24 months?

    He or she should have a couple years in the job before the election, no?

    • TrueNorthist says:

      They have much bigger problems than simply finding a new leader. If they ever want to govern again they need to make some fundamental changes at the very core of the party. I actually support Brian Lilley’s call to purge what he calls Red Tories, which will allow the electable 2/3rds of the party to move on without all the baggage so-cons carry around like a colostomy bag. Might mean a period in the wilderness but continuing as they are now is simply not viable.

    • Michael says:

      Next PC leader will be Tony Clement, and he will run on the “Million Gazebos Plan”

  11. m5slib says:

    this is what I commented on another post after the debate (esp. paras 1,2, &5):

    “Is it possible with over-estimate winning? I thought Hudak won because he was the most polished and seemingly prepared. That being said, he just came off as a complete douche. I spoke to a couple of colleagues, and they agreed on both counts.

    He did well for him, but I think his ultimate problem is that he’s Tim Hudak. That’s means he’s neither likable nor credible. That’s a huge challenge.

    Wynne under-performed. I had some flashbacks to Iggy not being able to answer the attendance question when Wynne seemed ill-prepared for the attacks on the scandals. She improved throughout, but she missed a lot of opportunities for zingers. She’s just not naturally silver-tongued, I suppose.

    I’m surprised Horwath didn’t register better. She had some really bad moments: her first answer and her closing, but she also got a lot of good hits in on both her opponents. I guess her shaky moments plus her constantly talking over the others put people off.

    I think what the debate might have solidified is that this is a two horse race. This probably helps the Libs more than anyone.

  12. bigcitylib says:

    I think Joseph Uranowski should get a shout out as one of their war room guys. Also, I’ve talked to Fahim once or twice previously and he is definitely a sharp dude.

  13. Alexis Levine says:

    Warren, check your numbers. Hudak’s percentage dropped, it’s true. That’s not because his voters stayed home. It’s because turnout went up. He got 1.51 million votes compared to 1.53 million in 2012: virtually static. Compare that to Kathleen, who got 1.86 million votes, up by 237,000 from the Liberals in 2011, a staggering increase of 2,215 votes per riding. Bottom line: the Liberal voters were motivated and showed up. Your comment that Kathleen and McGuinty won “exactly the same popular vote” and “both got 38% of a shrinking pool of voters” misstates the result. Kathleen and her team increased the total number of Liberal voters by a huge margin. I think they deserve a little more credit than you’re giving them.

  14. Warren:

    You write, in part “his uncommonly insensible revolutionaries branded everything they did with Hudak’s face”. That’s what the red tory PCs do every time their election platform is un-liberal/un-left. It wasn’t the “PC Common Sense Revolution”, it was the “Mike Harris Common Sense Revolution”. It wasn’t the 2014 “PC plan”, it was the 2014 “Tim Hudak plan”. The reasoning – if it can be called that – is simple: “hey, that was just Hudak’s plan, not the party’s. He’s a radical, but the party remains left of centre”.

    Watch, now, for the cyclical return to a “bland works” approach for the PCs, in which they will try to re-assert themselves not as a party for change, but as a defender of a “better managed” status quo…probably led by left-of-centre socialized medicine champion Christine Elliott, unless she goes for the federal pension in the next Whitby-Oshawa by-election. And the “bland works” campaign will be branded a “PC” campaign, not an “Elliott” or “Fideli” campaign.

    Closing thought: how wonderful – A Fideli-led status-quo campaign for 2018. Bland works, when you’re drafting the PC electoral platform equivalent of a living will. Should be a great 2018 election. Can’t wait.

  15. Emil E says:

    Warren, you are so insightful ….. now.

    The fact is the GTA and specifically Toronto controls who shall be the provincial government. The rest of the province is incidental if not irrelevant to the Toronto-centric Wynne Liberal government.

    That sucking sound you will hear at Queen’s Park for the next 4 years is the $$$$$ flowing from the province into Toronto…. just watch and listen. Toronto gets the $$$$$ and the rest of Ontario gets the crumbs! Swooosh……

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