06.10.2014 07:22 AM

Three things Ontario’s main political parties didn’t have, and the effect of same

1. Ontario New Democrats: Money. Effect: They disappeared in Week One, and only reappeared at the debate, at which point it was too late.

2. Ontario Liberals: A coherent message. Effect: Nobody knows what they stand for, apart from being against the other parties (unless someone wants to have a coalition with them, that is).

3. Ontario Progressive Conservatives: A calculator. Effect: Their ‘Million Jobs Plan’ didn’t add up, and their pledge to create jobs while simultaneously killing jobs made no sense, either.

Net effect of all of the above: Turnout in the advance polls is down dramatically – nearly 40,000 less than 2011 – and it’ll be even worse on Thursday.  I still think that works to Hudak’s advantage – conservative partisans number less, but can always be counted upon to get out and vote (viz., Harper 2006, 2008, 2011) – but we shall see.

In the main, it has been the most soul-destroying campaign I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s saying something.  It’s been awful.

And what’s worse is this: we’ll back at it before you know it.  Nobody is going to win a majority. The downward spiral will continue.



  1. Ted Heighington says:

    Agree with your first three, but you left out the fourth [and perhaps biggest] factor all parties lack: inspiring leadership.

    You don’t need money, a plan, new ideas or calculators to win.

    An inspiring, dynamic and energizing soapbox speaker will make the masses vote blindly in favour of hope and outlook. We just saw that in America…

  2. Fabian says:

    What are your thoughts on two minority gov’t scenarios:

    1. If status quo is reelected you would expect Hudak to be chased away but what about Horvath? I find speculation about her future hard. She consistently polls as the most popular leader but if she can’t deliver at the ballot box does she survive?

    2. If Hudak wins a minority and assuming NDP doesn’t meaninfully increase seat count do you see Wynne and Horvath surviving? Can either party afford a leadership review if the party is mentally and financially exhausted? Does either party have an aspirant waiting in the wings? Michael Prue? Pupatello?

    • Warren says:

      All the parties are broke. Militates against immediate leadership races.

      But God knows we need leadership in this province. Pretty sad political landscape.

      • Fabian says:

        You include Andrea in that statement? Would the NDP be better off with a new face?

        • Bobby says:

          Smokey Thomas on SNN this morning said that he and many OPSEU members are supporting Horwath. THEY have money and if the shift has begun with them I’m sure that it has in other unions as well.

          Don’t count Horwath out of this just yet – the fact that she’s a leader of a party running out of money makes her more like the rest of us and she just comes off very well these days. I say and I don’t support the NDP but it is what it is.

          • Matt says:

            If OPSEU is going to do something for Horwath, they better do it soon.

            Isn’t there a ban on political advertising 24 hours before election day?

  3. doconnor says:

    Perhaps the NDP was waiting for the start of a breakthrough before spending the money. When that didn’t come, they decided to hold back until next time.

    • sezme says:

      In Trinity-Spadina, I see lots of evidence of money being spent to re-elect the NDP incumbent against an unknown, uninspiring Liberal candidate. And I don’t see a lot of evidence of Liberal money spent. And zero effort at campaigning by the PC candidate.

      Yet the Lib is marginally ahead of the popular incumbent, with the PC at 20%. So I don’t really know what difference money spent would have made. I think they most of all need a better leader.

  4. terence Quinn says:

    the fact that Hudak came out with his dumber than dumb job creation math made the whole campaign a dummy down exercise. It is something tories like to do. Suppress the vote and get your die hards to the polling booth.

  5. W the K - No, not Warren says:

    “In the main, it has been the most soul-destroying campaign I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s saying something. It’s been awful.”


    As disappointing as the last Toronto municipal election when ostensibly promising candidates lost to a potato.

    Like most voters, I expect to be inspired and informed by anyone running for office. Meeting this voter’s modest expectations, developed over 35 years, is not impossible. In fact, you could argue that technology and mobility should make selling a person and a platform easier.

    Maybe it’s not the process. Maybe it’s the people.

  6. Matt says:

    Re: Advanced pol numbers

    Last election there were 10 days of advanced polls, this year only 7. That could be a factor in the decline.

    But I do agree. I think voter turnout will be lower this election than 2011 which was a record low.

  7. Matt says:

    Interesting article in the Toronto Sun today.

    Union donations to the NDP pretty much dried up after the election was called with only the Amalgamated Transit Union local 113 (TTC union) donating $9,975, the max allowed.

    However, as of two weeks ago, the Liberals had received almost $54,000 in union donation since the campaign began to go along with the $60,000 the received in the run-up to the election.

    There is also a $5,025 union donation to the Liberals from an American union.

    • socks clinton says:

      Is the donation from the American union thanks to the Liberals for driving all the Ontario union jobs down South?

      • donna says:

        … and that’s why SW Ontario is know becoming an industrial “rust belt” and only getting food processing jobs at very low wages. Heinz in Leamington has abandoned Canada and some consortium is trying to buy the plant to continue processing tomatoes. Ontario is now a beggared have-not province and regardless who is elected, they will have to push some very bitter medicine into all unions and particularly the public sector union members whose wages will be frozen if not clawed back on pensions. Ontario will only get worse if the government tries to satisfy union demands. Look for labour-government strife in the future.

  8. sezme says:

    At this point, I still believe that the PC’s 100,000 job cuts plan will have cost them an election they could probably have won otherwise. It just affects too many people, not just public sector workers and their families, but people with children in the education system. And it reminds people of the turmoil of the Mike Harris years.

    • donna says:

      Hudak looked like a dope talking about a million jobs while saying he would chop 100,000 jobs albeit public service jobs. The idiots in the PC backroom shit between the bedsheets on their Million Job minus 100k jobs strategy. Hudak could have lied and said nothing about chopping jobs and the the Million Jobs promise would shine… but no… they snafu-ed!!!

  9. donna says:

    Surely this Ontario election has come down to Hudak versus the public sector unions who incidentally support Wynne. The burning question is will the PS unions GOTV and elect a majority Wynne government with their 1.2 million strong membership and plenty of money for campaigning?

    I believe they will and Wynne will win a majority government too. Does that mean Ontario becomes Morontario and Toronto is Moronto?

  10. Joe says:

    Again from many miles away I see at least part of problem each party has is lack of effective leadership. Each one seems like the least worst choice when compared to the other leaders. Other than that the biggest issue in Ontario politics is the lack of Jean Chretien’s wisdom in banning 3rd party advertizing and donation caps. Who needs a coherent policy when the OPPA will go to bat for you using OPP equipment?

  11. Bill From Willowdale says:

    If Hudak had run a “challenger campaign” instead of an “incumbent campaign” he’d be the next premier with a majority government.

    • donna says:

      What’s the difference between “challenger” versus “incumbent” campaigns? What kind of campaigns did Wynne and Horwath have?

      • Bill From Willowdale says:

        Not trying to be judgemental, Hudak’s positions are extreme for many Ontarians and people are not familiar with him. That’s not a good combination. You don’t make bold promises when you are trying to become the Government for the first time. Save that for the second term. Ask John Tory about his unconventional position on school funding! It cost him the general election. Hudak should have said that he’ll cut the civil service by 5% — who can’t cut back by that amount? Easy peasy. A 100,000 public servant jobs cut? That sounds like a lot. The Libs and NDP jumped on that.

        There are many people voting Liberal, not because they are happy with them, but they fear what Hudak is offering. Given the level of Liberal scandal, this should have been a slam dunk for the PCs. If I were a ONPC member, I would ask what happened?

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