Case study: “Deal Duca” and Anybody-But-Wynne

My view, expressed below, is this: the biggest story of the Ontario 2018 election isn’t so much the Orange Crush™ or whether DoFo was the wrong choice.  It’s the total collapse of the Ontario Liberal vote.

Case in point:  this LiUNA effort – which isn’t pro-Tory or pro-Dipper as much as it is anti-Wynne (and, specifically, Carpenter’s Union pension-holder Steven del Duca).

This election is extraordinary.  As with this web site, I believe it will be remembered for one thing: how voters of every persuasion came together not so much to reward Andrea Horwath or Doug Ford – but more to punish, and drive out, Kathleen Wynne.

As I – and, um, me myself and I – have been saying for a long time, all this could have been avoided, if (a) Kathleen Wynne had taken a walk in the snow a year ago; (b) if the OLP had fired The Wizard™ and The Board™ she had hired and grossly enriched, and (c) new blood and ideas had been brought in.

They didn’t do any of that.  What they got, as a result, is stuff like  Across the province.

First Ekos, now Forum!


Is it all because of Doug Ford? No. It partly is, however.

What has really happened here is this: the Ontario Liberal Party vote has completely collapsed. They may be looking at no seats whatsoever.

Aren’t you glad you were paying The Wizard™️ $70,000 a month, Ontario Liberals?

Holy moly, Ontari-oly!


These are apparently unverified Ekos results making the rounds.

Can you say Premier Horwath?

Zero OLP seats! Isn’t the Wizard the Greatest political strategist who ever lived?

Anyone agree with me on Andrew Lawton yet?

Comments are open!

Warren’s free tips on scandal stuff

So the Wynne Liberals revealed their big, big Doug Ford scandal: he allegedly paid for a few party memberships before he became leader.

Big deal.

“It’s nothing burger,” one senior Ontario PC operative said to me after the Ontario Liberal press conference ended.  “Steady as she goes.”

Now, scandals (real or imagined) have a way of taking on a life of their own. Even though the voting public aren’t nearly as preoccupied with scandal as the media and politicians are – Exhibit A, the Clinton/Lewinsky “scandal,” Exhibit B, the entirety of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign – selfsame media and politicos are undeterred. They love scandal-mongering more than, you know, talking about boring stuff like “policy.”

Here, then, are a few helpful bullets on scandal-mongering.  The politicos and media won’t pay attention, but I know my smart readers will.

  • Scandal-mongering doesn’t work. 
  • The media/politico chattering class call everything a scandal, and always append “gate” to the end of same, to no discernible effect.
  • The public already think everyone in politics is a crook, so the breathless revelation that someone involved in politics is a crook isn’t ever a revelation to them.
  • Joe and Jane Frontporch, the aforementioned public, have heard the hysteria and histrionics about “scandals” too many times, and don’t believe any of it until the perp is led away in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.
  • Joe and Jane believe the real scandals are things like the lack of a job, or having to lay in a hospital corridor for two days to get health care, or spending billions on security and deranged, lone-wolf fanatics still figure out a way to kill innocent people – those are the real scandals.  Not someone expensing something by bona fide mistake, or the dissemination of political party membership cards, or consensual adults with zipper problems.

The Martinesque operatives around Kathleen Wynne are running the worst campaign in Ontario political history.  And, the next time they cry “wolf” about some other scandal, nobody is going to believe them.

They’re done.

Can a politician block a citizen on Twitter?

A U.S. court has now said no – in an, ahem, huge judgment, here.

Which moves to reprise my column on Canada’s worst-ever minister, Melanie Jolie. Here it is.

Dear Minister Joly:

May I call you Melanie?

You’ve blocked my access to your ministerial Twitter account, so please forgive the formality of an open letter. I sense that I’ve upset you, which concerns me deeply.

Let’s leave aside, for a moment, the propriety of a public servant (that’s you) blocking the access of one of your employers (that’s me) to one of the official platforms you (a public servant) use to communicate with the likes of me (one of your employers). Let’s leave all that aside for a moment.

Let’s get to the pith and substance of the matter, shall we?

Have I been critical of your performance as a cabinet minister? Well, yes, you could say that. Among other things, I think you are possibly the worst cabinet minister in the history of Confederation. You make Bev Oda look like Margaret Thatcher. You make Stockwell Day seem positively Churchillian. You stink at this politics stuff, you know?

The evidence before the court of public opinion is myriad and multiple.  It is overwhelming.

Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, for example.  In my experience, countries only get one opportunity to celebrate their 150th birthday.  Governments, meanwhile, get plenty of notice that a 150th birthday celebration is coming.

You rendered our 150th in Ottawa a fiasco, however.  And don’t just take my word for it.  Here’s just a sampling of the bon mots sent to you by other citizens (who, again, are your employers):

• “Shame on you Ottawa. Shame on you Heritage Canada and the organizers. You failed us!”

• “I have never seen such a poor, chaotic display. Shame on you Ottawa.”

• “The organizers of Canada Day 2017 should be ashamed of themselves for the shoddy work that went into this year’s event.”

• “Please, [Minister Joly], I beg you to step out of your protective shell and acknowledge what a mess Canada Day was and take some responsibility for it.”

• “Time for you to resign!”

But you weren’t done.  Nope.  The Netflix announcement – which essentially saw the streaming behemoth being granted tax-free status for a piddling amount of investment in Canada’s cultural sector, and most particularly in the province you profess to represent – was also a debacle.

A sampling of commentary about the Netflix mess:

• Globe: “[Joly’s] fall from grace in her home province has been swift and merciless, sped by her maladroit attempts to sell a deal with Netflix…”

• National Post: “[Joly] she has been savaged in Quebec media, artistic and political circles.”

• Journal de Montreal: “[Joly sounds] like a living answering machine having a nervous breakdown.”

But there’s more!

As you will recall, there was the matter of the plaque affixed to the new Holocaust Monument in Ottawa.  It didn’t mention the six million.  Or the word “Jews.” Or “anti-Semitism.”  You hurriedly ordered the plaque replaced, but not before just about every Jew in Canada noticed.

The resulting headline in the Washington Post, then, actually made me wince: “Canada forgot to mention Jews on new Holocaust monument dedication plaque.”


Anyway.  Let’s forget about the Holocaust Monument, and the Netflix thing, and Canada 150.  Let’s forget about all that.  Let’s turn the page. Let’s focus, instead, on your latest decision, which I will render all-caps, because I think it merits it:


And it’s not just any $5 million hockey rink.  No, not in Joly World.  It is a $5 million hockey rink that:

• Prohibits the playing of hockey.

• Will be in existence for less than a month.

• Is a block from the biggest skating rink in the world, the Rideau Canal.

Oh, and the Toronto Star reported this: “The rink, which will be available for free public skating from Dec. 7 to Jan. 1, is budgeted to cost about $215,385 per day that it’s open.”

One of my readers informed me that works out to about $300 per skater, per leisurely skate.  I’m not sure Wayne Gretzky made that much in his prime with the Oilers, Melanie.

And here’s what you had to say about Skate-gate: “We believe that it is really good news because this will be here for a month, and this will support, of course, important programming.”

“Really good news.”

It isn’t, Melanie.  It isn’t.  It is a disgrace.  It is disgusting.  It is an actual scandal. It is.

Melanie, it is also time for you to go.  You aren’t helping your reputation – and you are regularly hurting the reputation of this government, which is a not-bad government, as governments go.  Resign, for the love God, resign.

Oh, and I’d tell you that on Twitter, too.  If you weren’t, you know, blocking me.

Your friend,