Tag Archive: Kathleen Wynne

Exile on Mainstreet

So, that Mainstreet poll.

On the one hand, I like its founder and the people who work there. My firm has used them in the past.

When the Lavscam scandal broke, however, Mainstreet’s boss took it upon himself to – for lack of a better word – troll each and every opinion I offered on the scandal. In particular, he repeatedly asserted that Lavscam would have little to no effect on Liberal fortunes.

By now, of course, we all know that that is simply not true. Lavscam precipitated a dramatic decline in Liberal support, and the Trudeau Grits have not really recovered.

On the other hand, however, I think we need to take Mainstreet’s latest poll somewhat seriously. It is consistent with a commissioned poll done by Environics, and an earlier poll done by Don Guy’s Pollara, and one that speculated about the effect of a John Tory-led Ontario Liberal party.

But most of all, it reflects what my gut has been telling me for some time – that the Ford folks need to get back the narrative that got them elected nearly a year ago.

It’s a debate that I had with Jerry Agar on Newstalk 1010 early Wednesday morning. There’s no doubt, I said, that Kathleen Wynne’s regime spent recklessly in the final half of its mandate. Equally, there is no doubt that Ford was elected with a clear mandate to cut back on same.

The problem, I told Jerry, is that the cuts lack a coherent underlying story. I reminded him that my boss Jean Chretien oversaw the largest program of government restraint in Canadian history, way back in 1994 and 1995. Chretien pulled that off, and then some. And he was subsequently reelected with a majority.

Ontarians understand that there is a need for cuts. What they clearly don’t understand is why the Ford government is doing them. People are prepared to accept lots of belt-tightening – but you need to be able to tell them why, in 30 words or less.

It’s not too late for the Ford folks to find that short, sharp narrative.

But they need to do so soon, or they may end up being exiled on Mainstreet.


Fish where there’s fish


…that’s something I say so much about campaigns that my staff have heard it a billion times. Talk about the stuff voters want you to talk about. Manage the dialogue.Thus, this from Campaign Research:

“The PCs have a significant lead over both the OLP and the ONDP. This is because the policy issues that matter the most to the electorate also happen to be the policy planks that Doug Ford is seen to be performing much better on. If Doug Ford and the PCs remain focused on these policy planks, the PCs could hold onto their lead…Kathleen Wynne and the OLP are outperforming in a significant way on some of the policy planks, but at this point those policy planks are not seen as being as important.”  – said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc.

So, ipso facto, the current situation: Doug Ford is way ahead of Kathleen Wynne because he’s talking about the issues people care about. Wynne, not so much.

That’s also reflected in the latest Angus Reid, seen here.

Which brings to mind an anecdote from a few months back, when various Ontario Liberal folks were getting plenty nervous. A couple meetings were convened, at which the Ontario Liberal leader and her “chief strategist” described how they would win.

Basically, they told the assembled Nervous Nellies that, if they talked a lot about the sex-ed curriculum and stuff like that, they’d do smashingly. But no one, I’m told, asked this question: “But what if the campaign is about affordability and our perceived indifference to regular folks who don’t drive Volvos and listen to CBC and live in the Annex?”

Of such things are victories made. The other guy’s.

When you talk about stuff people don’t care about it…well, you know what happens then.



It’s all over before it’s started (updated)

As predicted: his strategy is to destroy his former political home.

He’s doing that.

This turns the PC Party of Ontario into a running joke. Their leadership race becomes a farce.

All that can save them now is another young woman coming forward to tell her story.

Will she?

UPDATE:


#MeToo at Queen’s Park – again? (updated twice)

With all of the Patrick Brown self-immolation today, I missed this. I sincerely hope John is able to assist this woman in a way that protects her and respects her wishes.

UPDATE: Have a reasonably certain view who it is.  If I’m right, he is very senior, and held many positions – and was well-known to many current and former federal and provincial Liberal Ministers, Premiers, etc.

UPDATE: My friend Cristina Howorun at CITY-Tv is getting close. Watch her reporting – like this surprising document.