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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Time is running out for 2014 Ontario election

Time has all but run out in the 2014 Ontario general election. By about 10:00 p.m. tomorrow night a winner will be known—I can hardly wait.

I cannot remember a more acrimonious campaign run by the Ontario Grits. They haven’t quite said they’d be boots in the street if the PCs win, but they have implied Tim Hudak has our kids in his sights and means them harm.

Nasty stuff, but it’s a style we’ve seen used by federal Liberals against Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. It failed then; let’s hope it fails tomorrow.

On a more positive note.

On the past weekend, I told you that the Liberal candidate for the Burlington riding, Eleanor McMahon, bought a fake front page of the Burlington Post to trick voters into believing the Liberals were getting positive press in the local paper. Well, the newspaper has, apparently, had second thoughts about the ad and published an online “Clarification” here.

The clarification reads, in part, “some of our readers believe they were grossly misled and for that we sincerely apologize.”

Good for them, it was the right thing to do.

If only Liberal candidate Eleanor McMahon would do the same, but that’s not likely to happen. Hers is not exactly what one would call a classy campaign.

She has used a quote attributed to Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees in her campaign literature, implying Klees was endorsing her candidature. But the MPP’s comment was made in 2009, years before McMahon became the Liberal candidate for the Burlington riding. Subsequently, Klees made it very clear that he is not supporting her.

The entire Liberal campaign swirls with negativity and controversy.

For instance, there’s Kathleen Wynne’s unremitting attack on Tim Hudak. Most recently, Wynne told early-childhood education students, “Tim Hudak will deny you your future.” And, later, she called his plan  “dangerous for children.”

And the Liberal attack is broad-based.

The union representing the OPP has launched a personal attack on Tim Hudak. In this case, though, there’s been blowback so the ad might have done as much damage to Wynne’s campaign as it has helped.

Not a very pleasant thought to think that OPP officers are biased against PCs. These people carry guns.

Then there’s this: Unifor Local 87-M (aka Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild) is telling members—journalists—not to vote for Tim Hudak’s PCs. This union represents about 35 media workplaces in the province. So, I guess, we can expect to see an up-tick in anti-Hudak news reports.

Another unpleasant thought: journalists, the group our society counts on to hold governments to account, are actually campaigning in favour of the status quo. It’s the union leadership, I know, but those journalists vote for those leaders.

Well, I’m sticking to my guns: the Wynne-McGuinty record is horrible and Ontario needs a change in government. Accordingly, I have cast my ballot for Jane McKenna, Burlington’s current MPP and Progressive Conservative Critic for Economic Development, Trade and Employment. McKenna also serves as Co-Chair of the Greater Toronto Area Policy Advisory Council.

As to the overall campaign?

It’s been a long one and, according to most of the media outlets I’ve been following, it’s too close to call. The polls seem to have the Grits tied with the PCs or leading, so logic suggests a minority government—probably a Liberal minority.

Following my intuition, though, I’m picking the PCs with a strong minority or small majority. This is, I know, a minority view, but I reached it based on two main factors.

Firstly, the time-for-a-change numbers in the polls are too high to be ignored. And I do not believe Ontarians really will vote for more of the same.

Secondly, the level of desperation evidenced by the nasty nature of Liberal attacks on their opposition leads me to hope the Grits don’t like what internal polling is telling them. I can’t help but think of the 2006 federal election when Paul Martin’s campaign team went so negative it was bizarre.

So that’s it for me on this election.

Get out and vote, everyone. Vote early and vote against the Liberals.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I hope your predictions are right. Certainly the ridings the parties are visiting in the final days seem to suggest internal polls aren't as rosy that being said I think the PCs will get more votes than 2011, but the real danger is a large swath of NDP voters will swing over to the Liberals to keep the PCs out. It will though come down to GOTV. I should also note in 2006, Paul Martin lost nationally, but he did narrowly win a majority of seats in Ontario (54 Lib, 40 Cons, 12 NDP), but did poorly in the West as they usually did and got wiped out in Quebec due to adscam. The only optimistic thing I see in the polling is the PCs are competitive amongst those over 45 and ahead amongst those over 65 while doing poorly amongst those under 30 and the former generally vote while latter don't.

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  2. This election campaign is more exciting than the Stanley Cup playoffs and a lot more vicious.

    I hope Hudak can carry it off, but I think with ALL the Province's Unions against him, Wynne will win a majority government.

    Hope I'm wrong.

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