The Dalton McGuinty Liberals are desperately trying to tie together former Ontario premier Mike Harris with current PC leader Tim Hudak as if they expect voters to be repelled by that association. But this strategy could very well backfire.
Remember the Liberals’ and Bob Rae’s New Democrats’ fiscal irresponsibility and excesses of the eighties and early nineties and how Mike Harris and his PC team came to Ontario’s recue with his Common Sense Revolution platform, which called for spending and tax cuts to eliminate the province’s then record $11 billion deficit and mounting debt load?
I do. I see little negative in the strong fiscal medicine we were forced to take. The country and the province were in terrible shape and the federal Liberals were, quite rightly, slashing transfer payments to everything including healthcare and education. The province had its back to the wall.
Were there mistakes? Yes. But were the mistakes anything as egregious as the Grits and the greedy, spoilt teachers and public service unions claim? No they were not—not even close.
Thanks to prudent management by the PC’s, we emerged from the economic doldrums and budget deficits and helped carry Canada along with us, leading to a run of prosperity the likes of which have seldom been seen. Ontario was a “have” province and proud of it. So what’s so bad about that?
Did the Common Sense Revolution platform do the job Ontario voters hoped it would when twice they endorsed it in general elections? Yes it did. So what’s so bad about that? And was Tim Hudak part of that success? You bet he was.
Do we need another Common Sense Revolution? Not exactly, since so much has changed in the intervening years. But we sure do need something to get our province back on track, and Dalton McGuinty has shown he’s part of the problem; not a provider of solutions. Of that, I’m sure, and if the polls can relied on, so do most voters in Ontario.
Mike Harris was the right leader at the right time. Now Tim Hudak is shaping up to be the new man of the hour and I for one am pleased about that.