The Ontario Liberals are running an uber-negative election campaign reminiscent of the nasty one the federal Liberals ran in 2006 when Paul Martin’s Grits lost to the Stephen Harper Conservatives.
Kathleen Wynne recently implied that Tim Hudak would cut the public sector workforce so deeply he would cause deaths in rural Ontario à la the 2000 Walkerton contaminated water tragedy.
“[C]uts have consequences,” she said at a photo-op. Was she implying that the current management of the town’s water supply was not up to the task and needs the province’s oversight to keep Walkerton’s drinking water safe? Probably not.
It is far more likely she wanted us to infer Hudak’s planned austerity program—made necessary by Liberal mismanagement and waste over the past decade—would “slash and burn and children will die,” as Christina Blizzard phrased it in yesterday’s Toronto Sun.
Blizzard also wrote, “In a bizarre announcement Monday at Ontario Place, Wynne said there’d be no condos at Ontario Place.”
Bizarre, yes, for it was the Liberal government who first raised the issue of an alternative use of the Ontario Place lakefront property. And it was a Liberal-appointed panel that recommended 10 to 15 per cent of the park be set aside for residential development.
As Blizzard wrote, “She [Wynne] made it sound as if she’s running against some big bad people who want to turn it into condos. Yet those big bad people were Liberals.”
When Kathleen Wynne is not demonizing Tim Hudak and his election platform, she’s blaming Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government for Ontario’s self-inflicted wounds.
Andrea Horwath has also been a target of Wynne’s negativity and personal attacks. In an on-line ad, Wynne lists various items from her budget that she says Horwath said “no to.” She, of course, avoids the obvious. That is, if the NDP leader had said “yes” to the Grit’s budget she’s also have been saying yes to the scandal-ridden Liberal government that happens to be currently under criminal investigation by the OPP. And, “yes,” to a $1-billion gas plant boondoggle and, “yes,” to $1-billion squandered on eHealth, et al.
It seems that, in this campaign, Wynne is going after individuals, for, like Paul Martin in his 2006 campaign, she cannot run on her government’s scandalous record. Her attack ad on Horwath was ad hominem, with little attempt to attack the NDP leader’s policies or ideas.
Yet Kathleen Wynne has the gall to ask, “Is Andrea Horwath for real?” It seems to me it is the premier who has lost touch with reality and with Ontario taxpayers, with whom she has broken faith.
They say fear has a rancid smell; so does desperation. Sniff, sniff.
We shouldn’t be too surprised, though, that Kathleen Wynne’s campaign has been so nasty for, according to Liberal-insider Warren Kinsella of the QMI Agency, Wynne is advised “by the same inept gang who cooked up [former Liberal prime minister] Paul Martin’s ‘soldiers in our streets’ [election] ads in 2006.”
Readers must remember what a nasty bit of work that 2006 Liberal campaign was—mean-spirited and negative with a strong smell of desperation about it. Martin was dogged by the sponsorship scandal and so could not focus on the Liberal record. With only a few weeks left before the election, Liberals were trailing in polls so Martin resorted to a storm of negative ads, attempting to depict Harper as an extreme right-wing politician.
The ads were excessive and failed to sway many voters.
Kathleen Wynne’s current campaign seems to be unfolding true to that form.