Don't Forget to Vote

Provincial election today. Going in, it's 48 Liberals, 37 Conservatives and 21 New Democrats with one seat vacant. Polling is pointing to essentially zero seat change, with my guess being 48-38-21.  That said, three viable parties and a Green Party that racks up 5% to 10% of the popular vote, surprises can happen.

It's possibly the stupidest election ever. The incumbent Liberals were three years into their third four year term. Having the same ruling party since 2003 has lead to quite a good deal of upset and frustration. And a hefty catalog of scandals.  To say they were vulnerable is massively understating it. Their leader, who headed two majority governments and one "minority" with 53 of 107 seats stepped down a little over a year ago. The precipitating event is referred to as the "Liberal Gas Plant Scandal" and was about as badly managed a 1 billion dollar boondoggle can be. The opposition parties, the press, everyone and their neighbours talked about it nearly constantly.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Spring 2014 election. The new leader, Premier Kathleen Wynne, basically capitulated to the third party and we had a year or so of leftish "socialist" NDP policies being put into force by the Liberal government.  Proves to be a pretty shrewd choice, The Liberals hold all of 1 of 5 ridings through by-elections in the summer of 2013.  The NDP pick up 3.

Spring 2014, the Liberals table their budget.  It is again, an NDP budget.  But the NDP leader, possibly high on by-election success, turns it down and we're off to the ballot boxes.

But what of the actual official opposition?  I've only been talking about the slightly left of centre and the slightly more left of centre parties.  The PC party is clearly the actual opposition and the most likely benefactor of a worn out administration that the public is fed up with.  You would think so, but our provinicial conservatives suck.  No seriously, not that they suck because they have selfish ignorant bigoted hate-fueled world views (although they do suck because of that) but because they are breathtakingly incompetent.

This election is Opposition leader Tim Hudak's big chance, a gift wrapped election that no one could lose, and he's headed for defeat again.  A lot of self-inflicted damage for sure - his entire campaign is built upon what he calls the Million Jobs Plan, something he was so vested and proud of that he released all the supporting information behind designing it and it turns out that it is based on a math error.  No seriously, #HudakMath was actually trending for a while.  I have more to say on #HudakMath too, about how it demonstrates how completely intellectually and morally bankrupt conservatives are, but that's a post for another day.

Everyone basically believed that all Hudak had to do was keep his mouth shut and he'd be Premier easily, but he didn't.  He has consistently polled as the least likable and least believable of the three leaders.  When the election was called, no one cared what the leader of the Official Opposition thought, and everyone was focused on Horwath and Wynne.  He's a huge liability for his party, a smug jerk with no charisma.

But here's the thing - he's possibly the best politician the Ontario provincial conservatives have got.  Because the federal conservatives have been sitting in government at Parliament Hill since 2006.  There is a long tortured history of the federal conservatives and their schisms, name changes and rebranding but essentially it was a regional rump from our Texas-like oil-and-gas fueled west.  And to truly make it as a national party, the federal conservatives went very aggressively at Ontario, which unfortunately worked quite well for them. The silver lining though, it totally hollowed out the talent pool of conservative politicians in province.

Anyways, polls are already open so let me get to the point.  I'm using this post to make my bold predictions.

Libs - 48, PCs - 38, NDP -21.

That's not the bold part, that's roughly where the polling puts it.  My big statement is that Tim Hudak, after losing the election he could not possibly lose, will stay on as leader of the Ontario conservatives.

No comments: