Ominous signs for Dalton McGuinty

by Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun

TORONTO – Poles apart.  That’s the message Ontario politicians can take from Monday’s vote.  Voters split down left/right lines — and the Liberal Party disappeared down the middle.

Jack Layton and his New Democrats made historic gains. Stephen Harper got his coveted majority.  And the Liberal party “brand” took a big hit.

How to explain the unexpected and unprecedented rise in NDP fortunes is the big question.

Is this a reflection of New Democratic policies?

While Harper finally got his breakthrough in Toronto, so too, Layton made great inroads in urban Ontario.

Did they respond to his platform of beefing up pensions and providing a home heating tax credit?

Or was this simply an extension on the “pox on all their houses” wave that swept the province municipally last October?

With no fresh faces, was Layton the “none-of-the-above” box for voters to tick?

Are people simply saying they’re tired of the status quo and are willing to take the enormous risk of placing their province in the hands of a party that’s untried and untested, rather than playing it safe with the Liberals — who think they have the divine right to govern as the natural party of power.

Is he the federal equivalent of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? Harper’s majority is bad news for provincial PC Leader Tim Hudak. Voters rarely elect the same party federally and provincially.

Hudak would be wise to turn the campaign into a left/right contest between him and the NDP. And he should be encouraged that Harper finally broke through in Toronto.

Clearly, voters are in no mood for waffling.

This changes the dynamics within the Liberal Party.

One thing’s for sure. Michael Ignatieff will head back to academia — and the Liberals will be plunged into a frenzy of rebuilding. And they’ll be looking for a new leader.

Who from the provincial party will be looking to Ottawa for the future?

Not that many, one suspects.

After all, there’ll be a Liberal leadership provincially within the next 18 months to two years.

No matter what happens Oct. 6 — win, lose or minority — Premier Dalton McGuinty will step down to allow new blood to take over.

Successors will be weighing their chances to see which party provides the better future.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, for example, is the Prince Charles of Ontario politics. Often seen as the heir apparent to McGuinty, he must feel as though he’s waited a lifetime for the top job.

Will he wait it out provincially — or take the federal leap?

This is a massive blow to the federal Liberal ego. It will take massive rebuilding to get the party back into an election-ready mode.

Are voters ready to hand the same kind of whupping to McGuinty and his Liberals?

It often seems as if we’ve forgotten about the eco fee shambles, the HST tax grab and soaring energy costs. Have we really?

Have we already made up our minds to send McGuinty off with a flea in his ear the way Ignatieff was dispatched?

Voters are angry — and volatile. The Battle of Ontario could well be between Hudak and Horwath.

If the votes polarize left and right, they’ll be the big winners.

And provincial Libs will be lost in space with Iggy.

20 thoughts on “Ominous signs for Dalton McGuinty

  1. McGuinty is the Anti-Christ….Good-bye Liberals….McGuinty played a huge role in helping to get the Liberals trounced in Ontario…

  2. IGNIFF IS GONE , NOW LETS GET RID OF MCGUINTY
    I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH A LIAR AS HIM ON MORE THAN
    3 OR 4 OCCASIONS . HERE IS A PERSON WHO SAYS
    SHUTTING DOWN COAL PLANTS WILL SAVE LIVES , YET
    HE HAS NOT SAVED LIVES BY NOT PUTTING SCRUBBERS
    ON COAL PLANTS YEARS AGO , LIES AGAIN HE SAYS 3
    BILLION IN HEALTH COST PER YEAR BECAUSE OF COAL
    YOU COULD HAVE AND SHOULD HAVE CLEANED UP
    COAL AND *SAVED LIVES* , LIES AGAIN , HE SHOULD
    BE CHARGED WITH TREASON AGAINST ONTARIANS AND
    OUSTED BEFORE FALL ELECTION

  3. The liberals deserve to be lost in space. They need to clean up the self-serving corruption and I’m not sure that can ever happen

  4. I agree Randy, theres no doubt that policies of the ontario liberals, turned the province blue.I believe you ll see the same again in October. NDP has alot of work to do, they have a lot of nobodies taking seats, it wouldn’t suprise me to see a lot of liberals defecting to the other side,I wonder how Bob Rea feels this morning??Guess it didnt pay to sell out to play with the popular crowd!! Canadian politics is definately about to change, I can only hope its for the best!!

  5. It was not unexpected. It is not unprecedented.

    The fault lines were obvious in this group to anyone who cared to see. It was clear that there was a political divide — those who believed that the progressive policies of the NDP would protect them (the little guy) — despite their energy platform, versus those who believed that the Conservatives given the opportunity would reject renewable energy as a false hope and false economy.

    As much as anything the voters rejected the “Green Shift” the Kyoto accord and the policies that would save them from …. what?

    Will they same scene play out in Ontario? Almost certainly. What could change the path?

    • I didn’t see that much celebrating so it must be Bin Laden….Although if it was McGuinty, the Ontario Liberals would lie about it…

  6. McGuinty has a FALSE MAJORITY and NOW, Stephan Harper has fallen into his FALSE MAJORITY.

    ONLY ~ 40% of Canadians voted for Con candidates, but ~ 165 “won” their ridings.

    60% of Canadians do not have confidence in this FALSE MAJORITY.

    On Oct 6th, Ontarians need to be very cautious about giving ANY PARTY a
    FALSE MAJORITY!

    • With a multiple party political system,
      the “false majority” is not an unusual
      outcome.
      In the case of Harper verses the loonies
      he was running against, all I can say is
      ‘better the devil you know.’

  7. The kind of majority that Harper got is the only kind that matters in our system. Unless someone who will actually do something about IWTs and the GEA gets the same kind of majority in Ontario, we will not be able to get rid of either of them.

  8. LIBERALS = BIG WIND = BIG LIE

    Ignatieff had his head handed to him with the generous, blundering help of McGuinty. Yet, unbelievably, none of the TV coverage last night mentioned a peep about that — and it was the real reason Iggy and his party went down in flames.

    I can hardly wait to see McGuinty and Duncan and Duguid and all the rest of those first-class blunderers get their turn in October. Indeed, this upcoming election may be one of those rare occurences when the Feds and Provincial party in Ontario are both cut from the same cloth i.e. Conservatives.

  9. I hate to say this, but our wonderful federal liberal leader was the reason for the first time in my life I couldn’t vote liberal, and Carol Mitchell and Dalton are the reasons for the first time in my life, that I won’t be able to vote liberal at the provincial level. If Dalton and Carol want to practice what they preach, and try to be green to our planet, then they should both stay home and leave there vehicles parked for the up coming October election, for the people of Ontario have spoken, and they will speak again in October, and it will be a waste of time, to even bother knocking on doors.

  10. This was a comment in the Windsor Star about the Federal Liberal cleanout:

    “The main reason the Liberals lost so many seats in this Federal election is that everyone, like me, are so fed up with the reigning Liberal MPPs, Dalton and his cronies, we took it out on all the local MPs. I and my family have voted Liberal all of our lives and I voted NDP in this election even though I knew I would lose my vote. It was strictly a protest vote as we have no other way to express our displeasure. Hopefully, we can replace the reigning Liberals in the Fall election. Thanks to the McGuinty government and the HST, as a widow on a pension, I am now living pay-to-pay and will probably have to sell my home where I have lived for the past 41 years and hoped to end my last days here. Unfortunately, I won’t have enough money or savings to retire to any decent retirement home to live out the rest of my “golden years”. In addition, if I should require long-term care there will definitely be no where to go as there are no available beds in the Windsor/Essex County area..”

  11. To Notsogullible,
    Sorry to hear your predicament and there are many others in the same situation.
    Have you ever considered asking some of those over paid energy co. executives, hospital administrators etc. for some help???

  12. That wasn’t my situation…it was merely a comment I lifted from a story in the Windsor Star to illustrate why the Federal Liberals were given the boot.

  13. In case we forget the litany of sins and abuse committed by the Ontario Liberal Party I have provided a link to a site that will give you some reminders…

    Please share it with your friends, political foes and family if your need to remind them how the Ontario Liberals have betrayed and sold-out the citizens of Ontario….

    They need to be defeated in October….or the abuse and the deterioration in our economic lives will continue…

    No more FAKE Green Energy….No more FAKE jobs…No more Crony Capitalism and Political Patronage…

    http://www.noliberals.ca/

  14. Sorry Johanna – but I could not disagree more. The simplistic concept that proportional representation is some sort of democratic panacea may sell easily to the Left and the Green party (or for that matter, anyone who has a great deal of trouble getting elected) but it is no answer to modern democratic or electoral challenges.

    It is interesting that in Canada (unlike in that great, big republican lout to the south of us) there has been much broader representation from one side of the spectrum to the other, over the years. With 3 or 4 parties (including the Social Credit for those who remember) our system has offered way more choice than the 2-party, republican system to the south.

    Now, on to your claim that proportional representation “PR” (“all over the world”) is the answer – let me direct you to the best extremes of this simplistic and ill-conceived system – Italy and Israel. In no way do I think that these countries are anti-democratic by nature, but their historic dysfunction and continuing struggles to elect a government that can provide any sense of stability, is legendary. You can thank “PR” for that!

    There they have governments which must cater to the extreme elements of their respective societies just to get through each day and piece of governing legislation. The overwhelming majority is disregarded, in a “PR” system and the great reward goes to some tiny, special interest driven group who figures out a way to get one or two people elected. Once we have 17 or 18 different parties – some with social agendas, some with geographic notions of nationalism, some with religious agendas, and lets not leave out the racists, the sexists, greens, blues, reds, etc. – it will end democracy as we know it and customize the political landscape to reward the extremes.

    Nope – I can live very well with the system we have in place, thanks. I am not always happy with the outcome but I can look back over the past 144 years and gladly say that the system we have in place worked very well, indeed.

  15. And I guess you could live with the results of extreme examples of FPTP as is the case in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Yemen, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland………..

    Why choose dysfunctional examples of PR which may very well be a result of cultural factors rather than the electoral system when you COULD have chosen VERY WELL FUNCTIONING PR systems such as those in Switerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, Norway……………………

  16. The Economist Magazine (recently) has a section on California as a “failed State” they went even further than PR to Direct Representation. You might find it interesting to see how a proportional/direct system can have very small groups of people direct the agenda of a large group of people.

  17. OK, California is a failed state.

    SO………………………………..let’s NOT use California rules for an electoral system.

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