Friday, October 7, 2011

What's Worse: Liberal Majority Government Or Minority Supported By NDP?

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was re-elected one seat shy of a majority government Thursday, meaning unless someone defects, he will need the support of another party to pass his legislation. Today's poll question; what's worse? A Liberal majority government, or a Liberal minority government supported by the NDP? If you live in Ontario, the worst case scenario is Dalton McGuinty walking around with an NDP wish list in his pocket at budget time. Remember Paul Martin's "NDP Budget"? For as awful as Dalton has been on his own, how bad would things get if he's pulled even farther to the left? Frankly it would almost be better if Dalton had a majority than if he's propped up by Dippers.

It would be very smart if Hudak and the Tories work hard to negotiate legislation with McGuinty, even if it means compromising on some issues. Then in the next election you can talk about how you worked with the government to try and restore some semblance of fiscal sanity to Ontario. Perhaps Tim Hudak hasn't been a great leader, but he's been far better than the last guy and he only lost by 2% of the popular vote. The nature of Ontario politics is such that the public needs time to get to know a leader before electing them to the highest office. If the PCs want to switch leaders every time they lose an election like the federal Liberals, it is hard to gain traction. There is no great messiah coming around the corner. You might need to learn to love Tea Party Tim.

Perhaps the re-election of Dalton McGuinty is great news for federal Tories, as it will be easier for Stephen Harper to carry Ontario in 2015 with McGuinty sitting in Queen's Park.


  1. Neither the Conservatives nor the NDP should make it easy for McGuinty. For instance, one thing he's probably counting on is getting either a PC or an NDP MPP elected as Speaker. That — thanks to precedent — makes the Speaker the tie-breaker, voting with the Government. So neither party should cast one vote for anyone who isn't a member of Dalton's Liberal caucus. Let him sweat and need to negotiate every single day.

    Likewise, the issues should be dealt with by amendments that McGuinty has to whip his caucus to support, rather than in backroom agreements to support the legislation as written. Just as effective, but with the "we got it done" positive adverts for the next go-around (and Ontario voters like positive news about as much as they like bland, which is to say, a lot).

    Given that the public sector unions, plus the CAW and a few others, massively campaigned alongside the Liberals, the NDP should use the next year to give the unions the boot. It's time to "go Prairie": Saskatchewan and Manitoba NDP governments have been fiscally sound.

    On the PC side, Hudak should allow the rabid über-right to learn a truth: nothing happens if you don't get elected in the 416/905 in reasonable quantities. You can't hand the other parties 40-odd seats in Greater Toronto, Greater Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Windsor and expect to win power. So the Landowners Association, the "Mike Harris was too soft to satisfy me", etc. types should be encouraged to join some other party if they must, or get with the programme.

    Both the NDP and the PCs need to get their act together on economics, and fast. As an Ontario voter, I was appalled that the best economic platform on offer was from the Greens and, aside from a little bit better story on contingency for change & a recognition that we have a revenue problem (who pays and how) to solve from the NDP, no recognition that same-old, same-old isn't going to fly. (Hudak's platform was even more filled with Hopeychangium than was Horwath's, which is an election-losing proposition.)

    Let me put this on the record now: keeping Dalton from controlling the legislature means that pulling the plug at an appropriate time is a live option. Election fatigue or not, that will need to be pulled when Dalton does another round of hopium and pacifiers in the mouths of the pigs at the trough. So the PCs and the NDP both need to clean house, get a slate of candidates ready, sort out their finances for an early tilt, learn how to beat Sorbara and Kinsella from pre-confidence motion to election day, and get a platform together that deals in reality.

    Or the two of them could agree to do a Cameron-Clegg now and dump Dalton today. After all, a PC-NDP coalition (and make it a real coalition, ministries and all) does command a majority of the House. But neither's really thinking that far outside their boxes yet...

  2. Point one: A minority for liberals is not considered a win.
    Point two: McGuinty was able to win this far by subverting the conservative vote and convince enough red tories to run under the liberal banner.
    Point three: If the liberals are forced to alienate the blu-libs to get support from the NDP.It shifts the liberals further left away from the political center.
    Point four: Mcguinty owes so many interest groups so much that he will make Bucky Dithers look parsimonious when he becomes head waiter to the far left.

    This is the beginning of the end of the OLP.

  3. Or the two of them could agree to do a Cameron-Clegg now and dump Dalton today

    A PC-NDP agreement would be nothing more than a "coalition of losers", the very thing that had federal Conservative (and some Liberal) voters throwing up in their mouths a few short years ago. No thanks.

  4. Strictly strategically speaking, since I renounce all PCs, I would let the Liberals stew. Let them make their deals with the NDP. I would have nothing to do with either of them.

    Reality will be coming down hard on Ontario. They are deep in debt and beholden to public sector unions. Dalton will be raising taxes and cutting services very shortly. I beleive a credit downgrade will trigger it.

    If the PC's keep clean and make it clear they are the Party who would have saved them the greif all along... then they'll succeed.

    I've lost faith in all of them anyway. It will be a mirage, even if they win.

  5. The PC's didn't have the bottle to make a clear and principled stand about economics, spending or anything else. Being "me too" Liberals has no advantage if you have real Liberals to vote for....

    We saw what happened out West with the growth of small "c" conservative parties like the Saskatchewan Party and the Wild Rose Alliance (and the father of them all; Reform). The Red Tories offered nothing to the right (much like the federal Liberals offer nothing for the left) so became irrelevant.

    Ontario could see the Right reforming around the Freedom Party, Libertarians or Reform Ontario (or more likely a party built from elements of these parties and "Blue" Tories), probably the work of a decade to hammer out a working arrangement. In the mean time, Ontario will resemble the society of "Atlas Shrugged" and the smart, energetic and productive people will have moved out west.

    If you don't have the ability to leave Ontario under the Liberal-NDP alliance, then invest in rain barrels and victory gardens for the next four years.

  6. Bruce Stewart says, "Manitoba NDP governments have been fiscally sound."

    You are either delusional or ignorant of the facts if you believe that. The NDP in Manitoba has been running deficits since they came into office 12 years ago. We have one of the largest public sectors even though 34% of the bucgets are obtained through transfers. They plan to build a power line from the north all the way to the Sask. border and back again costing an extra billion dollars, for no reason.

  7. Nothing could be worse than a Left-wing minority blackmailed on every vote by an even more Left-wing Party, but that's what Ontario's stuck with.

    I wonder how much "green" investment the two will get involved with in the next few years,to the detriment of all Ontarians.

  8. While the PC party may have failed. the Liberal/NDP axis will have a much more formidable opponent in the Bond Rating agencies.

    $200 billion outstanding and an estimated $16 billion deficit this year alone with a junk bond rating will destroy the provincial economy. You would think that even McGuinty could see that...(but then you wold have thought Obama would have seen the downgrade coming as well; everyone else did....)