First off, let me say that the Ontario Liberal minority budget of Premier McGuinty and Finance Minister Duncan is a work of austerity art, combining the right amount of tough measures and pragmatic understanding that you can't keep cutting taxes, and you can't raise them either, when reasonable options of simple belt-tightening and short-term pain can help solve the problem. I suggest going over this HuffPo article to get a glimpse.
Best of all, I like it because McGuinty has shown once again why he is an awesome Premier and why he would make an awesome Prime Minister - he's willing to do the unpopular things if he believes it'll help his province.
I haven't always been the biggest fan of the McGuinty government, but the fact that they're willing to piss off some of their core supporters - teachers come to mind - in order to tackle the deficit problem is a sign that he's serious. And a serious leader is what this province needs.
Which is why Tim Hudak's unilateral decision to oppose this austerity budget that looks an awful lot like something that'd come out of the Harris government is stupid. The man demonstrated once he's a failure, he's demonstrating it again. He's done as dinner.
Of course, that leaves Andrea Horwath, the third party leader. All passing this budget requires is that her NDP either votes with the Liberals, or they vote against it and a couple of members, erm, take a leave of absence.
But that's not necessarily what she'll do. She could vote against it, with the PCs, and assuming no PCs bail, force the province into another election.
Or, in a much more unlikely scenario, she could form a coalition government. But when I say unlikely, I mean never-gonna-fuckin'-happen. But Andrea's sold out her party's soul before, so why not now?
However, forcing a new election, barely six months after the last one, wouldn't be the brightest of moves. More than likely, Ontario voters would see fit to keep McGuinty's government in, punishing the two Opposition parties. Maybe not crushingly so, but the Ontario Liberals are a force to be reckoned with. It's extremely possible a forced election could give the Liberals another 70+ seat majority.
That's my feeling about it anyways. Ontarians don't want an election, and any election would be blamed squarely on the heads of the PCs and NDP. So what's Andrea's option? If she cares about the future of her party, she only has one.