Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Super Thursday - The Day of the Liberal's Reckoning

Tomorrow is the day that five by-elections - those are again Windsor-Tecumseh, London West, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Scarborough-Guildwood, and Ottawa South - will be held. So far we've seen polling that is pretty much doom and gloom for the Liberals in pretty much ever riding, as well as super-low turnout numbers for the advanced voting that spells doom and gloom for democracy. Not that advanced voting is a sure-fire predictor of general turnout, but its a good measure of how engaged people are.

And let me tell you - I don't think anyone but us politicos really give a damn anymore. Ontario voters are right now stuck in a situation where they have reasons to dislike all three major party leaders and their parties. Kathleen Wynne is not doing the best job ever keeping the agenda off of McGuinty's scandals, thereby leading to a downward spiral in her numbers; Tim Hudak is widely disliked and distrusted, only winning by default because the Liberals can't find their footing; and Andrea Horwath, despite being the most popular leader, has pretty much destroyed her party's credibility as a viable opposition by continually propping up the Liberals and the constant indecision that seems to plague her leadership (very similar to the pre-2011 Opposition Liberals). Voters are looking at this crowd and wondering how Queen's Park ended up with these three weights around it's neck.

Unfortunately for the Liberals, the people taking the brunt of the blame for the plague of ineffective governance is, rightly, the government. The Ontario Liberals have had a great spell in government that has lasted a decade, a good long time for a government to leave a lasting impact. The problem is that now its a bit long in the tooth, and the renewal we needed - the new agenda, the new faces, the new legacy - has been held up by the mistakes and scandals, real or perceived, of McGuinty's time in office. Wynne has been unable to change the channel, and everyone's frustrations with the government over the past decade has been brought to bear upon her premiership. They may not like Tim Hudak, but they're blaming Kathleen Wynne.

Even worse, as unengaged as voters may currently be, its those voters that are fed up with the government that will be out in force. These by-elections, which are usually tools of exacting revenge upon parties in power, couldn't have come at a worse time. I hate to be pessimistic, but I could easily see all five of these ridings going to the Opposition. I definitely wouldn't be surprised.


  1. you didn't mention the green candidate in guildwood who turns out to be an old university friend!!

    I'll be scrutineering for him tomorrow.

    little upset nobody told me he was even running.

    1. Ha, good luck to him and you then! I was wondering if the Greens might fall behind the Libertarians in that race to be honest.

    2. No chance. Nick Leeson (the candidate) is amazingly strong, and I don't say that because I know the guy, I say that because of all the things he has done since I last saw him. He's also taking things pretty seriously. My personal projection is for him to take between 2.1% and 2.7% of the vote.

  2. My predictions:

    sure things:
    Ottawa South - PC
    Scarborough Guildwood - Lib
    Windsor Tecumseh - NDP

    closer races:
    London West - NDP
    Etobicoke Lakeshore - Lib

  3. I think London West is a good lock up for the PCs, if anything Guildwood and Lakeshore are the toss-ups for me, with *maybe* Ottawa South on the periphery.

    1. From my point of view, things went as planned out in Scarborough and Windsor. Etobicoke is a miss, Ottawa went well, and London is a nice treat!