Sunday, May 11, 2014

Messing up the Ontario election - when does it matter?

We've learned 3 things this week about the political parties from news coverage.

Hudak bumbles everything.
Horwath is more right-wing than the Liberals.
And a Liberal candidate posted disparaging remarks about Women.

So. Do these matter? Do all of them? Some of them? None of them?

The answer is actually quite simple; it's all about confirming bias.
Are people afraid that Hudak is not as smart as he thinks he is? Yes. Are they afraid he will axe the government and hurt social services? Yes.
Do people think Horwath is a right-wing nut? No, they do not. Are they afraid that the NDP as a whole, federal and provincial, may be moving into new territory to the right, not being what they once were? Yes, that is a huge fear for NDPers.
Are the Liberals seen as anti-Woman? No. Is the only major Canadian party lead by an openly gay female biased against the entire female gender? Hell no.

Mistakes matter only when they confirm your deep suspicions. This week has been terrible for Hudak, not great for Horwath, and unremarkable for Wynne. Reminds me of the first week of the Quebec election campaign in some ways...

Regardless, lets go to the map, which shows not much change but a bit of solidification of the PC vote.

PS. A shout out to my mother, @rumscott on this mother's day. I hope you already regularly follow this blog *ahem*


  1. Wynne's big mistake was focusing on trying to fight Harper, I don't like him either, but he's not running.

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  3. Mr. Uppal has really blown it. Sure, it was a misake but, it does not say much about his judgement. It probably will cost the Liberals the riding and in a close election like this one, no party can afford to give up a seat. There is a sense the Liberal party is an old boys club based out of Bay St. Mr. Uppal's "remarks" reinforce this perception. It may not do much damage but, it certainly does not help.

    1. Are you serious? Exactly who in actually Ontario thinks that the Wynne-led Liberals are a party of the old boys club of Bay Street?!?!? Wynne and the party brass are firmly on the centre-left, especially on social issues.

      The Liberals were never going to win Nepean-Careton in this election. It is an extremely safe PC riding, as they consistently win this riding with 20 point lead. The original Liberal candidate dropped and the party brass chose a candidate without properly vetting the new candidate.

      This stuff happens in every election and never gains traction, unless it reaffirms a fear of that political party. Nobody is going to remember this controversy other than us political wonks.

    2. I've got to agree with Jay and Teddy here - people may punish Mr. Uppal for his comments, but overall anyone that believes the party led by an openly gay grandmother is anti-women probably wasn't going to vote Liberal anyways.

    3. Big Jay,

      Anyone in the know understands the Ontario Liberal party receives a disproportionately large share of money and support from Bay St. The Liberal party (federally and provincially) has always been a small "c" conservative, business friendly party on economic issues with strong ties to the business community. This should be painfully obvious from the amount of Liberal leaders who have landed jobs on Bay Street once their political careers end. It also helps to explain explains why Toronto is the only region of the province where the OLP is in the lead according to the polls.

      I predict a PC majority on June 12th. People are in a "kick the bums out mood" for good reason. Wynne is a amiable person but, Dalton left her a pretty miserable hand, her kowtowing to the NDP made her appear weak and listless. People understand that another Liberal minority means the NDP expects a bribe every six months. Reasonable people know that is no way to run a province, least of all Ontario that has significant fiscal challenges.

    4. Daniel,

      Neither the Ontario Liberal Party nor the Liberal Party of Canada are small "c" conservative. The Liberal Party has always believed in the role of strong government in society. Sure Liberal parties implemented austerity measures, but so did NDP governments across the country.

      Yes, many Liberal leaders landed jobs on Bay lawyers! Lawyers come in all political stripes. Bay Street lawyers have also funnelled a lot of money into Thomas Mulcair and Brain Topp during the NDP leadership race in 2012. Are you going to claim that they are small "c" conservatives too?

      Dalton McGuinty is a classic big "L" liberal. He was a centrist who would shift left and right where he sees fit. The McGuinty Liberals had allies with both business and labour. This is evident when looking at donor information. Under Kathleen Wynne, the Liberals have shifted more to the left. Certain elements of the business community still have faith in the Liberals because they see them as a more stable option that the Hudak PCs who may usher unwanted tension with labour.

      The Ontario Liberals are doing well in Toronto for the simple fact that this part of the province is their base. This is in contrast to rural Ontario, which felt alienated by the Ontario Liberals during McGuinty's second term. Wynne's pro-transit policies resonate better in Toronto too.

      I predict a Liberal minority on June 12th. Despite all their scandals, they are still running the more focused and organized campaign.

    5. hahahahaha,

      Bay St. has funded Brian Topp and Mulcair?!@!!!!!!!! No they have not. Keep dreaming!

      The 1982 Constitution that kept the Senate and the Crown-classic small "c" conservative. NAFTA small "c" conservative. The fact it is a written document-classic 18th century and small "c" conservative!

      Big "L" Liberal does not equate to; "He was a centrist who would shift left and right where he sees fit". Big "L" equals interventionist! Please think about enrolling in a first year political science course.

      I'm sorry your party is going to lose. Buck up my friend-you'll have five years of opposition to analyse what went wrong! You'll have the rest of your lifetime to analyse why the NDP fails to win government in Ottawa!

  4. Why don't you comment without looking up the facts first? It is a FACT that Bay Street funded Thomas Mulcair and Brian Topp.

    I did mention that the Liberals are interventionist when the mentioned they "believed in the role of strong government in society". The concept of big "L" Liberal is Canadian. In the Canadian context it means the centrist Liberal Party. In Australia it means the right-wing Liberal Party. In the USA, it means left-leaning Democrat politicians.

    Small "c" conservative is a Canadian term to acknowledge conservatives who are not associated by with the PC/CPC. Back in the 90s, they were the Reform/Alliance people. It is also used to describe right-leaning Liberals. Sure, there are right-leaning Liberals and donors amongst the Liberal party, but the base is still center/center-left. That is why when the going gets tough, the Liberals tack to the left.

    I am card carry Liberal and a political science major. I am confident that my party will remain in power in Queen's Park and take power in Ottawa in 2015.

    1. Facts don't matter in politics; perception does, and the NDP is not a "right-wing party" in perception.

    2. Of course, I don't think anybody would claim the NDP is a right-wing party other than the a small minority of hardcore leftists.

      Bay Street money does not mean right-wing money either. There are some progressive and centrist people on Bay Street. I feel Bay Street prefers stability over anything else.

      In that back and forth, I was arguing that the Liberals are not a right-wing party either. There is a fiscally conservative and social conservative element in the party, but by no means are they a small "c" conservative party.

  5. $500 is hardly being funded by Bay St.! The OLP has received tens of millions over the years!

  6. To point out, Daniel is right when he says the Liberals are often funded/supported by Bay St, though in recent years significantly less than the Conservatives have been federally. (Funding is also not really much of a factor anymore, thanks go federal donation limits and rules; now its more talent and cooperation than anything else.)

    However, also to point out, Bay St, like Wall St or the City in the UK fund/support whoever is in power or can gain power. You have to remember that the aim of these business elites is not partisan, its about ensuring business continues to run smoothly. If the NDP had a chance at winning in Ontario, you would see the exact same thing, and you know the NDP would welcome that support with open arms. That's just how it works.

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