After years of watching from the sidelines as a whole host of other provinces and countries got to have their elections, finally the day has come - the province of Ontario is going to the polls on June 12th!
We all knew the Ontario Liberal government elected in 2011 has been hanging by a thread for awhile, straight on from McGuinty to Wynne who could only survive confidence votes because Andrea Horwath's New Democrats, despite racking up win after win in the plentiful by-elections we've had in this sitting, have gotten cold feet every time and ended up supporting the government, or just not showing up to do their jobs (a trend they continue to set).
The thread has finally snapped, and frankly it could not have been more stage managed by the Liberals. Of all the possible times Horwath could have pulled the plug, whether in the middle of McGuinty's teachers union crisis, in the scorching heat of the gas plants revelations, or the first Wynne/Sousa budget that was a blatant bribe that she could have stood on principle against, now is the time she does it?
Now, when a budget has been brought down that is so full of spending and left-wing goodies it would make a 90's-era Bob Rae blush? Now, when the NDP are at their lowest point of support in the last year or so as anti-Hudak voters move to the Liberals? Now, when both the Liberals and PCs have such a ginormous fundraising advantage over her party that just one of them could buy the entire operation out?
Good timing, Andrea. Its like you covered this decision in gift wrapping, tied a bow to it, and chucked it across the aisle to the Premier. That'll show her!
I of course say this as a Liberal partisan, but I don't think I'm far off the mark here. There are advantages and disadvantages to calling this election for every party, and it could be that Horwath's strategists figured they either do this now or never - we have an outside chance of winning government, but we have a very good chance of gaining seats, so weigh the options and lets get the show on the road.
But this decision from afar looks almost petty. Horwath says she agrees with quite a few things in the budget, yet she isn't supporting it because she doesn't trust the Liberals to come through... mhm. That is a totally convincing reason to reject the most NDP budget since... well, ever, considering even the NDP budgets of the Rae years weren't as NDP as this damn thing is.
We are having an election, so the story will go, because Andrea Horwath wants to see if she can advance her career a tad. Meanwhile Kathleen Wynne has been working hard to ensure the people of Ontario are served by a government that balances the dueling priorities of social justice and fiscal responsibility by bringing down a budget that does just that, a budget that - *gasp* - Andrea Horwath didn't even show up for! Oh my, that sets up perfectly doesn't it?
Anything can happen folks, including a bloodbath - just don't be surprised if its orange, not red.