I think there are a few lessons to be learned after last night’s disastrous election results.
1) Keep it Simple, Stupid! Or as Kelly McParland writes, “Ontario voters prefer to be misled.” Election policy should contain broad strokes only – a kind of direction.
Perhaps that is because we are so cynical that if someone actually does attempt to tell the truth and not sugarcoat their platform, we automatically assume it’s even going to be worse than what they say, because politicians can’t be trusted don’t ya know?
2) This ties in with #1: Don’t come out early in an election campaign and hand your opponent a stick to whack you with for the duration. It doesn’t matter whether it was “100,000 job cuts” or attrition-related efficiencies. Until we address the issue of Third-Party advertising limits, organized labour will ensure that perception is reality.
3) Even Kathleen Wynne’s pixie dust can’t stop fiscal reality from forcing us all to accept the inevitable pain. It will just be more severe and out of our control than if Tim Hudak had tried to temper it a bit first.
Matt Gurney rightly points out that “While Ms. Wynne may be the premier, it’s the ratings agencies that will set the agenda. She’s just a caretaker. The number geeks own Ontario now.”
4) There is a bit of good news in the Liberal’s majority situation. First of all there will be no election for four years so PCs have ample time to do some serious soul-searching and try to determine where they want to go and what kind of leadership they need to get them there.
Also Wynne no longer has to placate Horwath, so any tough medicine can be meted out as needed without having to dilute it for budget support.
And someday the union bosses will be railing against the Liberals. It’s inevitable.
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On a personal note, I plan to take a break from blogging again. As regular readers know there is a lot on my plate in my personal life right now.
This thread will stay open for a few days if anyone wants to weigh in on any political issue.
Thanks everyone for your engagement and support during this very stressful and acrimonious election campaign.