In Ontario, while voters equally admired Layton, they have definite memories of the NDP in government, none of them good.
Vote splitting between the NDP and Liberals also benefited the Conservatives. Then the Tories had a ballot box bounce in Ontario, winning 44% of the vote, with the NDP and Liberals essentially tied in the mid-20s.
And in the final week, the Liberals got squeezed from both the left and the right in Ontario, with some strategic voters moving to the NDP to stop Harper from getting a majority, and others moving from the Liberals to the Conservatives to stop the socialist hordes. In the Greater Toronto Area, where voters have strong memories of the disastrous NDP government in the 1990s, it was the first thing Conservative candidates were hearing at the door in the final week.
MacDonald feels the resulting Conservative majority and decline of the Bloc are the very best of all worlds; giving the Liberals a chance to heal and the NDP an opportunity to learn how to play in the big-league without wrecking the country in the process.
Again I find myself wondering if this fear of socialism and the implosion of the Liberal party will have consequences in the Ontario fall election.
My advice to Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives would be to discount that hope and concentrate on an issue-by-issue, riding-by-riding battle.
And make good use of the strong Conservative ground-team in Ontario!
Motivate from the grassroots-up. Respect the taxpayer (and not just with words). That is the secret of Tory success.
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…What the Liberals have the do in the next two years is find that coalition, find that group of supporters, and find those factions that have been unclaimed by other groups. Or, grow those groups. Or steal them back, in the case of the federalists in Quebec. The Liberals need to grow from their ice cube and push for a creation of a base of support that rivals the Conservatives and then would ultimately defeat it. This will take years, however. The Progressive Conservatives never did it and were about to dissolve forever until Reform/Alliance, a party that had grown up from several groups banding together, brought together several disparate groups over twenty years. This twenty year process ultimately culminated in 2011 with the election of Stephen Harper as majority Prime Minister in Ottawa…