Friday, August 10, 2007

More First Round Battles

UPDATE: Mowat and Schreyer cruise to easy wins.

After a pair of upsets in the first two quarter-final Best Premier matchups, the favourites are certainly nervous. Today, I set up two more knock-out rounds. Voting will close Sunday morning.

Oliver Mowat
Ontario (1872-96)
Career Highlights: As Premier, Mowat fought the federal government over jurisdiction of provincial issues, such as liquor, timber, and mineral rights and won, greatly decentralizing Canada. He introduced the secret ballot and extended suffrage beyond property owners. He also created the municipal level of government in Ontario and the Children's Aid Society. Oh, and he's Farley Mowat's great uncle.

John Robarts
Ontario (1961-71)
Career Highlights: During his time as Premier, unemployment rates were the lowest in Canada and Ontario's rate of economic expansion was one of the highest in the world. He was responsible for the construction of York University and the Ontario Science Centre. He also opened the door to French education in Ontario schools. Known for defending provincial rights. He initially opposed Medicare.

Betting Line: A rematch of the most exciting provincial battle, when Robarts won in a finally ballot squeaker over Mowat. Can the only 19th Century entry in this contest get revenge for losing the "Best Ontario Premier" crown? This one is definitely too close to call.

Dave Barrett
British Columbia (1972-75)
Career Highlights: Reformed the welfare system; established the province's Labour Relations Board; introduced question period to provincial politics in BC; founded ICBC.

Ed Schreyer
Manitoba (1969-77)
Career Highlights: He introduced public auto insurance to the province in 1971 and expanded medicare to the point that it included the country's first pharmacare and home care programs. His government amalgamated the hodgepodge of communities near the junction of the Red and Assiniboine River into a "Unicity" known as Winnipeg, and proceeded with a major expansion of hydroelectric dam construction in northern Manitoba.

Betting Line: Barrett's win of the BC contest was a bit of a fluke so in this all-NDP quarter-final, expect Schreyer to triumph.



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