McGuinty's 2011 Playbook: Mr. Freeze versus The Joker
Is it good policy? It seems reasonable enough to me given the tough economic times, but then again, I might have a different opinion if I were a public sector employee. And that's why this budget could compound McGuinty's problems. Because a wage freeze is something people will feel, it impacts a lot of people, and it impacts a lot of people who I would guess vote Liberal in higher-than-average numbers.
But this fits into McGuinty's modus operandi of late. He's clearly trying to brand himself as a man capable of making tough decisions - as a serious politician. It's not a bad narrative to run with when you're up against a young, inexperienced leader who offers gimmicks over substance. And it doesn't hurt that Hudak's MPPs routinely do less-than-serious things like getting banned from the legislature and suggesting that Toronto separate from Ontario.
As for the rest of the budget, there's good and bad. An 8 year plan to balance the books is asinine - that's two elections down the road and the province will change dramatically during that time. It would be like an 8 year plan for the Leafs to win the cup - yes, you can't promise to do it any sooner, but it's not so much a plan as it is wishful thinking.
The good, in my opinion, in the increase in post-secondary spaces, and McGuinty pushing ahead with his all day kindergarten plan. These are the sort of things that will benefit Ontario in the long run. The sort of things serious politicians do.