Saturday, March 27, 2010

McGuinty's 2011 Playbook: Mr. Freeze versus The Joker

It's hard to boil a 224 page budget down to one line item. But the early reaction to Thursday's Ontario budget has been all about McGuinty's pledge to freeze public sector wages.

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.

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  • Wishful thinking or no, let's not criticize politicians fir being able to see past the next election. It's a trait sadly missing in most, and to be encouraged.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 12:04 PM  

  • What are your thoughts on the removing of some of the funding for Miller's Transit City?

    By Blogger Bailey, at 1:49 PM  

  • He's a very amiable fellow in person but I really have no faith in Dalton McGuinty as a premier/leader. Decent manager - lacks vision.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 2:25 PM  

  • All levels of government need to stop treating their employees like a piggy bank to raid whenever they find themselves up to their eyes in debt, mainly due to spending programs they concoct to ensure people continue to vote for them. My wages are again going to be held back while inflation marches on and when the freeze is over I will be even further behind than my private industry counterparts. Why? Because government bailed out private sector jobs. So I have to pay for that. I know conservatives scream for this but isn't this the worst form of socialism? Taking my pay to ensure someone else gets theirs? Disgusting.I'm a public servant who is now in social housing because of the shitty pay we get. Enough is enough. Harris was bad enough now this. I was a Liberal since voting age in 1992. They've lost me. My vote has no party to support.

    By Anonymous raided pay, at 6:17 PM  

  • On the other hand, Raided Pay, I imagine you enjoy a job security that others can't even dream of -- look on the bright side!

    By Anonymous jacques beau verte, at 10:20 PM  

  • On the other hand, Raided Pay, I imagine you have a job security others can't imagine - look on the bright side!

    By Anonymous jacques beau verte, at 10:21 PM  

  • Bailey - I like Transit City (in theory...I don't know the details) and transit funding in general.

    But, given the size of the deficit, I don't have a problem with making cut backs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:41 AM  

  • The window for deficit reduction is silly but it's also obviously pessimistic. Which is generally a good idea, but they're being too cute here.

    By Anonymous DR, at 4:26 PM  

  • Who are you going to replace McGuinty with? Hudak has shown himself to be an opportunistic brat (despite the comparisons, Mike Harris would never have adopted Hudak's anti-business stance on the HST). Ontario is screwed.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 9:14 PM  

  • I consider every person should read this.

    By Anonymous, at 2:18 AM  

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