Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ontario Votes 2011

The writ drops tomorrow in Ontario for an October 6th vote, but for all intents and purposes, the campaign is already well under way. So for those tuning in after a summer away from politics, here's where the parties sit.


Gone for the PCs is the lovable loser John Tory, replaced with Tim Hudak, the man with the golden smirk. Hudak was first elected in 1995...wait, is that right? How old was he then - 13?

Despite his 16 years of elected experience, Hudak remains undefined for most and difficult to pin down. The best way to describe him would be to simply say he is the very image of a modern politician - he smiles a lot, can deliver a decent soundbyte, and promises lower taxes. He's not charismatic, but he's not uncharismatic either. If I were ever tasked with preparing a PowerPoint presentation on different human professions for visiting aliens, Hudak would likely be my case study of "politician".

Even less well known than Hudak is the NDP's Andrea Horwath. While she won't be mistaken for Jack Layton on the campaign trail, Horwath seems likable enough (unless you're an environmentalist that is).

Horwath fits into the NDP mould, talking about "positive campaigns" and "results for people"...all the while tossing out a few silly ideas like baning cars from moving within 1 metre of bikes on the roads. 2011 is a good time to look like you're cut from the NDP mould, so Horwath should do well, and could wind up a big player if Ontario wakes up with a minority government October 7th.

Then there's Dalton McGuinty who, for better or worse, everybody knows. After a fairly low-key first term, McGuinty has spent the last four years doing the things voters say they want - investments in renewable energy, creating efficiencies in the tax system, helping businesses compete internationally, modernizing the economy...you know, big picture stuff. Of course, while voters may think 900 new wind turbines sounds good, most would probably rather get a tax rebate on their subway pass when all is said and done.

So McGuinty enters the campaign a few points behind Tim Hudak. But either man could win. Or woman, for that matter.


Yesterday, the Liberals released their platform , following up summer announcements from the PCs and NDP. The Liberal platform focuses heavily on their record, and features a host of third party validators - everyone from Bill Davis, to David Suzuki, to the Toronto Sun.

As for new policies, the platform is rather modest - outside of some cash for education, there aren't a lot of big ticket items.

Which makes sense when you're being called "the tax man" by your opponent.


Above - Hudak on McGuinty's record, McGuinty on McGuinty's record, and Horwath talks about helping the little guy, while sitting in what appears to be a million-dollar house.


Nanos (Aug 25-28, n = 1002 online)
PC 35%
Lib 32%
NDP 23%
Green 4%

Angus Reid (Aug 25-28, n = 1002 online)
PC 38%
Lib 31%
NDP 24%
Green 6%

Ipsos Reid (July 29-Aug 4, n = 899 online)
PC 38%
Lib 36%
NDP 23%
Green 3%



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