Toronto, ON – Former Prime Minister, the late John Diefenbaker, was often quoted that polls were only good for one thing and dogs know what that is! However, save for a few exceptions, opinion polls conducted throughout the recent Ontario provincial election predicted a majority Progressive Conservative government. The polls convinced Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne to throw in the towel on the weekend before Election Day. The polls were correct.
The PC’s under Doug Ford won 76 seats, the NDP with 40, the incumbent Liberals lost official party status electing only 7 and the Green Party made history electing its first member ever.
The polls showed that voters were angry. The voters didn’t understand why their hydro bills continued to climb, why they couldn’t afford to buy a house, why gas prices continue to climb, why their commute is so bad and why considering how hard they work for a living, why so many things they feel they deserve are unaffordable? They perceived their government wasn’t working for them. Doug Ford responded by promising increased disposable income through tax cuts. The NDP under Andrea Horwath answered by promising increased government support with Pharmacare, Daycare, and Dental Care initiatives. Money talks and the voters walked!
Consider this, the voter turnout in 2018 was the highest it has been in more than 20 years yet 60 per cent of voters opposed the winning party! “This was not the result we had hoped for but there were some silver linings in the clouds over Queens Park,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall.
“The NDP is now the official opposition, they have doubled their seats in the legislature and Andrea Horwath’s popularity is at an all-time high. I’m extremely proud of our IAM political action efforts, the members were out in force supporting NDP candidates. I want to give a particular shout out to IAM Local Lodge 2323 Vice President Dan Janssen.
He ran a terrific campaign in the riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, north of Toronto. He placed second and more than doubled the NDP vote from the previous election. Our members are engaged and it bodes well for the future.”
The alternative option of the NDP was perhaps too much change for too many voters. It appears the electorate preferred familiar change, the usual see saw between Liberals and Conservatives. So what do we have to look forward to in the next four years? The Ontario PC’s have a victory but it may be difficult to govern an angry democracy. The electorate will demand proof of the change they voted for. Ford must govern with policies that are fair and balanced. If he does not, the anger that carried him into Queens Park can easily carry him out in four years.