Ontario to stay in the red
Well, there you have it folks. The Liberals elected to a third term as the government in Ontario (congratulations Dalton McGuinty for another well run campaign). The Liberals lost 19 seats in the process and now have a technical majority with 53 seats out of 107. It’s a technical majority because they will elect a speaker from the opposition to make it 53-53 on the floor and in cases of tie votes, the speaker will vote for the government. I think everybody lost.
But neither the seat loss nor the size of the new mandate is the story. No, for me, the true story is that the voters of Ontario which accounted for a mere 49% of eligible voters felt that the alternatives being offered by the PCs and the NDP were not appealing. Now to be fair, the popular vote difference between the PCs and the Liberals was only 2.2% (37.6%-Libs to 35.4%-PCs) yet the Liberals were able to account for 53 seats to the 37 for the PCs – but that’s another blog. What this really says about this election is that a minority of Ontario voters now dictate what happens in Ontario. The majority of voters are just turned off of politics and politicians all together and no longer bother voting.
So really, there are no winners in this election. Yes Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals will set the agenda for the next term at Queens Park but Ontarians have tuned out. The opposition leaders, and I think both Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath should stay on as leaders for their respective parties for another election, need to find a way to reach out to the 51% of detached voters. The path to victory has to be tied to winning over those who feel the government is not there for them because the voting 49% will continue to live off the status quo.