Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
Help
Follow

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

PC’s Brown can win simply by not being Wynne

Patrick Brown is determined to avoid the pitfalls that did in his predecessors at the helm of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. Facing an election against an unpopular and corrupt Kathleen Wynne, he simply has to avoid messing the bed.

The 2014 election was a slam dunk for Tim Hudak … until he said one too many things that could be used against him, even taken out of context. Such is how politics work.

The Liberals have spent years buying the votes of public sector unions – a costly endeavour that’s led to waste, corruption and the undermining of the public good – so opposition parties have to work against a sizeable voting block supported by unethical advertising campaigns. A recent spate of policies such as raising the minimum wage and manipulating hydro rates with borrowed money, for instance, are all about Wynne trying to hang onto power next June.

Wynne is widely reviled for her poor governance and outright corruption – her popularity has sunk to unprecedented depths – yet she’s bought enough votes that unseating her party still won’t be a cake walk. This is the lesson Brown learned from Hudak and John Tory before that, meaning his under-the-radar approach is probably for the best.

There’s a reason why his People’s Guarantee platform now being rolled out sounds very middle of the road, much of it not startling to Liberal supporters. Or even NDPers. He’s been decidedly centrist. That many Ontarians couldn’t identify him is less of a hurdle than saying something, no matter how true or necessary, that could be twisted by the Liberals and their paid supporters.

The platform includes many of the same social and labour programs in place today, along with tax relief for the middle class and lower-income families. He’s checking all the boxes.

That’s another lesson learned from the 2014 election, where both Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwarth played the corruption and mismanagement cards, to which Wynne has no defence, but to no avail.

The Conservatives also took aim at the Liberals’ profligacy when it comes to the bloated public sector and lack of control over spending. Horwath, not surprisingly, was fine with the status quo that is bleeding away tax dollars and increasing deficits without providing value to Ontarians. The election results were surely a disappointment for the PCs, who saw their fortunes fall, in part due to Hudak’s missteps and in part due to his failure to resonate with voters. Brown may not be leading a groundswell, but untarred by the Liberals, he can win an election by not being Kathleen Wynne.

The premier’s smoke and mirrors aside, a weak economy, unsettled housing prices and rising personal debt may combine to make fundamental issues, intertwined with our education and health care systems, a top priority in June.

Those issues will require a deft hand to get runaway expenses under control. You can bet the next premier will be looking for more money from Ottawa, but, again, wages will be a big part of the equation while trying to reel in costs that have far outstripped inflation and economic growth. As the two biggest draws on the public purse, those sectors will need the most attention: we can no longer throw money away as we have in the past.

Tough decisions are coming, the kind we’ll have to keep in mind while reviewing both spending and tax policy. Wynne’s party is incapable of acting in the public good.

Simply not being Wynne gives Brown a big boost on the credibility front.

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

Total
1
Shares



Related Posts
Total
1
Share