During the recent fall election, I had high hopes that Tim Hudak would be Ontario’s next Premier. I knew him personally when I worked for a Harris era MPP and knew he had what it took to make that happen. I also supported him on this blog when he ran for the leadership of the party. He is, or at least was, a conservative, as opposed to a conservative in name only. He was also visionary and articulate. In other words, he was a born leader.
So, what happened during the recent Ontario election? What happened is that the PCs did not win enough seats to form government because they didn’t stray from their lukewarm message, which was more progressive than conservative. What also happened is that Hudak and his PC team concentrated more on minor issues such as the immigrant tax credit instead of talking about how the McGuinty Government was spending beyond their means, just like Italy and Spain, and that the PCs could get the financial house in order, not in seven years but in four.
Yet, I swear that, during the election campaign, just the mention of the phrase “Mike Harris legacy” would send Hudak and his team spinning. Why? The 1995 to 2002 period was one of growth in jobs and investment. In fact, as I’ve written before, Ontario created 700,000 jobs in the first mandate, got 100,000 people off of social assistance and paid off the $12 billion deficit left behind by Bob Rae’s NDP.
Which brings me to the present. Every day now we are learning how very desperate the fiscal situation is in Ontario. Yesterday, for example, economist Don Drummond (the front man for Premier McGuinty) reported how bad things are economically. Read here and here. Yet, while that report was coming out we were hearing that the Liberals were reducing all post-secondary tuitions by 30% — which only proves that McGuinty and his Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, just don’t get it.
So, you’d think the PCs would come out swinging today wouldn’t you? Well, if they have, I haven’t heard about it. It is as though they are on an extended vacation.
Which is why I am paging Tim Hudak to get out in public and start hammering home the message — that the PCs can fix what is wrong! But, to do that, they have to get away from wishy washy progressive policies and speak clearly about what Ontario needs to prosper once again — a strong, stable, Conservative majority government (thereby emphasizing the C in PC).
EndNote: For those readers who are new to the BT aggregator, I have been blogging for six years and took a bit of a break between the federal election on May 2nd (at which time I asked Stephen Taylor to remove CruxoftheMatter from the list) and the Ontario election in October. However, as of today, I am back on the aggregator. I am also now a member of Blue Canada as well. My thanks to Craig and Stephen for making the process happen so quickly. Stop by and say hello!