Updates October 25th, 2012: After continually reading about all the broken promises the Ontario Liberals and Premier McGuinty have told since coming to power in 2003, I have revised this post slightly. Also, yesterday, not unexpectedly, McGuinty finally ruled out a federal Liberal leadership run. Here is a Google page on that topic.
Original post starts here:
Project Vapour was a deliberate strategy to take the heat off the Ontario Liberal Government and its Liberal political wing regarding the gas plants issue. Meaning, we can now assume that even before Premier Dalton McGuinty made his emotional soon-to-exit and prorogation announcements in the early afternoon on Monday, October 15th, the timing was deliberate.
Why? Because the Ontario Liberals’ very effective political strategy team would have realized that it was the day before the second US Presidential debate — which was going to have live TV coverage ad nauseum — with the expected result that the media and politicians would have just 24 hours to discuss McGuinty’s decisions and so-called “accomplishments.” Which is pretty much what happened.
However, the overall financial and green mess McGuinty and his Liberals have made of Ontario are other issues altogether! As the post at Canadian Content interactive forum says, unlike former Ontario Premier Mike Harris, who left both his province and his party in excellent shape, no matter what people think of McGuinty, he is doing the opposite.
Yet, oddly, people still complain about Harris. I suppose it is because McGuinty does have a humble look about him that Harris did not have — although I found Harris every bit as approachable in person as McGuinty. However in politics, perception is everything!
Speaking of perception, during the initial announcement, there were almost immediate “distraction” inquiries as to whether McGuinty might run for the federal Liberal Party. Nudge nudge, wink, wink. Then, not long after the announcement, there was a press conference where the same question came up. It was like that was all the media was interested in, not the McGuinty government’s record.
Following those two events, we saw Liberal bad boy political strategist par excellence, Warren Kinsella on Sun TV, waxing lyrical about how McGuinty could easily beat Justin Trudeau for federal Liberal leader. Truly, vapour doesn’t begin to describe what Kinsella was spouting. But, truth to tell, Kinsella is good at what he does — spin — all the while with that innocent smile of his — with the result that you can’t help but like the guy.
I mean, on last nights Brian Lilley show, Kinsella turned himself into a pretzel discussing how the voters in the two ridings where the plants were moved knew before voting about the costs and controversy surrounding the move. Of course, all that is true. The problem is we don’t know all the political machinations that went into the actual decisions — yet.
Anyway, on Lilley’s show, Kinsella went so far as to say he “adores that Liberal,” (at the 5:55 mark on this video) referring to McGuinty. The reality is somewhat different for most Ontarians, however, for all the reasons Michael Den Tandt writes here.
The crux of the matter is, however, not about whether McGuinty could win the federal Liberal leadership race. Rather, it is about solidifying the vapour coming out of the Premier’s office. To do that, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and PC Leader Tim Hudak (see update # 3 below) are going to have to show their mettle by putting their partisan differences aside in order to find out what is behind the political decisions to move the gas plants — not that they were moved since all leaders said they would do that, but the extent of Liberal Party of Ontario interference.