Well, we must give Dalton his due.
A third term, even a minority is indeed an accomplishment. Some might argue, as he does, that it is a ‘major minority’. Unfortunately, as I noted earlier, Tim Hudak did not catch fire and the discontent with the Liberals, while strong, was not enough to change the government entirely.
We now have a legislature where the Liberals hold a slim one-vote majority.
I heard a rumour that neither the NDP nor Conservative parties intend to put forth a candidate for Speaker, the individual who keeps the rules straight during the legislative sittings. In that event, the Speaker must come from the Liberal members and, as the speaker has no vote, the Liberals and the opposition would be tied in number of MPP’s, and the slim one-vote lead, held by the Liberals after the election, will be gone.
It will make for an interesting couple of years. With the NDP and Conservatives hardly on the same page, McGuinty will be using all of his ‘middle of the road’ agenda to pass any new legislative initiatives. Key will be whether he will continue his rather draconian policies and flip-flops on energy, siting of major hydro projects and quarries. All are of long-term importance to the Ontario economy and, to date, have been mismanaged, especially in the lead up to this election.
The problem will be that the opposition NDP and Conservatives will not be interested in any election in the near term, two years minimum and, while there will be a lot of noise and rhetoric, accommodations will always be made to ensure Ontario does not go to the polls immediately.
Another interesting dynamic will be the fate of McGuinty himself. If he had obtained a majority, the scenario would certainly be a show of strong leadership for a couple of years, then a graceful exit and a leadership convention with a new Liberal leader.
Now, with a minority (or tie) in place, will the same game plan take place? Pressure will come from both sides and it is not the time to show weakness in the leader but, on the other side, Ontario is tired of Dalton. We need new blood before going to the polls again. It will be interesting and should have a major impact on where this government goes in the next three years.
Personally, while I think the minority is good for Ontario right now, the fate of Dalton will be an impediment to a positive agenda. Time will tell.
However, there is one good thing for me. When I speak publicly, I have this great opening line I use regarding Dalton and I being related. Looks like it will be good to use for another two years at least.
TRASHED! How Political Garbage Made the United States Canada’s Largest Dump