A Toronto Star editorial praised Dalton McGuinty on becoming the first Ontario Liberal leader in more than 100 years to win three consecutive governments. According to the Star “McGuinty was the only leader [during the election] to demonstrate an understanding that to succeed in a global economy Ontario must adapt and try new things.” The Star argued that McGuinty’s minority government should focus on eliminating the deficit, cutting costs and improving public services.
Christina Blizzard, columnist for the Toronto Sun, analyzed what the election results mean for the three major party leaders. She was skeptical that the Ontario Liberals can govern humbly based on McGuinty’s election night comment that voters gave him a “major minority.” Blizzard wondered if the PCs could resist the urge to fire their leader Tim Hudak. According to Blizzard, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath did “remarkably well” in the election, but she needs to become stronger on policy.
The Globe and Mail
Tim Powers, vice president of Summa Strategies and a former federal Progressive Conservative staffer, advised the Ontario PCs not to dump their leader, Tim Hudak, and his election team after the Liberals won a minority government last week. Powers said that the PCs must acknowledge their successes in the election (despite not forming the government), as well as Dalton McGuinty’s strong campaigning abilities.
Robin Sears, a former NDP campaign director, provided an evaluation of the major political parties’ efforts in the Ontario election campaign. He argued that the Ontario PCs ran a disastrous election campaign, which snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. However, Sears also thought McGuinty’s “insensitivity and false humility sent many voters further left [to the NDP] and kept many others at home.” On the NDP, Sears conceded that the party’s platform had some weak planks, but that Horwath “took a page from Ronald Reagan’s book and smiled her way to success.”
London Free Press
Ian Gillespie, columnist with the London Free Press, examined the low voter turnout in the Ontario election (less than 50 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot last Thursday). He provided some possible explanations for the poor voter turnout including election fatigue, a dull campaign and general declining voter turnout throughout the Western world. Gillespie paraphrased Laura Stephenson, co-director of the Political Behaviour Research Group at the University of Western Ontario, who argues that citizens must be convinced that it’s their duty to vote – not just their right. However, Gillespie doesn’t think this strategy will work, since people are more interested in the singer Justin Bieber than politics.
To learn more about Ontario provincial politics visit TVO’s Civics 101 microsite.
And look back at all of TVO’s great content from the 2011 Ontario election, go to Your Vote 2011.
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