MORRISBURG — Right now, in some bunker, deep in the bowels of federal Liberal party war room, there is likely some political strategist sweating bullets over the actions of Kathleen Wynne and the provincial government. One wrong move by Wynne, could sink key ridings needed by Trudeau the Younger in his quest to become Prime Minister.
Statistics back this up. Look in the results in Ontario federally: In 2004, the federal conservatives won 24 seats; in 2006 it went up to 40 seats; 2008 to 51 seats; and finally to 2011 where the Conservatives won 73 seats. During the the time from 2004 to 2015. Ontario is the reason that Stephen Harper won his majority government, it will be the bell-weather of the 2015 campaign.
I talked to some voters during the 2006 campaign, which was the first after Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty instituted the Health Care “premium”. It didn’t matter that it was the province that did it, the voters I spoke to were not going to vote Liberal again. This was confirmed by an area-PM when I bumped into one at an event recently. Voters were angry and they vented their anger at the Liberals, regardless of their jurisdiction.
This is the type of emotional voting that the federal Conservatives likely hope for. The more screw-ups by the Wynne Liberals over the course of the summer and fall can only help the federal Conservative cause. More-than-casual observers of politics do pay attention to the distinctions between the federal and provincial parties. But any tarnish will apply to both Liberal brands to the casual observer. Just as the federal Liberals strategists are hoping for no issues in the province of Ontario, there just as likely are federal Conservative strategists hoping for as much turmoil as possible for the provincial government. Specifically around September 7th when school is suppose to go back.
The chance of labour turmoil in Ontario, and how that will affect the voters gives new meaning to Trudeau the Younger’s slogan of “Hope and Hard Work”. It will take a lot more than hope to turn the voters around, if the kids are not in school September 7th. Hope and hard work indeed!