So, apparently Doug Ford won the PC Leadership Race. But he didn’t win the popular vote nor the majority of ridings – Christine Elliot did. One might ask how then he became the leader of the party? It seems that the Ontario PCs have their own version of the electoral college. It doesn’t matter how many votes you get if you your opponent wins the right combination of ridings with enough of a margin.
The Ontario PCs have had a bad start to 2018. Patrick Brown, their former leader, accused of sexual misconduct, has turned the party into a shit show. First he’s going to stay on and fight, then he resigns a couple of hours later. When the leadership race is called he enters it and then quits. And now we have this mess of an election that really makes no sense.
Leadership at the party level, for almost every other party, is the person with the most votes wins. This means that the leader has the confidence of the party. Whether the vote is done as one member one vote or through the delegate system (so much fun to watch) the party mostly comes out united. In this case, it’s hard to see how the party is going to heal the rifts and be ready to go for a June 7, 2018, election.
There are many parallels that can be drawn between Donald Trump and Doug Ford. However, Warren Kinsella argues that casting Kathleen Wynne as Hilary Clinton and Doug Ford as Donald Trump would not at all be accurate. Doug Ford is not his brother, Rob whom he defended for years. According to Kinsella, the only thing Doug Ford has in common with Donald Trump is that they are both populists. Ontarians underestimate and criticize Doug Ford at their own peril.
Kathleen Wynne leads a scandal-plagued (take it with a grain of salt as this is a PC Party link) government that has been in power for 14 years. While not all of these scandals are of her making, she was a high level cabinet minister in Dalton McGuinty’s government and, as a result, she bears responsibility. In addition to the scandals, economic growth has been stalled and is not keeping pace with the rest of the country. This is very significant as Ontario has largely been seen as the ‘engine’ of Canada. According to the Hamilton Spectator, When is “profoundly detested.”
Andrea Horwath’s NDP may be the winner in this situation. Going into an election against an embattled premier and a rookie leader on the provincial stage, she and the NDP stand to make inroads. Hopefully she can overcome the errors of the last election campaign. Current polls (March 7, 2018) put the NDP in the middle between the PCs on top and the Liberals on the bottom. It will be interesting to see what effect Doug Ford’s win will have on the polls.
The upcoming provincial election will be one to watch for sure!