In two days our largest province will vote and below are my thoughts on the election. It is probably fair to say the election has largely been a snoozer. No one has made any proposals that have really jumped out and interest in election seems low. Polls have also been surprisingly static with PCs leading every single poll (I believe last time a party led every single poll in Ontario during an election was 1987, but could be wrong).
In terms of what I think will happen, barring a massive polling miss, even larger than BC 2013, the PCs will win the most seats. Likewise I think a PC majority is extremely likely and for them to fall short would require a last minute shift or virtually every single competitive riding to break against them. Thus in all likelihood Doug Ford will get re-elected with another majority. The more interesting part is the battle for second place. My guess is Liberals come in second in votes, but NDP remains official opposition as their vote more concentrated so that is bad news if in 30s but good news for them if in 20s. For seat predictions, I am going to go with following:
I also predict Steve DelDuca fails to win his own seat thus is forced to resign on election night. Howarth doesn’t resign on election night, but steps down before year’s end since if after four tries, cannot win, probably time for someone else.
I think main reason for this is neither Howarth or DelDuca are exactly popular and neither has really given voters any good reason to elect them. For Ford, people don’t love him, but asides from your usual types on left who hate any conservative politician, most feel he has done a decent job. Yes he has made some mistakes and has his weaknesses, but feeling is Ontario has had a decent government and now is not the time to risk change. His first two years in office were definitely tumultuous and no doubt prior to the pandemic, many of us thought he would be a one term premier. But I believe the pandemic provided a reset and he used that well. Also firing his chief of staff Dean French was probably the best move. He encouraged Ford to be combative which most voters were not interested in. After dumping him, we saw the softer side of Ford which many people weren’t aware of including myself and were pleasantly surprised. It is often said, unexpected crisis can make or break a politician’s career and that is no more truer than here in Canada. It was what helped Ford recover and puts him on track for a second majority while it was what ended Kenney’s career.
As I do not live in Ontario, I cannot vote there, but I did live there for 10 years (2006-2017) so have a keen interest and as largest province in Canada, who they elect impacts us all. As such I can unlike 2018 where I was very uneasy with idea of Ford becoming premier, this time I fully endorse his re-election. He has not been perfect but has provided a steady hand in these tough times. He has also shown a pragmatic side and to my surprise has not been overly ideological. I also believe both Howarth and DelDuca are offering pie in the sky plans that will cost too much and are not affordable. So even if imperfect and even if not overly exciting, I do believe he is the best choice to govern Ontario for the next four years. I think as UCP and Conservatives chose their new leader, they can learn from him that pragmatism and flexibility works while ideological dogmatism does not. Fact both Ontario and Quebec are on track to re-elect centre-right governments while Alberta, long known as bastion of conservatism is set to elect an NDP government next year is telling. It shows moderate pragmatic conservatism can win in all parts of Canada while dogmatic ideological conservatism is toxic in all provinces, even normally conservative ones.
Once the results are in, I will post a post mortem on them and what it means as can give more detailed understanding on what happened when looking at how various ridings voted. On the issue of handgun freeze yesterday, I totally support that. Won’t cost taxpayers a cent while overtime will reduce number of handguns present in Canada. Fact is handgun ownership has grown at an alarming rate and even if most are law abiding, simple law of averages is more you have of anything, more risk there is. And levels of handgun ownership have risen to levels where government needed to act before it reached tipping point like in US where gun lobby became too powerful and thus nothing could be done. I understand won’t stop all or even most crimes. But we need to avoid developing a gun culture and with reason of hard right we saw with trucker convoy, its time to nip issue in the bud.