Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


What McGuinty persuasive skills?

From today's Ian Urquhart piece in the Toronto Star:

McGuinty and the Liberals want voters to go to the ballot boxes on Oct. 10 with this question in mind: are things better in our schools and hospitals than they were four years ago? They believe that is a winning question for them.

But the opposition parties want voters to be asking themselves whether McGuinty can be trusted.

It will take all McGuinty's persuasive skills over the next four months to shift the voters' focus his way.

What persuasive skills? He lied in the last election. He tried to bury as many broken promises as possible during his first year in office, hoping voters were dumb enough to forget. Since then, he's done his best to hide from the Ontario public and make that seem as though we have peace and prosperity in our time.

Whatever skills Dalton McGuinty might claim to have, persuasiveness is not one of them. That's why I suspect he'll do what most Liberals do now when power is in question. He'll go nasty and negative. Just watch.

Liberal strategy is to lock up all the GTA ridings together with other urban ridings where the Liberals feel they can win the vote easily.

The Ontario rural riding are insignificant because the morons also voted Liberal as in SW Ontario.

Dalton has a natural Liberal constituency across Ontario, and so far there has been no outrage over his government.


I just don't agree with that assessment at all. Provincially, Liberals have almost always been on the outside looking in. They simply do not have the pedigree of success that their federal counterparts do, as much as Dalton wants to emulate his hero Chretien.

What Dalton and his buddies forget, however, is that Chretien had a governing alternative split three ways. Dalton doesn't have that luxury.

There certainly was outrage over Dalton's lie about raising taxes. The outrage might be gone, but I doubt the memory is, nor the anger.

If McGuinty wasn't forced into fixing election dates he almost certainly would not have called an election now.

I don't recall a government going into a campaign with as much of a lack of momentum as the current Ontario Liberals — excluding those plagued by scandal, of course.

Oh wait, Dalton is plagued by scandal right now. Oh boy!


Personally, I think Dalton McGuinty is a fairly masterful obfuscator. For example, he hosts a provincial conference on climate change. He must be an environmentalist, right?

But he didn't shut down Ontario's coal-fired power plants, like he promised. But it seems that only his opponents remember this. Every one else is distracted by the other things that he is doing -- mostly things that don't require any kind of action at all.


Actually, I don't think he is.

I'm quite amazed at how political observers of all stripes seem to see some kind of political mastery in the way McGuinty operates.

He's a mediocre man who has to lie in order to cover-up for his inadequacies. And he's not even that good at it.

People will remember the lies. It's far too easy to remind them.

He's honestly not that good.

To me, the election will boil down to two things:

a) Is John Tory tough enough to stand up to McGuinty's desperation?

b) Will Howard Hampton finally achieve some kind of a breakthrough from the left?

As recent by-elections have shown, McGuinty will be squeezed in the centre from both sides.

McGuinty campaigned in those by-elections by hiding from the public. He ended his first term as premier by shutting down Parliament to avoid questions about a slush fund scandal.

Personally, I'm beginning to see a premier who just doesn't have the skill or the substance to withstand the kind of political pressure he will get from both sides of the spectrum.

Should be fun watching him squirm.


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