The election no one doubted was coming finally has a date. Ontarians head to the polls June 12.
It was a foregone conclusion Tim Hudak’s Conservatives weren’t about to like anything Kathleen Wynne had in her budget last week.
NDP leader Andrea Horvath waited a day and decided to roll the dice and oust the minority government even though the budget was tailored in part to curry favour of the New Democrats.
Despite a recent plunge in the polls, Horvath didn’t have much of a choice. Supporting a government known as the poster child for the term “scandal ridden” was no longer an option.
Wynne inherited a mess from her former boss Dalton McGuinty but hasn’t done much to clean things up.
With the billion-dollar eHealth scandal, the $2-billion gas plant cancellation, the billions in Hydro One screw-ups, Ornge Air Ambulance, Cancer Care Ontario, Ontario Lottery and Gaming, and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation mismanagement, she can’t get ahead of the game.
An election at this point is clearly the best thing for Ontario, although if Wynne emptied the idea cupboard last week, she’s already in deep trouble.
Horvath’s best hope is for a minority government so she can wield some power, however, she hasn’t exactly excelled at that recently and voters may not give her another chance.
This election is Tim Hudak’s to lose but as we’ve seen before he’s fully capable of that.
To win, he needs to better define who he is and what he represents. Last time around, his strategy seemed to consist of telling people he wasn’t Dalton McGuinty. It wasn’t enough then, and simply being anti-Wynne won’t be enough this time.
He backed off the right-to-work platform once he saw public reaction could cost him votes, but Hudak hasn’t shaken the image of someone who has a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Wynne needs to count on that because if she’s running on her record, she may be the ex-premier before school’s out.