Deja Vu, all over again:
NDP surge to a tie for first place in popular support with the PCs (36% to 35%), Liberals fall to third (22%). Green Party support at 6%.
Projected seat count: 48 PC; 30 Liberals; 29 NDP; due to NDP vote being badly distributed.
Just 24% approve of Dalton McGuinty’s Leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.
Today's polls are, of course, tomorrow's kitty litter. Between now and whenever the government falls those polls could wobble around a lot. It's also possible that, given a few more polls like this, the electorate will panic and start throwing their support behind the Liberals or Tories. Not everyone has forgotten the last time the NDP were in power. Shudder.
How has this come to pass? While the seat count is still pointing to a Tory minority - How often have we heard that? - a swing of a few points could allow for a repeat of 1990. While many are giving credit to Andrea Horwath, who takes time whenever possible to distance the party from Bob's Legacy, the lady is just lucky.
Behold the two leading figures in Ontario politics! There is the Premier who bestrides the narrow world of provincial politics like a slouched colossus. Then there is the leader of the Opposition, Timmy Hudak who in manner, rhetoric and belief is the Ken Doll of Ontario politics. Neither figure inspires much beyond mild disgust and boredom. Many of those who are parking their support with the NDP are merely fed up with the Dalt. After "declaring war" on the teachers unions, with more union strife yet to come, expect Dipper support to increase.
Having fear mongered his way into office, and bribed his way to re-election twice, the Dalt has at last come to his end. It may take months, realizing the hopelessness of the situation he resigns and calls for a leadership convention. It may take years at which point the polls numbers look good enough for the NDP and the Tories to destroy the government and divide up the carcass in the subsequent election. It might even take longer than that, running all the way to 2015 when sheer voter exhaustion sets in at seeing the Premier's perpetually middle-aged mug.
What is ending is the McGuinty game. Short-term spending for little long-term gain. When Red Tories such as John Robarts and Bill Davis reigned at Queen's Park government grew and grew. While much money was wasted, a sin to which bureaucratic flesh is especially heir, the general public obtained some genuine benefits. A dramatically expanded education system and world class infrastructure. What's the Dalt's legacy? Rusting windmills and busted budgets.
The vast largess spent these nine years past has gone to padding the pockets of one class of Ontarians, at the expense of everyone else. The same jobs are being done for a lot more money. An already inefficient system has been steadily less efficient. This is not socialism. The socialist aspires to a vision, albeit a perverse and pernicious one. The politics of Daltism are greed and pilfering masked by soft headed and hazy rhetoric. Dalton McGuinty Cares. Very true. But only about some Ontarians.
No matter who succeeds the Dalt they will not be able to rule as Dalt did. There simply isn't the money.