When Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, I was depressed for several days. I got over Cathleen Wynne’s victory even before it was officially announced, even though if you think about it, it is quite depressing. At least four more years racing toward the cliff. More windmills, more spending, more debt, higher taxes, more businesses chased away by the constantly increasing cost of doing business here. I am thinking where I could possibly move.
Nobody expected liberal majority.
Everybody is trying to explain it; some are searching for the meaning of it all.
This Toronto Star article the day after the election starts with the sentence:
“Kathleen Wynne’s victory tells us as much about ourselves as Ontarians as it does about her.”
Crooked politics with billion dollar scandals, profligate spending and the resulting out of control debt, virulent anti-business politics is the new normal. The “new political centre in Ontario” as someone quoted in the article puts it.
There is a lot of talk about politics and feelings, not a word about economics or policy.
Lots of “us” as if the rest of us did not even exist.
What does it all mean? The victory of defeatism. The realization that most of us want to live with this new normal.
Conservatives, while privately wishing for a different result, were expecting the defeat as well. Nobody likes Tim Hudak. It is very difficult to vote for a leader without any charisma trying to win an election reacting to poll results and political posturing without a conviction presented convincingly. Just like Stéphane Dion or John McCain. Still, the increased voter turnout was said to be the result of increased conservative participation which was still not enough to make a difference. As Ezra pointed out the day after the election, we are over the tipping point. The takers won. Two third of the province voted for socialists parties, for the idea of redistribution, for government handouts and special privileges. It is interesting to look at the map. All major urban centres are liberal or NDP.
The sad thing is that all of it is a form of defeatism. On the part of those voting for it, it is an open admission that they do not want self-reliance, responsibility or to take care of themselves. For the conservatives it was the defeat of principles as well. The acceptance of mediocrity, the fear of standing up for conservative values and principles. Believing that anything is better than the liberal alternative and hoping that the best they can come up with will be good enough. Eerie resemblance to the republican movement under the ‘leadership’ of John McCaine and Mitt Romney.
Conservatives lost the culture war, they don’t know how to formulate a positive stand on social policy and they don’t dare to go full libertarian on the economy.
Trying to coast on past glory is not enough for victory.
The Toronto Star article quoted above ends with this point:
“Wynne family longevity could be a very bad sign for her rivals.”
It isn’t just ‘could be’, it is a bad sign. It is a bad sign of the longevity not just of Wynne, but the liberal ideas. Not just a sign, but a promise of predictable problems, liberal generated crises and scandals. It will be bad not just for her rivals but for me, for you, the whole province including even the self-interested crooks and leeches, the short-sighted acolytes in the media and anybody else who voted for her party. Wynne may have the longevity gene, but bad economics does not. This cannot end well.
Ontario election results map.