Giving points for honesty about Ontario’s economy (or, just how bad are things, really?)

From today’s National Post, editorial writer Kelly McParland, on Tim Hudak’s gamble with honesty, and Premier Wynne’s response.

Ontario Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak buys flowers for Mothers Day with his daughter Miller at Growers Flower Market on Avenue Rd. in Toronto.

 

Kelly McParland: Hudak tests Ontario’s fortitude by offering an honest choice

| May 12, 2014 | Last Updated: May 12 1:19 PM ET
More from Kelly McParland | @KellyMcParland

Tim Hudak has done an odd thing, so odd most Ontarians probably haven’t quite grasped what he’s up to. In announcing his plan to take an axe to the public sector payroll – and admitting that teachers would be included along with everyone but police, nurses and doctors – he’s openly declared his intentions and offered voters a clear choice.

In doing so he’s rejected what has become the accepted norm of Canadian politics. Honesty is not usually viewed as a good policy among candidates seeking election. Spin is the rule of the day. Even if a candidate has a clear plan, it’s considered best to obfuscate the fact until after the votes are counted and it’s too late for voters to change their minds. You might hint that some sort of “restraint” will be needed if the economy is to avoid going over the edge, but you wrap it among promises that no jobs will be endangered, no impact will be felt, and spending can continue to grow at the same old unsustainable pace. That’s certainly been the Liberal party’s approach to winning elections in the province.
Kathleen Wynne says Liberal government made ‘mistakes’ (under McGuinty) and she’s the one to fix them

Premier Kathleen Wynne says there’s no doubt the Liberals have made mistakes in the past, but she’s committed to running an open, transparent government if elected next month.

In an interview on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning in Toronto, Wynne said she had a “good working relationship” with her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, but didn’t always agree with him.

Wynne has faced tough questions in recent months about the cancellation of two gas plants when McGuinty was premier, which could cost up to $1.1 billion.

Mr. Hudak has rejected that approach. After 11 years of Liberal rule, and the precipitous decline of the economy that was once Canada’s strongest, Mr. Hudak has chosen to be straightforward about his intentions. His promise on Friday to chop 100,000 public sector jobs left no room for doubt. “I take no joy in this, but it has to be done if we want job creators to put more people on the payroll in our province,” he said.

In doing so, he is being honest, candid and — depending on your point of view — either courageous or foolhardy. He’s trusting voters to assess the situation and make their choice based on a full understanding of the options. He evidently believes voters understand the damage that’s been done to the province under the Liberals, and the danger of continuing down that path, and being mature enough to choose between repairing it, or continuing along the same route…
Read the full story here, including,  ” It would have been simple to blanket the province with images of Dalton McGuinty and the slogan  ‘Had enough?’ “

Comments

Ron Hartlen
Reply

Cutting 100,000 jobs sounds like a lot, and the other Leaders will use this number to spread fear, and portray Hudak as a ruthless slasher.
Better to communicate it as simply a 9% cut. That comes across as just being responsible and realistic.

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