By: Laura Steiner
As of June 7, 2018 Kathleen Wynne will no longer be Premier. She made the stunning admission at a press conference Saturday; five days before election day. In a sense, it’s a case of why delay the inevitable? The Liberal Party could find themselves without party status cut to a low of two seats after Thursday night. At the same time, this campaign has had more twists, and turns than a roller coaster. It makes no sense to concede now, and it leaves her legacy tarnished.
In the end it’s about politics. The one consistent theme running in this campaign is the sentiment for change. On one end of the spectrum it looks like former businessman Doug Ford. And with his populist tendencies combined with the typical ‘smaller government and save money’ sentiment associated with the PC’s, it should be a slam dunk. It’s the internal mess he takes over that puts a Ford victory in jeopardy. A lot of that can be considered ‘inside baseball’ to be swept under the rug. The problem for Ford is voters know instinctively what feels wrong and look to vote elsewhere.
Then there’s the New Democratic Party (NDP). Ontario usually flirts with an NDP government early in a campaign, and discards the idea. Current numbers show them somewhere in the range of opposition to ruling majority government. The higher than normal numbers are probably due to a protest vote. It’s made up of Liberal voters unable to stomach another four years of Kathleen Wynne, and PC supporters who are either unable to stomach their local candidate, or the idea of Premier Doug Ford. Wynne’s resignation as Premier takes her out of the equation. It will shake some votes loose.
The other possibility is a coalition government with the NDP. For Andrea Horwath it would immediately cut off comparisons to Bob Rae. She’d mark herself as having learned from history. It would mark Horwath as pragmatic; overcoming the questions of expertise in her party for cabinet positions. It might also remove a lot of queasiness Ontarians usually feel towards the NDP. Wynne’s resignation would be a first step towards a coalition. It’s the price for consideration.
Wynne’s presence was what stopped many from voting Liberal. Her resignation restores the choice.