They’re off, in the quadrennial Ontario stakes.

They’re at post! They’re off.  Ho-hum.  Despite all good intentions to mix federal, provincial and municipal activities in this blog, it must be reported that while there are a couple good federal and municipal stories on hold, awaiting further research, nothing much is happening.  The feds are laying low and plotting and the municipal crowd took most of the summer off.

That leaves us with the Andrea, Dalton and Timmy show.  The three of them officially went into high gear today.  The phoney war is over.  The real campaign can finally begin.  It shows us the foolishness of fixed election dates.  We see it in the continuous campaigning in the U.S. with their two and four year election cycles and now Ontario’s fixed elections every four years.  People are actually bored with the election campaign before it officially begins.

The guy to beat in the Ontario race is Dalton.  He had a 16-seat edge in the legislature just ended and his handlers are desperately trying to give him a personality implant.  They might be wasting their time.  Nobody has ever proved that a personality is necessary in Ontario.  You only have to go back to the 1950s when Leslie Frost won three majority governments in a row in 1951, 1955 and 1959 to realize just how boring a premier can be.  Boring works.

Young Timmy Hudak, the provincial Conservative challenger, has his work cut out for him.  Earlier this year, Timmy had a lead in the polls and started to race for the finish line while Dalton sat back and watched.  Timmy has never taken the tortoise and hare stories seriously and he is now getting all kinds of advice from worried Ontario Tories.  Most expected him to stick to his Mike Harris persona.  Some are concerned about him playing footsy with the neo-conservative Ontario Landowners Association.  Others think he should be more like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.  What is happening is that he is conflicted and having trouble remembering his lines.  This is no time for him to be trying to figure out where he is going.

The one really wondering where she is going is Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.  She is trying her damnedest to figure out the impact of national leader Jack Layton’s death on her party.  She knows she will gain but how much is the question.  Her best bet is to say nothing, look good and accept the fallout.  Her party has no idea where it is going anyway.

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Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry

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