News on the provincial campaign: boring.

With the seven Liberal candidates for the job of Premier of Ontario ranging in age from 50 to 61, you are forgiven if you do not expect too much excitement. The fact that all of them have the McGuinty seal of approval—in that each had at one time or another served in a McGuinty cabinet—is a measure of their acceptability to party establishment. And now the party has to figure out which of them is the least boring.

You might want to bypass the Toronto Star if you are looking for help in sorting out the candidates. A news section of the Saturday Star had questions asked of the seven candidates. Anyone who faithfully read all 21 paragraphs of drivel from the candidates deserves a medal. And then the Star’s editors chose a headline saying: Economy the focus as Liberal campaign heats up. While that newspaper was being delivered, the temperature across Ontario fell more than 10 degrees and here in Babel we had more than 10 centimetres of white stuff to shovel.

And to think that these contenders paid the Liberal Party of Ontario a collective $350,000 just for the privilege of boring Ontario Liberals. That fee certainly kept out the riff-raff. And that is not all. The candidates are allowed to raise $625,000 each to spend on their campaign—provided they give 20 per cent of the money they raise to the party. It begs the question as to whether this is a leadership contest or a fund-raising campaign?

Somehow, Sandra Pupatello came first in the Toronto Star’s list but having read just her answers to the Star’s questions, does not mean you are enlightened. All you will end up with is that she is going to hit the ground running. (You have never heard that expression before, have you?)

The other front runner is Gerard Kennedy. He makes the interesting comment that this leadership contest gives all parties in the Legislature an opportunity to start again. It would, if both the other parties were to also replace their leaders.

The other five candidates also do their best with the Star’s narrow questions. Everyone seems to want to sit down with Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath to solve problems. What makes them think that those two have any answers is a mystery.


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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