Politicos and observers are doing some wishful thinking to believe there is likely to be a minority government after Ontario’s June provincial election. Voters are faced with three major party leaders that they either dislike, don’t know or distrust. This is obviously not one of the better times for political leadership in Ontario. It is how the four major voting blocks of voters respond to this leadership situation that will determine the outcome. And it is obvious from the polls that there is lots of room for changed attitudes in the coming four months.
There is a slight electoral edge for the Ontario progressive conservatives. The conservative voting block is about 25 per cent of eligible voters. The party is strong in rural areas where fewer votes can win the seat. The party has been in power for almost four years now with a mixed bag of smart moves and dumb moves. It is a party friendly to the rich and panders to the anti-abortion activists, gun enthusiasts, anti-vaxxers and people who have no understanding of our tax system and what it pays for.
The party’s problems are that nobody is impressed with the handling of the pandemic, nobody believes we really need the new highway 413 and there are conservative voters willing to concede that premier Doug Ford is incompetent. He is both disliked and distrusted.
The liberal voters are the other major voting block. They also have a base of about 25 per cent of eligible voters but are more concentrated in urban centres, where you need more votes to win the seat. While they tell everyone they are progressive, they are generally considered good mangers. They are business friendly and cater to the younger voters.
The liberal party’s most serious problem this time is that nobody knows their new leader. He has not won any awards lately in getting himself known. The one ridiculous pledge he has made to voters is that he will quit if gets to be premier and does not change how we vote in this province.
The third large voting block in Ontario are the 30 per cent of voters who always have some reason not to vote. This is a mixed bag of people, who either do not care, do not understand, do not believe in voting, have gone on vacation or have died. The one thing you can count on is that they always confuse the pollsters. And they are why the major parties make the effort to be sure voters, identified by their party as supporters, get to the polls.
The smaller bloc of voters, about 20 per cent, are the new democratic party (NDP) supporters. The Ontario party’s problems are basically a lack of direction and poor leadership for more than a decade. It is unlikely that many in Ontario would trust NDP leader Andrea Horwath in the premier’s chair.
It is a waiting game.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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