As a former Torontonian and a life-long Ontario resident, the Toronto Star is a tough habit to break. Like many readers, I have a difficult time reading much of Rosie DiManno. That reporter could see a raindrop and write 2000 words about it. My favourites are the political reporters. I, more often than not, will agree with a Chantal Hébert, Susan Delacourt, Martin Regg Cohn, Althia Raj or Bob Hepburn. And occasionally I might disagree. Today is Bob Hepburn’s turn in the penalty box.
And he needs to pay attention. In writing about politics, you have to run fairly fast to keep up with what is happening. You should not quote old polls this far into an election campaign. The polls at the beginning of this campaign were meaningless. Few voters really knew conservative Doug Ford, fewer knew much about the NDP’s Andrea Horwath and it was the rare person who knew anything about liberal Steven Del Duca.
But that is changing. Even the pollsters are admitting that the liberal party numbers are on the move. This is what a political campaign is about. It is a time when the politicians should listen and let the citizens speak. Even as a campaign manager, I would always spend an occasional afternoon knocking on doors and listening to voters. It is the only way I know to feel the campaign and where it is headed.
What worries me the most about Hepburn’s recent suggestion that Monday’s debate is make-or-break time for Del Duca is that Del Duca might listen to him. I would be especially concerned if Del Duca actually changed his approach in the debate on Monday. He has established an effective persona in this campaign and people are liking it. We know now that he is no braggart like Ford nor as confusing as Horwath. He is just a guy like you or me who wants to do a job for us. There might be some patchwork in the team behind him but, on the whole, they can help him do the job. All we have to do is pick the good ones and send them to Queen’s Park. They will work for us.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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