When I’ve looked at this election it’s been as a whole picture; What do I see? What do the polls say? Who’s saying what? and who isn’t saying anything because silence speaks too. What I’ve seen is a generally more vicious campaign than in 2011 where for the last week the two front-runners have been going at each other with a different line everyday. Liberals have been cajoling, and nearly begging for votes with Kathleen Wynne sounding desperate at times. They’re standing to be judged on their budget, but they’ve been silent on a few things too. They’ve refused to talk about where they would cut jobs, the MaRS scandal, and rumours Mady Vanstone might not get her life-saving drug paid for.
The Progressive Conservatives (PC’s) are being judged on Tim Hudak’s promises to create 1 million jobs, and cut 100 thousand jobs out of the public service. Questions have been raised over the policy’s math, but have been ignored. Hudak has instead deflected them onto Wynne with limited success. He had a strong performance in the debate last week but so far has failed to properly capitalize on it. Ads from the Ontario Provincial Police Association, and other unions are having their effect on his campaign introducing an element of fear. Nobody is talking about the fact O.P.S.E.U (Ontario Public Service Employees Union) Leader Warren “Smokey” Thomas has come out in an interview with Sun News Network endorsing Tim Hudak, or that Thomas has accused Wynne of lying. Numbering over 90 thousand, O.P.S.E.U is likely where the bulk of Tim Hudak’s cuts will come from over the next few years
The New Democratic Party (NDP) have become the quietest of the three parties. Andrea Horwath made a tactical decision to move her party towards the centre and run on what amounts to the Liberal budget with a tweak; it’s cost her some support from her party’s left, let them be judged on that. Combine that with a quieter, more deliberate approach and she has a solid chance. The one thing I take from the polls is there is definitely a mood for change around the province; people are tired of the status quo. It’s totally up in the air what form the change will take.
The Liberals are done in this province, they’ll move to third place. Two outcomes are possible: A P.C or N.D.P. minority government. Trust is a huge issue; both Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath are untested as Premier. A minority mandate will give voters the chance to know them better.