Ontario now has a chance at a fresh start.
The routing of the Kathleen Wynne Liberals was so severe that they lost party status and all the benefits that entails.
As has happened historically, the Liberals will make a pitch to have their party status restored and it would be wise for the Conservatives to be thoughtful and grant it. Over the course of time, all parties have needed a leg up as they rebuild.
Ironically this fall from grace should not land entirely on Wynne’s doorstep. There was a lot of leftover McGuinty baggage and quite frankly some of her cabinet ministers had an air of arrogance that didn’t help either. Having met Wynne on numerous occasions, she was always engaging and decent. But as happens in politics, change was in order and people decided to move on.
Wellington ridings tend to support incumbents, particularly those who do a good job for constituents here. Ted Arnott and Randy Pettapiece may have different styles but few can doubt their keen desire to help residents or local municipalities that have business with the province.
This is where the moving on part might get a little difficult.
Doug Ford as Conservative party leader was a stumbling block for many voters. Even those solidly behind Arnott and Pettapiece had to swallow a little hard knowing that a vote for them would help out Ford.
Both MPPs contacted the premier-elect the day after the election with a list of issues that need attention in their local ridings. From tax relief to healthcare, the gentlemen representing Wellington ridings have a handle on concerns for people here.
Since elections can be a time of great rhetoric, some promises may prove entirely impractical – like firing the head of hydro “just because.” An experienced caucus will surely help sort out wise actionable items that will benefit all Ontarians, rather than fulfill notions of hyperbole from the campaign trail. This is our hope anyway.
Whatever ends up being priority items, they should be researched thoroughly and a course of action set swiftly. Our suspicion remains that the province’s finances are in far more dubious shape than we know – certainly musings by the auditor general suggest there is cause for concern. This could shake up caucus priorities too.
One point however that might not make it to the cabinet table should be addressed. In part a construct of a right wing media organization, the phrase Ford Nation needs to go. In some circles it may have been seen as witty or fun, but now that Ford is the premier, representing all of Ontario, he needs to shed this motto and fast. It’s Trumpian and conversely un-Canadian.
Finally, the Advertiser congratulates all candidates who took part in this past election.
While defeat is never fun, it is part of the democratic process and regardless of party or affiliation, all candidates are owed a great deal of respect for having the conviction to run for office.