After breaking many promises, wasting billions of dollars, putting the province deeper into debt and being put under criminal investigation, Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberals were rewarded with a majority government. What’s wrong with Ontario?
The track record of the provincial Grits this past decade has been awful to say the least. The highest tax increase in the province’s history known as the Ontario Health Premium, the billion-dollar eHealth scandal, the $300 billion provincial debt, the $730 million ORNGE scandal, the $1.1 billion cancelled gas plants, the failed Windsor Parkway and all of the others didn’t lead to any punishment of any kind amongst Ontarian urban centre voters.
Instead, for some reason or another, the electorate decided not to rebuke the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals but rather provide the party with a mandate to govern for another four years. This surprised numerous political analysts and pollsters who projected either a minority Progressive Conservative government led by Tim Hudak or a minority Liberal government.
So, for four consecutive election cycles, the PCs blew it and the Ontarians turned a blind eye to corruption, waste, scandals and lies. What for exactly? It’s unclear but there are many possible answers: indifference, ignorance, unions, statism and/or detest of Hudak, which is certainly understandable.
Whatever the case, it just goes to show that you can maintain the most corrupt government in the province’s history and you don’t have to worry about losing an election. Well, unless you’re under the Liberal Party banner anyway. For all of his incompetence, former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was a genius in boosting the size of the public payroll because those civil servants will go out to vote and make sure that they’re enormous salaries, benefits, perks and pensions remain intact.
This means to vote for the party that gave you those advantages no matter what, principled or unprincipled.
It will be an interesting scenario when the Liberals will have to cut the size of government eventually and reduce numerous public services because we don’t have the money. This is inevitable because interest rates will ultimately rise, which means debt payments will soar and become a significant budget item (burden) – we already pay $11 billion per year in interest payments to finance the debt and it’s the fourth-highest government budget expenditure behind health, education and children’s and social services programs.
It is projected that the interest on the debt will rise by more than one-third to $14.5 billion by the time Premier Wynne faces re-election. It will certainly be riveting to see how bad the province will be in four years from now – of course, it won’t be compelling for the lower and middle classes that have to face higher taxes, skyrocketing hydro costs and a soaring cost of living.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has already likened this once great province to Greece. Ontario, according to the organization, is in the same place Greece was in the mid-1990s in terms of our debt to GDP ratio.
“There’s definitely some parallels and similarities,” said Candice Malcolm, Ontario director of the CTF. “The government needs to address its massive spending addiction ... and borrowing addiction ... right now.”
Even if Hudak wouldn’t have been the best premier, at least a vote for a new government would have been a denunciation of the common elements associated in government that we have both come to expect and detest. Heck, Andrea Horwath and the NDP would have been an understandable choice, or Mike Schreiner and the Green Party, or Allen Small and the Libertarian Party, or the Vegan Environmental Party.
This election should have been themed “Anyone But Liberals.”
Thursday night’s results possibly presented a case of forgiveness from wasting billions of dollars and destroying the province. If that’s what truly occurred then Toronto voters should definitely cast a ballot for Mayor Rob Ford this October considering that his administration is similar to Wynne’s in that he’s been marred in scandal, corruption, waste and criminal investigations. If Grits don’t want to appear hypocritical then they should certainly support another crooked politician.
For the next four years, I ask the rest of Canada and the rest of the world to pray for Ontario. We’re going to need any sort of divine intervention we can get.