Well, that was pointless. Completely useless. Nothing was settled. Total waste of time and money. Here we are, right back where we started. Another minori…wait, what?
Honestly, I did not expect this at all. I don’t see how anyone could have. Opinion polls around elections only have so much value and there’s only so much anyone should truly take them to heart, but everything from the polls to the sentiment you could gather from people you know and from the media social and otherwise made it feel like this one was too close to call. I fully expected to wake up today to some sort of minority government. I was hoping for a Liberal one, but was at the same time bracing myself for the idea that Tim Hudak and the PC’s might squeak one out. I kept telling myself that at least it would be a minority so all of the truly crazy stuff we’d be in for would perhaps be tempered by sanity and reason, but I still wasn’t looking forward to the prospect.
But now, here we are. The Liberals, seemingly against all odds, won a majority. And not one of those by the skin of their teeth majorities, either. They needed 54 seats to hit the majority mark. They took 58.
The PC’s, meanwhile, got soundly thumped, going from 37 seats all the way down to 27. There’s no way you can paint that as anything less than a disaster for Tim Hudak. He knew it too, and stepped down as party leader before the night was over.
On the NDP end of things, the best way you can frame their results is as a mixed bag. On the positive side they didn’t lose any seats, but at the same time unity within the party and any sort of momentum they hoped to gather among voters doesn’t seem to exist. Andrea Horwath isn’t quite in the Tim Hudak position yet, but I feel like it’s coming.
And back to Hudak and company for a second, I can’t help but wonder how much of this Liberal majority they can be seen as being responsible for. Were all of those Liberal votes votes for the Libs, or were they votes against vague promises about cutting waste, creating a million jobs based on bad math and the threat of reckless service cuts and mass firings? I give Hudak credit for sticking to his message for better or worse as that’s a quality all too rare in a politician, but the fact remains that that message worried a lot of people. If anything, I figured that would be the party’s downfall, and it just may have been.
As for the next 4 years, I’m glad that Kathleen Wynne is going to get a fair shot. I understand the tendency to think of her as Dalton McGuinty Jr. and paint the party with what became his brush, but aside from being a Liberal at the same time, she’s done nothing in my eyes to indicate that she deserves that. Her version of the party has had some promising things to say on a few issues, and I’m interested to see what comes of it. Hopefully this is the first step towards putting the scandals behind them and rewarding the faith, such as it is, that the public has put in them.