Ford’s licence fee sticker refund could help him win this election
As we approach the provincial election, ‘people are preoccupied with one thing: pocketbook issues’
I understand the point being made here. Unfortunately, it might even be a correct one. But while we’re talking about pocketbook issues, here’s one to consider. $4-$8 Billion. Depending on which estimate you go with, that’s going to be how much giving that $100 back to people who drive is going to cost the province spread out over a four year government term. So that’s nearly $8 billion that won’t be going into healthcare or education or affordable housing or any one of the hundreds of other things that would probably be well served by the sort of boost in funding that $8 billion could provide.
And it’s only going to get worse from there.
Don’t forget that in a few weeks, it’s not going to be election time anymore. And when election time is over, all the money that’s being thrown around at the moment to promise us the moon is going to come to a sudden stop and the province is going to magically be broke again. And when we’re broke again, it’s time for the punishing service cuts that without fail leave everyone worse off than they already were. That’s how this works, especially when you vote in a populist, bull in a china shop, slash and burn Conservative government that doesn’t much care about anyone who isn’t already pretty well off.
So don’t get too attached to all that healthcare, education, affordable housing or any of those hundreds of other things that $8 billion could have paid for. But please, enjoy that $100 you don’t have to shell out for new stickers anymore. That’s gonna be great.
In a Ipsos poll prepared for Global News, 39 per cent of respondents said they’d vote Conservative if the election were held tomorrow. That’s well ahead of 26 per cent for the Liberals, 25 per cent for the New Democratic Party and five per cent for the Green Party. The poll interviewed 1,501 Ontario residents online and by phone between April 29 and May 1.
Ford’s recent announcement that the government would refund hundreds of dollars to drivers in fees that they paid for their licence plate stickers feeds right into voters’ anxiety about affordability.
“That policy was targeted at swing voters in the 905,” said Simpson, referring to the vote-rich suburban areas around Toronto, where people spend a lot of time in their cars.
It’s a smart strategy for two reasons. One, even if you don’t like that specific tactic of returning money directly to voters, “it reinforces to people that Doug Ford is best placed to help you with issues of affordability,” Simpson said.
And two, the Conservatives have now cemented a formidable lead in the 905, where 47 per cent would vote for Ford if the election were held tomorrow. Ford’s Conservatives are 21 points ahead of the second-place Liberals in that region.
The suburbs around Toronto are “the part that matters” when it comes to winning elections, Simpson said.
“It can be the only part that matters. It’s pretty much game over, if that holds.”