McParland: Let Me State The Obvious

Wynne richly deserves defeat, and her party deserves the trouncing it appears headed for.
Wynne richly deserves defeat, and her party deserves the trouncing it appears headed for.

Ontario’s Liberals have been having a hard time sorting out why voters dislike them so much.

Their leader, Kathleen Wynne, admitted Saturday she won’t be premier after Thursday, as polls show her party is in for a drubbing. Ontarians are so down on the Liberals, they may not even rate official party status once the ballots are in.

Why would that be? Liberals and their remaining friends have struggled to pinpoint the problem. Is it because she’s a woman? Because she’s gay? She doesn’t deserve the disdain showered on her, says The Toronto Star. She’s the premier Ontarians don’t deserve, says a fan. She has “launched some of the most popular and progressive programs in the country,” yet “has been criticized and treated in ways unimaginable to male premiers,” says another. How can anyone criticize free tuition and free pharmacare?

OK, as a public service, here are some reasons.

Wynne ran as an upgrade from her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty. She didn’t like the scandals, the gas plant closings, the dirty little deals. She’d bring transparency and openness. She promised to be better, and didn’t deliver — not even close. She blatantly sold access to herself and her top cabinet members to the highest bidders, treating the payments as “donations.” When exposed she refused to back down until public pressure forced it on her. No one pays big bucks to politicians unless they expect something in return, and Wynne’s blatant use of her office to fill party coffers only exacerbated the cynicism and distrust that had grown up during the McGuinty years.

She pandered shamelessly to public-sector unions, especially the teachers’ unions that poured tens of millions of dollars into campaigns to keep her in office. To retain their support she used public funds to finance generous contracts, including millions of dollars quietly handed over to help the unions pay their negotiating costs. Her education minister didn’t ask for receipts, and — when caught — responded with a hauteur that came to be a government characteristic. “We know what the food costs. We know what 100 pizzas costs. You don’t need to see every bill when you’re doing an estimate of costs,” said Liz Sandals. They handed over the money despite learning the secondary school teachers had a $65 million reserve fund to pay bargaining costs. Did that sway Wynne’s ministers? Not a chance: Deputy Premier Deb Matthews admitted she was unaware of the fund, and wasn’t all that interested: “I don’t know if that fund exists. I don’t know what it’s for. I’m not going to comment on OSSTF finances,” she said.

[Read It all]

See Also:

(1) Ontario grapples with Wynne’s early concession speech, as PCs and NDP take aim at each other

(2) Wynne admits Liberals not in the running

(2) Doug Ford showcases PC team in a compare and contrast moment

(3) How Ford could save $100 million for frontline health care

(4) Wynne pinpoints the moment she realized she couldn’t win

(5) Kathleen Wynne exits as she governed—a micro-manager

Watch:

Jack’s Point: Go ahead and vote left if you don’t care about your family or accumulating personal wealth you can pass on to your offspring. If you do care, vote Conservative. You have no other choice.

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