CFN – Two provincial elections expected in the spring could have huge repercussions for the federal Conservatives.
Just as Ground Hog Day is a sign that spring is coming, photos of Premier Kathleen Wynne showing up at the doors of Toronto homeowners with baskets of food indicates Ontarians will soon be heading to the polls.
Apparently even Wynne believes her Liberal minority government is destined to fall with her next budget in the spring.
But opinion polls suggest an Ontario election won’t change much.
The Liberal bastions of Toronto, Peel and York regions appear to be safe — which signals another minority government for Wynne.
If he isn’t able to score a breakthrough in the 905 and 416, Tim Hudak’s days as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party will be numbered.
And with no heir apparent in the PC caucus, loyalists will be looking to Stephen Harper’s cabinet ranks for a white knight to rescue them.
If Hudak loses the next election, the most likely to receive calls from their Toronto-based brethren would be two former members of the Mike Harris cabinet: John Baird and Tony Clement.
Whether either would leave his plum Ottawa cabinet post to toil as the leader of the opposition in Ontario remains to be seen.
Certainly both men would feel some sense of obligation to at least consider the move for the sake of improving the fortunes of Canada’s largest province, which has been left listless under the Ontario Liberals.
However at a time when Harper’s own popularity is sagging, a loss of two of his most senior ministers would be a significant blow to the bench strength of his cabinet.
While Ontario’s election could bring unwelcome news to the prime minister, there is an opportunity for the federal Conservatives if Quebec voters head to the provincial polls.
Like Ontario, Quebec has a minority government and a moribund economy.
It’s expected the Parti Quebecois government, led by Pauline Marios, will also lose their next budget vote — triggering an election.
Which means the opposition Quebec Liberals will have a distinct advantage if the upcoming campaign focuses on Marois’ poor economic track record.
Marois has been trying to deflect attention away from economic issues by promoting her so-called Charter of Quebec Values.
She would prohibit public sector workers from wearing items that express their religious faith. Religious groups — Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews — are united against this measure.
Quebeckers are split almost 50/50 on the issue but this benefits the PQ.
The segments of the population that most support the religious prohibitions reside outside of Montreal — in the ridings the PQ needs to win to retain power.
Quebec is largely a political wasteland for the Harper Conservatives; but Harper knows the province is critical to the federal Liberals if leader Justin Trudeau is to have any hope of moving his part out of third place.
Both Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair represent ridings in Montreal. Both have spoken out against the Quebec Charter.
In a province where local issues routinely spill over into federal campaigns, the Quebec Charter issue could leave Trudeau’s and Mulcair’s support confined to Montreal-area ridings.
That could mean a big opportunity for the Bloc Quebecois in the next federal election in rural Quebec.
In a multi-party parliament where the enemy of my enemy is my friend, a BQ resurgence would suit the federal Conservatives’ re-election bid nicely.
Harper would like nothing better than to see Mulcair lose a number of seats in Quebec.
But if the Conservatives can’t win those seats, then the odd BQ win would be better than to see Trudeau and the Liberals take them.
Indeed, what could be more valuable to Harper than to see three federal opposition parties evenly split Quebec among themselves, a result that would increase the likelihood of another Conservative majority government?
Maddie Di Muccio originally printed this piece in the Toronto Sun. She has graciously allowed us to reprint it here on CFN.
She is a municipal town councillor in Newmarket, and has been outspoken regarding transparent and accountable government, appearing on the Michael Coren Show, Newstalk 1010, AM 640, and various print media. Di Muccio has hosted local lectures on a series of “Empowering” groups of individuals and featuring prominent personalities, and was invited to speak on empowering females in politics at the Manning Network Convention for 2013. She writes a bi-weekly column on GTA municipal issues in the Toronto Sun. As vice-president for Society for Quality Education, her priorities focus on children and youth issues and concerns. Di Muccio is the parent of three school-age boys.
Catch Maddie on Seawayradio.com Tuesday January 7, 2014 at 10AM EST or listen on demand after!
“If Hudak loses the next election….” That’s too funny. When Hudak loses the next election, the Cons will finally wake up and chose an electable leader, and sit it out for another four years.
The cons have to be mighty stupid here in Ontario to have “Who Dat” Hudak be a leader. Who Dat is a cousin to McGuilty so two wrongs do not make a right. I am completely against the liberal/fiberal garbage out there and hope that the cons wake up and elect someone much better than “Who Dat” to run against the garbage now in office or we will be in mighty grave trouble to come.
If Hudak loses this election I’m moving to St. Zotique. Commies.
We need Premier Mom to stay in power till more people see how “effective” this liberal government is and has been. Handing out food gift cards (province is in for over $200,000 of borrowed money) with no tracking or proof of need is not good management of our tax dollars.They already know who is receiving social assistance, they should have been given to them first and possibly, only. Of course, I don’t think the provincial government should be jumping in as early as it did either, but hey, a photo op using someone’s elses money, why not…..
With Hudak, would we be seeing new revenue tools……
@ Eric. With Hudak, we’d see new tools. Not sure about revenue tools.
I don’t know if any of you has seen about Doug Ford of Toronto – yes the mayor’s brother – is putting himself in the elections to be an MPP for the conservatives representing his area of Toronto. Look it up if you haven’t come across it. This should be interesting indeed. It is possible that mayor Ford will get in again because he was good for Toronto and held the taxes in line even though he made himself a buffoon. We sure can’t say those good things about Cornwall’s mayor or council. It would be good to see mayor Ford come back again. This should all be something interesting. I do hope that the liberals/fiberals are tossed out on their behind since they really wrecked Ontario badly and I sure will not miss any of them. Good riddance.
Either of the Ford brothers would fit right in with Hudak’s party.
Furtz, it us, all of the voters that pay for everything that are gullible tools.