It was a fella named Joe who said “the people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” Joe, whose last name I’m sure you’ve guessed, was from a lengthy line of Soviet bosses whose view of political succession would be out of step with current practiced Western standards.
A little further along, at the funeral of UN shoe-banger Nikita Khrushchev arrived Leonid Brezhnev, listed as Khrushchev’s likely successor. To drive home that point Brezhnev is rumoured to have pointed to Khrushchev’s final resting place offering fellow mourners and potential rivals “you may choose to follow me, or you may choose to follow him.”
While not as abrupt, 2018 certainly has proven a weirdly bruising affair for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
Patrick Brown stepped aside after a national news story suggested he had engaged in sexual impropriety. Abandoned by staff and unwanted by the party he had led until literally minutes earlier, Brown exited stage left, while almost immediately would-be successors Christine Elliott, Tanya Granic Allen, Doug Ford and Caroline Mulroney appeared stage right. Eventually Brown would re-emerge temporarily to vie for his old gig, only to again disappear from the picture. He has now launched a multi million dollar lawsuit against the media entity which broadcast the story.
Out of the sudden leadership contestants melee popped Doug Ford as the decided upon PCPO capo. His declared intent to chase John Tory from the Mayor’s Office in Toronto officially forgotten, Ford announced he was ready to tackle the Liberals and Premier Kathleen Wynne, as well as New Democrats led by Andrea Horwath.
Ford can’t be criticized too harshly if he’s planning redecorating the Premier’s digs at Queen’s Park already. Wynne, according to a series of public opinion polls is displaying less survival buoyancy than the Titanic. Her attacks on Doug Ford ring of desperation and her bravado sounds more like pleading.
And Horwath? Well, so far it appears difficult to know what the former City of Hamilton councillor has planned to score a province-wide electoral upset other than extending health care benefits. There must be more, but when I ask randomly what the NDP platform for Ontario consists of nobody seems to have a clue.
As Premier, Doug Ford would direct audits of Wynne government spending, fire the board of the province’s electricity provider, join Saskatchewan’s new Premier Scott Moe while informing Justin Trudeau the plan for a pan-Canadian carbon tax is toast and yank Ontario sharply toward meeting the wishes of the populous right. A Premier Ford would also have to deal with the massive Ontario debt accumulated by the wind milling Liberals.
The Progressive Conservatives seem poised to score a solid victory on June 7. However, 2018 has to date proven a year filled with surprise and unpredictability and the drama may not yet be concluded.
“I’ll be glad to reply to, or dodge your questions, depending on what I think is going to help our election the most.” George W Bush.

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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