|Posted on December 20, 2015 at 1:30 PM|
Lorrie Goldstein is one of this country's pre-eminent opinion leaders and he knows that I have nothing but respect for him. Whether you agree or disagree with his opinions, you always recognize the careful consideration he has invested prior to writing his columns. I often relate to and am in agreement with Goldstein's opinions.
But today I disagree with him. So much in fact that I felt compelled to write this post to explain why.
In today's Toronto Sun, Lorrie Goldstein outlines the reasons why he feels Kathleen Wynne could be re-elected in 2018.
After reading the column, I felt depressed, defeated, demoralized. Wynne's Liberals have had such a devastating effect on the province we love, I don't think anyone could predict how Ontario will be like in 2022 if she remains in charge.
Goldstein's arguments are as sound as always.
The unions are committed to her.
This is true. And with the amount of air space the unions take up in the media, this looks like a formidable force.
In the public sector 71% of the workforce is unionized. This speaks volumes as to what kind of boss Kathleen Wynne is, because happy workers don't form unions. Wynne's battles with frontline teachers, nurses, OPP, and so on are well documented. While union leadership may continue to vote Liberal, the rank and file has had its fill of Wynne's bullying and empty promises.
The private sector unionized labour only accounts for 16% of the private sector labour force. That segment of union is shrinking rapidly, both in size and influence.
Big business loves her.
Nobody has made more money under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals than the big insurance companies, big banks, pension funds, and Bay Street.
Car insurers are laughing all the way to the bank as the Liberals cut coverage, while our premiums remain the highest in the country.
The largest institutional investors like the big banks and pension funds have been lapping up the goodies doled out by Wynne. Hydro One made the province $750,000,000 in profit each year - plus paid $100,000,000 in lieu of taxes annually. Guess where that money is going now after the sale?
Even when Wynne applies new taxes, such as her harebrained cap and trade scheme, she has the backs of the province's big business in mind. You and I will pay this new tax, but the largest polluters will be publicly subsidized with carbon credits, all courtesy of Kathleen Wynne.
Even though the bank president and the insurance company's CEO have no reason to stop voting for Wynne, in a democracy, they only get one vote.
Where I find hope is in the fact that most Ontarians don't work for a bank, insurance company, pension fund, or a Bay St. investment firm. 70% of Ontarians work for a small business. These people are the ones who have been paying for Wynne's largesse. They don't see any benefit from the Liberal's crony capitalism. The liberals have been sticking these folks with the tab for many years.
These are the people who are ready for a change at Queen's Park.
A Justin Trudeau federal Liberal government plays well for the Ontario PCs too. Historically, while the federal Liberals were in their hay days, Queen's Park saw its strongest PC governments during that period. Ontarians like the checks and balances of having opposing parties in charge in Ottawa and Queen's Park.
The fact that Justin Trudeau is mulling a hike in the HST can only help fuel the sentiment for change. Kathleen Wynne was one of Trudeau's most ardent supporters - so she is going to wear every Trudeau misstep or gaffe as if it were her own.
But the main reason why Kathleen Wynne will lose is because I am optimistic that the average Ontario voter knows that real hope - and real change - come with real leadership.
Ask anyone on the street their opinion on how our public schools are performing and the response will be negative. The same goes with hospitals, universities, youth unemployment, elder care, hydro rates, cost of car insurance, highways, and so on.
In fact, it's very hard to find anything that the Liberals are doing well on.
Why would anyone want to re-elect that mess?