Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 19, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 19, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday June 8, 2018
Led by Doug Ford, Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have secured a majority government, ending nearly 15 years of Liberal power in the province.
The NDP will form the province’s Official Opposition, while the embattled Liberals were handed a substantial rebuke from voters, losing the vast majority of their seats at Queen’s Park.
Kathleen Wynne announced she will resign as Liberal leader, as the Grits failed to pick up the eight seats necessary to maintain official party status.Buoyed by Ford — a one-term Toronto city councillor and businessman — the PCs ran a populist campaign long on commitments but short on fiscal details, promising a tax cut for the middle class and corporations and a drastic reduction in the price of hydro and gasoline.
“My friends, this victory belongs to you. This victory belongs to the people. And tonight, the people of Ontario have spoken,” Ford said in a victory speech to supporters at an event in Toronto.
“I promised to deliver a strong, stable majority government and together we did that. Together we made history. We have taken back Ontario, we have delivered a government that is for the people,” he continued.
As was expected, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath held onto her seat in Hamilton Centre, where she has served as an MPP since 2004. Heading into election day, polls suggested that the NDP had a slim chance of eking out a win. While such an improbably scenario never materialized, the New Democrats manged to take 39 seat, up from the 18 they held when the campaign began.
Wynne, Ontario’s first female and openly LGBT premier, was re-elected in Don Valley West, though the race was much tighter than it has been in previous years. The incumbent Liberals, who enjoyed a majority since 2014, suffered a stunning collapse.
The party only managed to secure seven seats, which means they have lost official party status in the Legislature. (Source: CBC)
Back up Cartoons
On election night it’s always a good idea for cartoonists to have cartoons drawn up in advance in case the results don’t go quite as planned. For last night I drew the above one for a healthy PC victory. I had components ready for a minority NDP result ready to go, which I felt was unlikely. Here are the others… for a weak PC majority/minority and a PC landslide
The Results vs. the Polls
The Results of the 2018 Ontario Provincial Election (voter turnout 58%)
PC: 76 seats, 40.49% NDP: 40 seats, 33.57% LIB: 7 seats, 19.59%
Green: 1 seat, 4.6%
This election has been very well polled and nicely aggregated by the CBC through it’s poll tracker. In recent elections surveys have been pretty unreliable in forecasting the outcomes in Canada’s recent federal election, and especially the Brexit referendum, the U.S. Presidential and the French elections. Knowing the site will likely be refreshed soon, here is a screen graph of all the findings right up to a day before voting day 2018.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 7, 2018
To say Ontario’s election has been strange doesn’t capture the half of it. Just four months before the vote, the leading party had to dump its leader in a sexual misconduct scandal. The Liberals are so unpopular they’ve already conceded defeat. The next government will be formed by one of two parties that haven’t won an election since the past century. Ontario could be the first province to send millions of voters to the polls, all holding their noses.
The choice is between the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats. Both are running on platforms that don’t add up. Neither will be able to keep its promises. Each appeals to specific voter groups with fixed beliefs that pit one part of the province against the other. The question isn’t which is the best of a bad lot? It’s which will do the least damage to the province, hurt fewer people, and have the least harmful impact over the long term?
Of the two, the PCs have the biggest leadership problem. It’s unlikely any premier has ever been less qualified than Doug Ford. He appears to barely understand how government operates, has only the shallowest grasp of major issues, gives every indication of being badly out of his depth and shows no interest in learning. His approach to campaigning is to shout slogans and talk over challengers. He’s a poor debater, a bad speaker and has trouble explaining himself.
His “platform” is a collection of odd offerings with no apparent linkage. He’ll cut taxes, return “buck-a-beer,” be kinder to small business and put slots back at the racetrack. Perhaps his oddest promise is a pledge to cut gasoline taxes by 10 cents a litre, which, by past experience, might last a few weeks before the oil companies make up the gap and prices return to previous levels. He promised a costed platform, but didn’t provide it. His pledge to find $6 billion in “efficiencies” without firing anyone is unconvincing at best. If he actually tries to follow through on his promises, the swollen debt will get worse, not better.
The NDP’s Andrea Horwath is more experienced, more polished and more coherent. But that may not be an advantage. As her party erased the PC lead, it became clear that beneath her pleasant exterior lies a hard-edged ideologue devoted to left-wing dogma and with a distinct distrust of the private sector. Her daycare plan stresses that “public child-care dollars should go to not-for-profit and public providers,” because public funds “shouldn’t pad the profits of private companies.”
Why in heaven not? Free enterprise built Canada into a prosperous place. We trust private companies to produce and supply the food we eat. Is food not as important as daycare? Are farmers to be distrusted? Horwath’s rigid creed sees any attempt to make a living outside government auspices as suspicious. Her plan to control rents would eliminate the one means landlords have of keeping up with cost increases. By adding to the long list of limits that already restrict landlords, the NDP would ensure the slow deterioration of rental stock as landlords decline to spend money on maintenance they are unable to recoup. Availability would dry up as developers refuse to build structures certain to lose money. Those who have apartments would be able to stay indefinitely, provided they don’t mind peeling walls and smelly halls, but new arrivals would be out of luck. Too bad for you, young people. (Continued: National Post)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 5, 2018
An emotional Kathleen Wynne on Saturday acknowledged that she will no longer be premier after the June 7 election and encouraged voters to elect Liberal candidates to prevent the NDP or PCs from securing a majority.
The 11th-hour move comes as Wynne and her Liberals try to save the party from electoral decimation next Thursday.
“Even though I won’t be leading this province as premier, I care deeply about how it will be led,” the Liberal leader said during a campaign stop in Toronto.
“People want change, but by and large they’re confident about where Ontario stands and where Ontario is headed. For this reason — I heard this over and over again — many voters are worried about handing a blank cheque to either Doug Ford or the NDP,” she continued.
She added that voters don’t trust Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford and are concerned that an NDP government “will approach the responsibility of running Ontario’s economy with a plan that is risky and unrealistic.”
The only way to keep the province’s next government on a “short leash,” Wynne said, is to send as many Liberals to the Ontario Legislature as possible.
“The more Liberal MPPs we send to Queens Park on June 7, the less likely it becomes that either Doug Ford or the NDP will be able to form a majority government,” Wynne said.
The Liberal leader has, until today, been defiant in the face of daunting poll numbers that suggest the Grits could lose official party status after the vote. In Ontario, parties need at least eight seats in the legislature to be formally recognized. (Source: CBC)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday May 31, 2018
During the last televised leaders’ debate, 19-year-old Martin Badger, a first-time voter from Burlington, posed an audience question to the three party leaders that’s probably troubling other Ontario voters.
How do you plan to pay for the additional services that you’re promising? Badger asked.
Unless you’re dipped, dyed and butt-branded in party colours, the answers weren’t exactly comforting. The reality is they’re all spending like old-time drunken sailors, tossing free programs and tax cuts around as if the election is an extended shore leave binge.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath kicked off by acknowledging that people across the province, including herself, are concerned about the accumulated debt, now pegged at about $325 billion and rising.
To help pay for her promises, which include drug coverage for everyone, lower electricity rates, hiring 4,500 new nurses and getting rid of “hallway medicine,” Horwath said she’s “going to ask” the richest people and corporations to pay a “little more” in taxes.
What Horwath didn’t specifically mention is she also plans to borrow $25 billion to pay for these and other elections promises. Oh, yes, and then she’ll balance the books and stop deficit spending. Once that’s done, Horwath previously told The Spectator, the New Democrats “will take any surpluses … and apply them to the debt.”
For his part, Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford basically repeated what he’s been saying before the campaign began. He intends to pay for his promises by finding four cents of savings on every dollar spent by the province and by bringing in outside auditors to find more “efficiencies.”
That’s a tall order, particularly since the platform-free Ford is promising to cut hydro rates, lower gas prices and taxes, create 15,000 new long-term care beds and invest almost $2 billion in various health and housing services, which, of course, means less revenue and more expenses. He also intends to run a deficit for at least the first year.
Liberal promises include more money for hospitals, more free tuition for post-secondary students, free preschool child care, and free prescription drugs for children, young adults and seniors. In total, it amounts to more than $20 billion of new deficit spending. Still, in a woebegone gesture to fiscal responsibility, Wynne also promises to introduce legislation directing budget surpluses be used to pay down the $325 billion debt. (Continued: Andrew Dreschel, Hamilton Spectator)