June 17, 2024
Andrew Scheer's decision to sideline Doug Ford helped cost him key Ontario votes
By sidelining Ford, Scheer kept the premier intact as a liability but lost the advantages he could bring
By sidelining Ford, Scheer kept the premier intact as a liability but lost the advantages he could bring

It’s no surprise that this week’s federal election was decided by Ontario voters. Despite political parties’ obsession with Quebec, Ontario is the province where elections are won or lost. With more than one-third of federal seats, it can hardly be otherwise.

What was a little more perplexing was the strength of Ontarians support for the Liberals. Ontarians voted like it was 2015. For them, the Justin Trudeau government is still bright and shiny, as if multiple campaign promises were not broken and the Liberal leader didn’t embarrass himself and the country with the SNC Lavalin mess and his goofy blackface stunts. The Liberals’ Ontario seat total was one less than what they received in 2015. If that was a rebuke, it was the mildest one ever.

Why did the Conservatives fail so badly in Ontario and what does the federal result mean for the future of Ontario Premier Doug Ford?

The first point to consider is that voting Liberal is the default position in Ontario. Voters supported Liberals provincially for 15 years despite performance that was mediocre on a good day. Conservatives are the people Ontarians elect when the Liberals have finally become absolutely intolerable. Clearly, they have not reached that point yet in the minds of about 40 per cent of voters.

Still, it’s remarkable that last year Ontario voters chose a PC party that offered balanced budgets and the end to Ontario’s form of carbon pricing. This year, Ontarians voted for huge deficits and an ever-increasing carbon tax. Did the electorate change dramatically in a year, or was it the Conservative campaign that fell short?


See Also:

(1) Here’s how Alberta can make Ottawa feel the pain

(2) What Jane Philpott’s loss tells us about the shallowness of voters

(3) The canary that choked in the Prairie coal mine

(4) NDP support of Trudeau will come with a big price tag

(5) Some good news for the west — you have more friends out east than you might realize