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Did the leaders lie to the Ontario electorate?

October 11th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

“Whoever wins will be seen to have lied to the public,” David Dodge, governor of the Bank of Canada (2001-2008).

Now a corporate director and adviser to a law firm, David Dodge was talking in that September interview with Jacquie McNish of the Globe and Mail about the Ontario election and what he called the “impossible” promises being made by the three party leaders. Each was offering tax reductions and improved services in a province whose leaders, Dodge believes, should have been confronting the fact that Ontario’s tax revenue base is shrinking, not expanding. [Read more →]

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Dalton McGuinty, an underrated politician, is tougher than he looks

October 7th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

You have to hand it to Dalton McGuinty. Although he does not come across as an inspirational leader of men and women, he has other qualities that earned him a third term as Premier of Ontario this week.

He is moderate, consistent, determined, resolute when he encounters obstacles, and a good deal tougher than he appears. We tend to forget how hard he had to fight to get where he is today. [Read more →]

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The election will be won or lost along Highway 401

October 5th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

Tomorrow’s provincial election will be won or lost in ridings located within a stone’s throw, figuratively speaking, of Highway 401.

Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath have worn out the asphalt from Oshawa in the east, through Toronto and the GTA, to London in the west as they seek to shore up existing support and attract some loose voters. Now it is up to their election-day machines to get their probable, but not terribly motivated, supporters to the polls. [Read more →]

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Ontario election will turn on the turnout of marginal supporters

October 3rd, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

The Ontario election on Thursday will not be decided by party policies nor by leaders’ appeal. It will be determined by the party machines – the ability to get supporters out to the polls. [Read more →]

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The election: Is this the best Ontario can do?

September 29th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

This should be the most exciting Ontario election in many, many years.

For starters, the fight is desperately close. The polls all tell us this – and they can’t all be wrong.  All three parties are viable. Two, the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, have approximately equal chances of forming the next government while the third party, the New Democrats, is poised the wield the balance of power when neither of the old parties wins a majority on Oct. 6.

Yet a campaign that should be exciting instead is discouraging, even depressing. The thought that kept coming to my mind during the leaders’ debate on Tuesday night was: Is this the best Ontario can do? [Read more →]

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Why the Ontario election is too close to call

September 26th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

The Ontario election is as close as it is because there is no defining issue – nothing any party can seize and run away with.

That’s why, with 10 days to go to Oct. 6, the race seems to get tighter with each successive poll, culminating with the massive (40,750-respondent) poll by Forum Research on the weekend that put the governing Liberals and the challenging Progressive Conservatives in a dead heat at 35 per cent, with the New Democrats within hailing distance at 23 per cent.

There are reasons to be wary of the Forum numbers. They are the product of what is known, disparagingly among its critics, as “robo polling” – officially “IVR” (for Interactive Voice Response) polling. A computer picks your phone number, a computer voice asks the questions and directs you to the numbers to press to record your responses, and a computer tabulates the results. There is no human intervention or supervision. [Read more →]

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“Do you really want Tim Hudak as premier of Ontario?”

September 21st, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

Liberal candidate Eric Davis posed the question at the very beginning of an all-candidates forum in Kitchener-Waterloo this week, and he repeated it a couple of times as the meeting went on:

“Do you really want Tim Hudak as premier of Ontario?” [Read more →]

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Leaders fail to spark voter enthusiasm

September 20th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

The 2007 Ontario election, the one that returned Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals for a second term, set a record – albeit a dubious record.

Only 52.6 per cent of the province’s 8.4 million eligible voters turned out to the polls. That broke the old provincial record of 54.7 per cent set away back in 1923. It was also more than eight percentage points lower than the (dismal) turnout for the federal election in May this year. [Read more →]

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Kitchener-Conestoga may be a bellwether in Ontario election

September 14th, 2011 ·

By Geoffrey Stevens

There are nasty overtones in this Ontario election and some of them surfaced in at an all-candidates meeting in St. Agatha in Kitchener-Conestoga riding on Tuesday night.

Perhaps that was inevitable. Kitchener-Conestoga, a sprawling urban-rural seat, is a crucial battleground. Although solidly Conservative in federal elections, it has been desperately close in recent provincial elections. In 2007, a new Liberal candidate, Leeanna Pendergast held the riding by just 1,870 votes out of 39,007 cast. That 4.8 per cent margin was the third closest loss registered by the Progressive Conservatives in all of Ontario – after Nipissing (at 1.1 per cent) and Barrie (2.9 per cent). [Read more →]

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New Polls Confirm Liberal Lead, LISPOP Projection

September 14th, 2011 ·

Current polls project 52 seats to the Liberals, 37 to the Conservatives, and 18 to the NDP. Current projection (Sept. 14, 2011) is drawn from a blended and weighted sample of polls from Ipsos and Nanos conducted from Sept.7-11. The number of new respondents interviewed is only 1300, but the polls confirm trends reported in the previous LISPOP projection. The Liberal lead in popular vote is only 2%, but there were relatively few seats that the Liberals won narrowly in 2007, and hence that they are vulnerable in with the current levels of popular support. The Liberal seats potentially in jeopardy are the ones coloured grey or in muted tones on the map. These numbers indicate the Liberals are still in minority territory, but if the momentum toward them continues, they will be back in the majority range before long.

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