“If Liberals and NDP really want Ford out, they have to join forces” makes one kind of sense in Ontario right now .. if not a realistic one before June 2

Mar 21st, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
“Suddenly, I Feel Vewy Ignowant,” Mixed media by Michael Seward, March 2022.

ONTARIO TONITE. RANDALL WHITE, FERNWOOD PARK, TORONTO, 21 MARCH 2022. [UPDATED 22 MARCH]. A friend, colleague, (fellow amateur musician), and person deeply into progressive party politics in Canada’s most populous province said to me yesterday, with a shrug of resignation (and only the slightest hint of a question mark) : “Well I guess Doug Ford is going to win the Ontario election” (on June 2, 2022).

This is certainly what P.J. Fournier’s latest 338Canada Ontario polling projections suggest (“Last update: March 7, 2022”). He has Ford’s Ontario PC s at 38% of the province-wide popular vote, versus 27% each for the Del Duca Liberals and Horwath New Democrats, and 5% for Mike Schreiner’s Greens.

L to R : Liberal Steven DelDuca, New Democrat Andrea Horwath, Ontario PC Doug Ford.

In a 124-seat Legislative Assembly of Ontario where 63 seats constitutes a bare majority, these calculations give the Ford Nation 70 seats, with 27 for the Liberals, 26 for the NDP, and 1 for the Greens (in the old Ontario Agricultural College stomping ground of Guelph).

A March 11–15, 2022 Ipsos poll more or less confirms this March 7 projection. It gives the Ford Conservatives 38% of the vote, versus 28% for the Liberals, 24% NDP, and 4% Greens.

That it takes only 38% of the popular vote to win a majority of seats in the legislature at Queen’s Park nowadays (or a “majority government”) is interesting but hardly surprising. In any case in the latest Ipsos poll the progressive Liberals and New Democrats together account for a full majority of the popular vote as well (52% — and 56% if you add the Greens).

“Who Dunnit?” Mixed media by Michael Seward, March 2022.

So if these do prove the winning calculations on June 2, as my friend, colleague, and person deeply into progressive party politics also suggests, Ontario with a progressive majority in its population is going to wind up with another conservative government for four more years.

Doug Ford has shown clearly enough that, whatever else, he is not a conservative on the extremist continental model of Ron DeSantis in Florida etc. But even the Ford Nation kind of “PC” conservative political philosophy still does not speak for the democratic majority of the Ontario adult population. And there is already discontent among what might also be called the progressive majority disenfranchised by the present Ontario political system.

Just this morning David Fisman, by way of retweeting Ms MacLean (she/her), noted on Twitter that the current Ontario PC MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, Rudy Cuzzetto, is slightly behind the projected Liberal vote right now, according to (if you live in Mississauga-Lakeshore) “your local survey data — please share.” And the PC MPP can be beaten this June 2 election day, if only enough current NDP voters strategically opt for the Liberal candidate.

(In this particular case. In another riding or electoral district it may be the Liberal voter who strategically opts for the stronger NDP candidate.)

Mr Fisman (the same epidemiologist I gather who controversially resigned from Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table late this past August) retweets Ms MacLean’s “local survey data” (which again looks to me like the work of the aforementioned P.J. Fournier at 338Canada Ontario). And Dr Fisman adds a thought that spells out a kind of ultimate radical political proposal for Ontario Votes 2022 : “Ridings like this will deliver us 4 more years of Ford. @StevenDelDuca and @AndreaHorwath should make a deal.”

“A Lake Huron sunset as seen from Pinery Provincial Park” in Southwestern Ontario.

A number of comments on this “Fisman proposal” (say) for some kind of Liberal-NDP/NDP-Liberal co-operation, even before the June 2 election, followed on Twitter today. It can no doubt be said that their great variety just reflects the infinite difficulties the proposal offers for the present state of Ontario party politics. And of course no altogether realistic observer will imagine that either Ms Horwath or Mr. DelDuca is listening.

I nonetheless found almost all the comments interesting. And some of them did show a certain parallel logic. Eg : “I agree. If Liberals and NDP really want Ford out, they have to join forces. Otherwise, we are doomed. Just doomed” (swhipp@suz_whipp) ; “ I really hope Del Duca and Horwath see that neither of them are getting into power individually, but there would be great interest in a progressive coalition to avoid more Ford” (Dr. Vicky Forster@vickyyyf) ; “The Conservatives would be demolished in the next election if the Liberals and NDP formed a pact of some sort” (Ian#RLessThanOne@Simpson_Ian_D).

For political realism my award goes to Coast2Coast@Stand4Every1, who reported : “I do not believe Ford will get another majority. And the NDP and liberals will work together.”

Even this — co-operation between the two or even three main progressive parties after the June 2 election finally delivers only a Ford PC minority government (as remains a possibility, especially among an Ontario provincial electorate that has still not quite awakened to its late spring encounter with the destiny of where it lives) — is a highly uncertain concept.

But in my current mood a Ford PC minority government that finally activates the wider progressive majority in the Assembly to come together, in some practical way (remember the 1985 Liberal-NDP Accord?), at least seems like a possible real-world option on June 2. At this juncture it may even be the best alternative to the dreary prospect of another four years of Doug Ford’s plotting to turn the clock back to an age when the current Ontario flag actually made (at least a little) sense …

… An alternative to the darkness alluded to by my friend and person deeply into progressive party politics. As the sun rose along the highway, yesterday morning.

UPDATE MARCH 22 (RW) : Almost as soon as I finished this note on Ontario provincial politics rumours surfaced about the fruition of a long-bubbling deal between the federal Liberals and New Democrats. The rumours have now been confirmed by CBC News (“Liberals agree to launch dental care program in exchange for NDP support … Singh says deal won’t continue if Liberals fall short on commitments”) and CTV News (“Liberals, NDP agree to confidence deal seeing Trudeau government maintain power until 2025”). Whether this federal deal will have any impact on Liberals and New Democrats in Ontario provincial politics — and/or even the coming June 2 Ontario election is of course an intriguing question, which I for one am for the moment happy to leave to the fullness of time!

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave Comment