“Number of people (58%) saying they might change their mind is unusual .. Nothing is decided yet in Ontario!”

Apr 3rd, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
“FA101 Out the Window”, mixed-media by Michael Seward.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS : ONTARIO ELECTION NOW ONLY TWO MONTHS AWAY, APRIL 3, 2022. P.J. Fournier’s current “338Canada” polling averages (“Last update: April 2, 2022”) are projecting a 38% popular vote for Doug Ford’s “Ontario PC Party” in the June 2 provincial election, if it were held now!

According to his parallel calculations this would for the next four years give the people of Ontario a quite stable Ford Nation majority government of 74 seats in a 124-seat Legislative Assembly.

Yet delving into the latest half dozen actual opinion polls on which this projection is based presents an at least somewhat more complex picture. (Thankfully, for the moment, for Green, Liberal, and New Democrat fans and other non-conservative supporters.)

Two of these last six 338Canada polls are from the Léger firm, and both show the highest recent levels of Ford PC support (39%).

But even Jean-Marc Leger, president of the polling firm, has tweeted : “The number of people (58%) saying they might change their mind is unusual in Ontario … For example in Quebec, it is the opposite 58% say they will not change their mind even if the Quebec election takes place four months later … Nothing is decided yet in Ontario!”

We have noted that this Jean-Marc Leger tweet is dated April Fool’s Day, 2022. But we believe M. Leger’s point is well taken in any case. There is a certain turmoil going on in voters’ minds at the moment and (say it again) : “Nothing is decided yet in Ontario!”

Consider, eg, the other four polls in 338Canada’s latest half dozen. One, by Ipsos, puts the Ford PCs at 38% — the average that P.J. Fournier calculates in his latest April 2 update, and still delivering a 74-seat majority government on Fournier‘’s projections. But another poll by Angus Reid reports a lower again PC popular vote (37%). Two final polls, both from Mainstreet Research, report still lower PC numbers (35% and 34%).

At these lowest Mainstreet Research popular vote numbers it is certainly unlikely that, whatever else, the Ford Nation PCs will win a majority of seats in the Assembly.

All three major opposition party leaders have apparently now indicated that they will not co-operate with any resulting Doug Ford minority government, to give it the majorities it needs to pass laws and approve budgets. And this puts a very short leash on any such government’s working life.

At least in theory this opens prospects of the opposition parties who hold the majority of the people’s vote co-operating to form some generic progressive majority government, in the spirit of the 1985 Liberal-NDP Accord. (For those already too old enough to actually remember this historic agreement, between the NDP’s Bob Rae and the Liberals’ David Peterson.)

The recent federal Liberal-NDP agreement of early spring 2022 between Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh adds at least some fuel to this just gently smoking provincial fire at Queen’s Park.

No doubt, it is not altogether easy to see the current Ontario New Democrats and Ontario Liberals working together in any constructive way in 2022. (And the Greens will have more to offer if they win more than their current one seat, albeit occupied by a more attractive leader than enjoyed by either of the other parties right now?)

But a June 2 election result that particularly lends itself to giving (more or less) easy answers to the hardest progressive cooperation questions just might suddenly change the landscape …

That at any rate still seems to us where the real interest in the Ontario election slightly less than two months from today lies. But we’d agree that very little enthusiasm for or even knowledge of this concept as yet seems to be in the minds of any significant body of real-world voters.

We are nonetheless guessing that as the actual day of the election draws nearer, the always diverse and divided mind of Canada’s most populous province just might finally come to focus on some progressive cooperation prospect — that could at least give the majority of Ontario voters something closer to what they actually want!

As usual in such matters, only time will finally tell. And at least in this case it’s not too much longer before we’ll know the answer. Two months from today exactly, on June 3, 2022, it will already be clear whether the Doug Ford Nation Ontario PCs have managed to win another majority government. Or NOT!

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