The average Ontario family is feeling the real economic and social strain caused by a decade and a half of mismanagement under repeated Liberal governments. Although there is no taking back past election results, the choice for this election could not be any clearer.
For almost 15 years, the Liberal government has put forward massive budgets financed on the back of future Ontarians, and our economic engines – businesses.
When asked about the real costs to these policies – the Liberals outright lied. Ontario needs a government which can provide at least one term of transparency while also providing the real stability that our economy has been lacking.
While there are dozens of registered parties, there are only two that are realistically vying for actual governance.
The two possible choices worth discussing are Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats and Doug Ford’s and his Progressive Conservatives.
NDP victories in Alberta and British Columbia might convince some that NDP governments do not plunge the province into crisis. Those are provinces that are more solvent than Ontario, and far enough away that we cannot feel the damage.
For comparison, in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Ontario had to spend 8.6% of government revenues to pay interest to debt holders. British Columbia only had to pay 5.1% of its revenue to debt holders, while Alberta only had to pay 2.4%.
The NDP simply does not respect the public dollar. Not only do they view government debt as not real debt, but they seem to miss an important fact about how our state infrastructure works. The fact that “helping” people now by throwing money at our problems means we will increasingly reduce our government’s capacity to implement the change we want.
For example, Newfoundland and Labrador now has to spend over 16% of all of the taxes it collects, just to pay the interest on its debt. That is certainly a hole that we do not want to be in.
But what about the fact that the PC platform is not fully costed? That is definitely troubling, but it is important to keep in mind that the party had to deal with a leadership change less than 3 months ago.
Meanwhile, the NDP’s platform demonstrated the party’s inability to understand how the many complex gears of governance actually fit together, when it made an error so obvious that an undergraduate student should have been able to find it.
So we have an incomplete plan against an incorrect plan. If one is an improvement from the other, it is not by much.
Andrea Horwath, who has been very well-liked throughout her 9 years as leader so far, has never faced too much scrutiny being repeatedly assigned to 3rd party status by voters.
However, her party has undeniably gotten a boost from the Liberals’ unpopularity. As a result, she and her party have received slightly more scrutiny than in previous elections. The troubling news is that it did not take a lot of scrutiny before an entire selection of unqualified candidates was revealed.
In fact, the thought of an NDP cabinet is downright frightening.
The closer look has also shown that she’s perfectly willing to go to the public with a straight face and just flatly deny accusations such as a candidate’s anti-semitism and the multi-billion dollar holes in their costing. When they run out of our money, maybe they’ll just print more.
But in all seriousness, no matter where we lie on the political spectrum, we value at least some government services. Billions of dollars of misallocated funds means billions of dollars that could have otherwise gone to fund valued services.
On the other hand, there are many real tangible improvements to our province that a Ford government could implement without having to worry about having to increase government spending. Examples of non-spending promises include, freezing the minimum wage, liberalizing alcohol sales, and lowering government imposed price floors.
On key areas like the relationship with education and labour, Horwath has repeatedly chosen to settle herself along the same problematic lines that originally got Wynne in trouble, if not worse.
In interviews, Andrea Horwath has repeatedly stated that she will never use back-to-work legislation, largely leaving students to potentially suffer indefinitely. This kind of blind allegiance is extremely dangerous, and perhaps one of the largest signs why an NDP government would be far too dangerous.
That would allow our public sector unions to hold services hostage indefinitely, and even Premier Wynne knew she had to break up the York University strike eventually.
In their contest to out-left each other, the Liberals and the NDP have spent the last 5 years becoming all but indistinguishable from each other. That is why the only real change we can vote for is a PC government.
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