South Dundas - May 29, 2014 - On the morning of June 13th, Ontarians could be waking
up to a massive election hangover, where we are governed by, losers.
Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne would not deny the possibility
of forming a coalition with the NDP to keep power at Queen's Park. And Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath would not deny the possibility of forming a coalition with the Liberals to advance their own agenda.
To be clear, this is part of our parliamentary traditions. Two or more
political parties in the legislature can join together by agreement,
formal or informal, to rule. So long as the group combined has a
majority of the seats combined and can enjoy the confidence of the
Where this becomes muddy is in the event of a minority win for Tim
Hudak and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. On June 13th, Wynne would still be Premier and could seek a coalition with the NDP, who would hold the balance of power.
This happened before in Ontario, in 1985. PC Leader and Premier Frank
Miller attained a minority government, with David Peterson's Liberals
and Bob Rae's NDP placing second and third respectively. In that case,
Miller was Premier before the election call, and after the house
reconvened, his minority government was defeated. David Peterson was invited to form a government and with the support of the NDP governed for two years.
The party with the most number of seats was given the ability to *try*
to govern first, before the second place party was.
What could happen this election though, is akin to the 1926 Federal
Election when Prime Minister Mackenzie-King was reduced to second
place status. Mackenzie-King refused to step down to allow Arthur
Meighen's Conservatives to attempt to form a government, and instead worked with the third-place Progressive Party to retain power for nine months. This election spawned the King-Byng Affair LINK and a
Should Kathleen Wynne get second place, and gain support from the
third-place NDP, it will be an affront to all voters.
Our First-Past-The-Post electoral system is a multi-party system. When
one single party gets more votes than any other single party, then
that party is the victor. Yes it means that a party can win with only
37% of the vote, that is our system. Yet far too often in modern
times, when a single party wins with 37% of the vote, it is made out
to be that it means 63% of the voters voted against the winning party.
Our government does not work that way. If Party One gets the most
number of votes, they win. Party Two becomes Her Majesty's Loyal
Opposition, and all of the other parties get to be in Opposition.
Should Wynne not get even a Minority Government status, she should
tender her resignation to the Lieutenant-Governor and let the party
with the most number of votes try to form the government, whether that is the PCs or NDP. Otherwise Ontario will be governed by the losers, and that does no one in this province any good.
Other Election Musings:
Did the local Liberals pick the wrong horse? - Local
Liberal candidate, John Earle has yet to see his shadow out in the
rural hinterlands of the riding. A review of his website, local news
and his twitter shows that Earle has been to Monkland and Martintown, and Cornwall. And Cornwall. And Cornwall. And Cornwall. Earle's comments about the riding being a bilingual riding, and
Cornwall-centric attitude may play well in Cornwall but this writer
cannot see that playing well out here in the Stormont & Dundas County areas. Cornwall votes alone can't carry this riding. So this begs the question, did the local Liberals pick the wrong horse to back? The
other nomination candidate, Del Jones, is from the rural area, had
experience in business, management and had served as a municipal
councilor. Perhaps it was too much experience, to be a good Liberal
Debate Failure - At the time of penning this column, no
debate has been scheduled further west in the riding than Finch,
Ontario. Why can't the North Dundas or South Dundas Chamber of
Commerce get their act together and host All-Candidates Debates in
these areas? Or for that matter, any other groups? Do the candidates
think support in Dundas is locked already on one candidate or another, or does Dundas not matter? To not have an All-Candidates Debate in the western-third of the riding is a failure to recognize the value of the rural area.
Election Hustings - The Blue Team (PC) and Orange Team (NDP) certainly know where Dundas County is. From the Morrisburg Tim Hortons to Winchester, Iroquois and beyond. It is great to see that some candidates are making an effort so see the entire riding, as diverse as it is. With that kind of an effort, the PC's and NDP should fair well here, a one-two showing even.