Ontario election debate

Last night we had the only Ontario election debate before the vote on October 6. It included the top three candidates: current Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal), Tim Hudak (Progressive Conservative) and Andrea Horwath (NDP). I didn’t expect to see the next Bill Clinton up there impressing everyone and I was certainly right in my low expectations. I don’t know how this election will play out I only know how it should.

From McGuinty the incumbent, we saw what most incumbents do. That is to frame the current state as positive and downplaying the negative factors. In a province that is suffering from an undeniable decrease in health care quality complete with a serious shortage of good doctors, this is no easy task. Add to that the high unemployment and lack of jobs on the horizon, coupled with ever increasing taxes and this job becomes almost impossible. I can’t imagine someone watching this debate and actually believing what McGuinty says since most people still remember him saying last time that taxes won’t rise only to have them rise on multiple fronts.

For the NDP, Andrea Horwath was lucky in this debate. She was lucky that she was debating against two little girls that were too scared to put her in her place as she dominated the pace of the debate and even some of the questions. She was also lucky that no one drilled her on her awful and dangerous “Buy Ontario” policy she wants to put in place that would lead the U.S. (whom Ontario relies on for so much of the economy) to not give Canada an exception to the “Buy America” provision which would crush the Ontario and Canadian economy. Her policies are overall not good for Ontario, perhaps with a couple of small exceptions.

The PC’s Tim Hudak is likely the best of the bunch. He isn’t great, but better than the terrible Premier we have now and better than the awful NDP candidate as well. He missed many opportunities in last night’s debate to tell Ontarians what his plans are on several issues and addressing voters’ questions directly. Instead he focused too much attention on putting down McGuinty (which is not necessary since Ontarians have lived through his bad Premiership for eight years already) and allowing himself to be dominated by Andrea Horwath and her rhetorical questions and comments. Not a great showing, but overall this debate should have cemented most peoples’ minds that they should vote for PC candidate Tim Hudak on October 6.