THUNDER BAY – The latest public opinion polls conducted in Ontario show that the lustre appears to have worn off of the McGuinty Government. The Angus-Reid Poll, conducted for the Toronto Star shows 41% support for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, 29% support for the Ontario Liberals, and 18% support for the New Democrats.
The poll puts the number of Ontarians who believe that the McGuinty Government is on the “wrong track” at 71%. That means plenty one year out from the next election. It is likely also too late for the Premier to have a “walk in the snow” and decide to retire as Premier.
One year out from the next provincial election, the poll numbers from this latest survey demonstrate the problem that the McGuinty Government will likely have to overcome if it is to maintain power.
Last week, during Question Period in Queen’s Park, Premier Dalton McGuinty was asked a simple question by Gilles Bisson on behalf of Grand Chief Stan Beardy. The guts of the question: “Will you keep your promises?” It was a simple question. A question that any honourable politician, or person would have answered with a simple one word answer.
It was likely one of the “yes” or “no” defining moments in Dalton McGuinty’s political career.
The Premier didn’t answer. Instead, Dalton McGuinty played political games.
Dalton McGuinty infuriated the entire First Nations delegation, who walked out of the gallery at Queen’s Park in protest.
Grand Chief Beardy later stated, “The Premier of Ontario has failed to honor his promise to NAN First Nations that Bill 191 would not become legislation without our support. In yesterday’s Question Period, Premier McGuinty could not answer as to whether he intended to keep his word. It is obvious that his words mean very little and his promises even less.”
Premier McGuinty has taken his role as “Premier Dad” to a point where instead of listening to the people of Ontario, he is taking the approach that he can dictate to the people of Ontario what he will do.
That rarely works in families, and it really doesn’t work at all for political leaders.
The downward slide has come, likely as a result of the Ontario Liberals trying to find new “revenue streams” to cover the escalation in government spending. That spending which has doubled Ontario’s deficit from the days of the Bob Rae government is likely going to be the downfall of the McGuinty Government.
Other issues come as demonstrated in previous polls, that increasingly, people in Ontario simply don’t trust the Premier any longer. The Ipsos-Reid poll of earlier this summer echoes much of what the latest Angus Reid poll states.
The Ontario Progressive Conservatives are now in the position where it is their election to lose.
What the McGuinty Government does not seem to have understood is that voters rarely vote a government into government; they toss the old, increasingly out-of-touch, and arrogant one out of power.