Ontario Provincial elections are a lot like the playoffs in baseball leading to the World Series (the Fall classic). You get to see the best “pitchers” in action head to head and all mistakes are magnified in importance.
Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak is a veteran of a prior campaign but doesn’t have a winning record in the playoffs and his team has a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, see prior losses by every P.C. pitcher since Mike Harris.
Kathleen Wynne, the Liberal Party Leader and the unelected Premier is the new Manager of a Team used to success and eager for the playoffs despite a mediocre regular season.
Mr. Hudak has gone on the offensive from the first Inning of the Game and has set out the agenda for the Election Campaign with his $1 million dollar private sector jobs pledge and his attack against the Liberal Government’s $1 Billion dollar gas plant scandal.
One might think that this fast ball/slider combination would portend well for Mr. Hudak and the P.C.’s. However, Mr. Hudak has also seen fit to mix in a curve ball in the form of a pledge to cut 100,000 public sector jobs to reduce the cost of government and thus create the ideal low corporate tax burden environment for private sector investments in Ontario.
This is just the opening that the veteran Liberal Team was hoping to get from the P.C’s. A Pitch from Mr. Hudak that the Liberals can “drive” in to the electoral gap. Ignite the job security fears of every public sector worker and the concerns of the public about cuts to vital public services like: education; food and water safety; and, healthcare. At the same time the Liberals will assert that Mr. Hudak’s pitches are all aimed at knocking organized labour out of the batter’s box entirely whether those unions are in the public or private sector. Mr. Hudak has after all previously flaunted the idea of stripping away many of the protections enjoyed by organized labour under the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and otherwise.
There is an old adage that says: “offence sells tickets but defense wins games”. So, will Mr. Hudak’s offense score enough votes to unseat the perennial league champion Liberals? I think he has a chance.
The Liberals have promised to deliver the moon to electors – a chicken, or two, in every pot (Provincial pensions; education subsidies; higher minimum wages; make the rich pay higher taxes; more jobs for teachers and support workers; affordable daycare and lower corporate taxes) and apparently no rainouts … ever.
The Liberal pitches are all outside the zone … and none of them are strikes that ought to baffle P.C. hitters.
But, will the P.C. offence fizzle in the face of predictable Liberal defensive tactics? Is the Hudak game plan a winner … only the results of the June 12th election will tell the story. So far, so good, according to polls showing Hudak’s P.C. Party in front but as Yogi Berra famously stated: “… the game ain’t over till it’s over.”