Campaign 2011 is over, all we have to do now is make sure our vote is in. As far as election campaign’s go, I think we can all conclude this particular one hasn’t been the most enlightening and exciting. My good friend and colleague in Winnipeg, Dave Angus CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber says it perfectly when talking about the recent Manitoba Provincial Election. He says as reported in the Winnipeg Free Press “The political operatives who dictate the election strategies for the parties are obviously playing it by the book this fall. In a close election, the strategy is to keep your head down, focus on the weaknesses of your opponent, keep campaign pledges modest and sprinkle the public’s hard-earned money across targeted ridings. We are left with platforms void of leadership, inspiration and growth.” It seems like he was writing about the Ontario Provincial Election as well.
My friend Dave is absolutely correct, he continues to say in the same column, “What is missing is the need for bold moves and policy platforms that will grow our economic pie to generate the tax revenues to properly invest in priorities. It’s easy to spend money, especially when it’s not your own, to garner support. Real leaders, however, know that greater priority must be placed on policies and initiatives that will lead to growth.” Here, here Mr. Angus, that is exactly what “we” the people are looking for.
Bold ideas, relevant to the times, with exciting initiatives is what we are all looking at. I believe that this is what fell the PC campaign in Ontario. If I recall correctly, Mr. Hudak and the Ontario PC’s enjoyed a 10 or 12 point lead in the polls in July or so. The real problem as I see it was that the new and bold ideas, if there were any, got lost in the rhetoric of the “taxman” messaging or the “we can’t afford 4 more years” statement over and over. I’m no expert, but I thought marketing 101 says don’t mention your competition, it’s just free advertising. The only one who really had a platform was the incumbent who simply continued to rely on his record over the last 8 years, and as far as the NDP, I am certain they were hoping the surge in their Federal counterparts would engulf their campaign as well. That little success story of the spring certainly wasn’t the NDP”s doing, it was all about Jack Layton, he made that happen all on his own.
In any event folks, we’ll get exactly what we want out of this election, that is still the beauty of democracy. I’m still getting excited about election night, like I always do. I understand that Mr. Hudak is still optimistic about what the outcome will be, I’m sure the Premier is sitting comfortably with his expected outcome and Ms. Horwath most certainly will gain some points this time around, she’s proved herself to be leader for the Ontario NDP.
You won’t get any predictions from me, not at all sure what the most important poll will say (the Vote), either way folks I can guarantee you one thing. Tomorrow, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, we’ll have to head to work, to school or wherever you’ve planned your day, nothing will really change, no matter who is elected as there were no bold new ideas anywhere. So vote with your head and your heart working together, consider all your options, have confidence like I do that they are all honourable people, just wanting to make Ontario and our communities better places to live, work and raise a family. None of the three leaders or parties are to be feared, they are all good people wanting to give of their talents. Be a little optimistic like I am, in the end We the People hold the balance of the power with our pen in our hand. So demonstrate that power and get out and vote, you will feel better you did.