Reaction Roundup: responses to Thursday’s Liberal victory, from most to least pessimistic
Last night’s election was a surprising victory for premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals. With a majority government secured, they’ll most likely have four years to implement their agenda free of interference. Despite the euphoria in progressive circles, there are plenty of people for whom this outcome is nothing short of a disaster—Tim Hudak, for one. His Progressive Conservatives had what seemed like a clear path to victory: just bring up the Liberal party’s many scandals as often as possible and let voters do the rest. And yet, thanks in part to a far-right platform that didn’t resonate with urban voters, the Tory cause has been sidelined for another term.
A day later, everyone has something to say about Thursday’s electoral surprise. Here, for your convenience, are nine of the best reactions, ordered from most to least pessimistic, starting with today’s ridiculous Toronto Sun cover (above), which is actually a sequel to the even-more-ridiculous cover the paper ran in 2011.
“But I’ll tell you one thing, I’d give that PC party an enema from top to bottom.”
—Doug Ford, telling reporters his prescription for an ailing party. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Ford has used this turn of phrase in reference to a political body. So, we guess Doug imagines government as a sort of giant lower intestine (in this analogy Doug himself, we guess, would be an undigested piece of gum, immersed in—but proudly unaffected by—the fecal slurry). That would explain a lot.
“We shudder to think of what new scandals the Liberals have in store for us, now that they’ve been given a pass on the ones they’ve already committed…over the last 11 years.”
—The Toronto Sun’s editorial board, expressing the not-unreasonable point of view that past performance is often a good predictor of future results.
“This vote wasn’t so much a referendum on [Hudak] as it shows the vote-buying power of the unions in this province.”
—The Sun’s Christina Blizzard, in an op-ed. Most other commentators agree that Hudak’s platform doomed itself.
“[W]hile Ms. Wynne may be the premier, it’s the ratings agencies that will set the agenda. She’s just a caretaker. The number geeks own Ontario now.”
—The National Post’s Matt Gurney, arguing that even though Hudak’s austerity platform was defeated at the polls, Wynne will have to cut spending anyway just to keep Ontario’s creditors at bay.
“Nobody should mistake this result as an endorsement of the status quo.”
—Tim Hudak, during last night’s concession speech. It’s not clear how a landslide in favour of the ruling party could be interpreted as anything but an endorsement of the status quo.
“I want to build subways. I think [Wynne] will be a good partner in that.”
—Rob Ford, from rehab. These are uncharacteristically charitable words from a guy who was openly feuding with the premier’s office as recently as six months ago.
“I also congratulate Premier Kathleen Wynne on her victory, and hope to work closely with her as our new mayor. I particularly welcome her commitment to long-term, stable transit funding and helping Ontarians retire in dignity.”
—Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow, in a written statement issued after Wynne had clinched her majority. As a former NDP MP, Chow will need to overcome the perception that she’s not the ideal person to negotiate with a Liberal provincial government on Toronto’s behalf.
“I’m thrilled to be here and I’m really eager to get on with it.”
—Kathleen Wynne, speaking to reporters on Friday.