Few politicians find themselves in the situation Dalton McGuinty currently enjoys. He is buoyant amid an embarrassment of riches. His government is scandal-free, he can boast of a strong, capable cabinet; on the policy side he has made nary a misstep.
Critics say he has run a "nanny state" government, absent of long-term vision, tinkering here and there with bans on lawn pesticides, pit bulls, second-hand smoke in automobiles, and trans fats in public schools. But outside of Caledonia and some questionable investments in General Motors, Ontarians seem content with his leadership. There may be dark clouds on the economic horizon, but blame has yet to roost at the premier's doorstep.
His opponents present no discernible threat to his authority. Howard Hampton seems a spent force. After 12 years with him as leader, the NDP has not improved its vote. The public has failed to embrace the party as an agent of protest the way people did under Stephen Lewis or Bob Rae. Hampton is an intelligent, decent man but he knows his days are numbered.
John Tory remains a shrill voice awaiting an audience. He's been marginalized to the sidelines, adrift without a seat in the Legislature. There appears to be no one in the wings to help Tory chart a course out of this miasma. More...