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Copyright Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday May 6, 2011
What does Monday's election of a majority Conservative government mean for the Ontario election in October? -- Not much.

There are contradictions right off the top. Since the end of the Second World War, Ontarians have rarely elected the same party at the provincial and federal levels. So, the Conservative victory on Monday should bode well for the opposition NDP or the governing Liberals. And if you believe all things Liberal are now tainted with the collapse of the federal party, that leaves only the NDP.

But its leader, Andrea Horwath, is not well known. A Nanos Research poll in February suggested only 9% of Ontarians think she'd be the best premier, compared with 32% for PC leader Tim Hudak and 23% for Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Then there is the painful legacy of the NDP government led by Bob Rae in the early 1990s.

The Ontario Progressive Conservative party is sitting at about 44% in the polls, but Hudak remains ill-defined to many people, other than that he was a Mike Harris Tory.

It's unlikely that we'll see vicious advertisements in the vein of the federal Conservatives' personal attacks on Michael Ignatieff to define Hudak or Horwath. And McGuinty is already well defined.

Horwath is no Jack Layton. The federal leader was in his fourth election campaign, he'd worked for years to lure the Quebec vote and his popularity only took off after the native son performed well in the French-language debate. Continued...


No sure things in Ontario's fall election
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