Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2022/ Provincial Election Postblather

Provincial Election Postblather

Local Results

To my surprise, my pre-election predictions were mostly correct, at least locally. Overall election turnout was terrible at 43.5%, although to my surprise turnout in Waterloo Region was a bit better than the provincial average. (I was expecting the opposite, since parties are now prohibited from putting up signs on regional roads. ) Catherine Fife and Laura Mae Lindo won for the NDP in Waterloo and Kitchener Centre respectively, and the PCs took all the other Waterloo Region ridings.

I was surprised that the New Blue party made basically no impact; Belinda Karahalios secured double-digit support in Cambridge, but Jim Karahalios in Kitchener-Conestoga did not make a dent at all. Overall the New Blue party got 2.7% of the vote in Ontario, which is not bad (and is comparable to the Green Party vote from previous elections -- for example, in 2011 the Greens got 2.9% of the vote).

For the most part I am pleased that KW voters consolidated around the NDP incumbents.

Mike Schreiner held on to his seat in Guelph, which surprised me a little. The Greens did not get any additional seats, which did not really surprise me. Wayne Mak in Kitchener Centre got double-digit support, which I feel could have helped split the vote to the PC candidate, but thankfully didn't.

PC Majority

Doug Ford cruised to an easy victory, which was a shame. He won 83 seats (66.9%) on 40.8% of the vote, which is worse than many elections. In most ridings a greater percentage of people voted for one of the three left-wing parties than for PCs, but it didn't matter. Vote splitting did great job. Thanks, Liberals. In my opinion Ford got real lucky. He made several gambles and they all paid off. Getting rid of COVID public health protections didn't bite him; Ontario is in a wave but it is slowing, as compared to the USA where COVID is raging. Nobody called out Doug Ford for his pandering to taxpayers by getting rid of car registration fees and mailing rich people cheques. Neither of the main opposition parties inspired anybody. PC candidates ignored media appearances and all-candidates debates and were rewarded for their cowardice.

Unfortunately, the Ford government will probably interpret the results as a clear mandate, rather than luck and vote splitting. It is not clear to me whether he will pivot away from pragmatism to ideology now, but it is clear to me that he will be facing crisis after crisis over his term.

I think we are in for some really tough times in Ontario, and there is not much Doug Ford could do about them even if he was a competent leader. Doug Ford cannot stop inflation or food shortages. He cannot stop the recession that is coming. He will pave over as much farmland as he can to build suburbs, but that won't fix the housing crisis. I suppose he could make some impact on whether we are ravaged by COVID when the next variant rolls in, but I doubt he will. Instead we will get rocked by crisis after crisis.

I think it is easier for the PCs to get re-elected when they are spending like drunken sailors than when they are in austerity mode. Ford might well continue spending like a drunken sailor, but he really shouldn't.

With 83 seats and several new faces let us hope that Ford has enough material to put together a skilled cabinet who can keep him in check.

Liberal Humiliation

The Liberals won an additional seat to put them at eight seats total -- still well short of earning official party status. Despite this, they won more of the popular vote than the NDP, and increased their share of the vote moderately.

Steven Del Duca was humiliated. He did not even win his own seat. I honestly think most Ontarians did not know who he was. True to form, he resigned immediately after the election instead of taking his medicine and leading that party through another election.

Personally I feel that if Kathleen Wynne was still the leader of the Liberal party then they would have done much better in this election. They probably would not have won the election, but they would have official party status.

I am quite unhappy that the PCs received so many seats, but I am quite happy that the Liberals got trounced. They lost vote-split after vote-split, and I could not be happier. I want them to be humiliated. I want them to lose every vote split possible. All of these vote splits are their own fault, because they sabotaged electoral reform in 2007 and then their federal counterparts sabotaged electoral reform in 2016. (Yes, I stand behind both those statements. It was sabotage disguised as other things, and it worked.) Of course, the Liberals are Liberals, and they do not mind losing the occasional election badly so long as they form phony majority governments later on. But falling below the threshold of official party status has to hurt, and I want them to hurt again and again until they learn some humility. I place the blame for the PC majority government firmly on the Liberals.

Who am I kidding? The Liberals will never learn humility. Now that they are a third place party again they will cry crocodile tears and tell us "we're really listening now" and re-introduce electoral reform into their platform and say they will really, really make it happen this time, but they are lying. They might allow alternative vote to go through because they would be the beneficiaries, but they will never allow proportional representation. The next time they make that promise, understand that they are lying and don't believe them.

To my surprise, I did not receive any "Only Kelly Steiss can defeat Doug Ford" campaign literature, but that does not mean it did not exist.

Del Duca won the Liberal leadership race handily. It was not even close. So who is going to be the next leader, and why should we believe that person will succeed where Del Duca failed?

NDP Slump

In 2018, the NDP got 33.6% of the vote and 40 seats. In this election they got 23.7% of the vote and 31 seats. Yes, they are still the official opposition, but they took a big hit. That should not be surprising, since only diehards were willing to vote Liberal in 2018, but it is still bad news for the NDP. It demonstrates that over the past four years voters did not seriously consider the party to be the "government in waiting".

I am not surprised Andrea Horwath stepped down. As I wrote before, I feel that Catherine Fife might be leader if she decided to run. I do not love Fife but she is an effective politician, and would be formidable competition to Doug Ford. The downside is that Fife is another straight white woman, and the woke NDP no doubt wants somebody more intersectional as their next leader. (We will see if that diverse leader runs into the same kind of troubles Annamie Paul did as leader of the federal Greens.)

The NDP continues to spew patently false rhetoric about paying for social programs by taxing the rich and not the regular people.

Fair Vote Canada Talking Points

As mentioned before, the PCs got 66.9% seats on 40.8% of the vote, which is moderately worse than the usual "40% of the vote, 60% of the seats, 100% of the power" talking point.

The Liberals received a higher percentage of the popular vote than the NDP, but ended up with 8 seats compared to the NDP with 31 seats. Meanwhile, the Libs got 23.8% of the vote and the NDP got 23.7%. The popular vote was comparable, but the seat totals were not.