Del Duca and Horwath both sought to continue the pandemic fearmongering rather than addressing economic concerns, and voters punished them at the polls.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the PCs have won another majority government.
Current results have the PCs leading in nearly 80 seats, with about 41% of the popular vote.
The NDP are far back with around 25 seats and 24% of the vote, while the moribund Ontario Liberals lead in just around 10 seats and have about 23% of the popular vote.
The Greens are around 6%, while the New Blue, and Ontario Party are at about 3% and 2% respectively.
Some results will be delayed due to extended voting at some voting stations, but there are not enough outstanding votes to change what is a decisive outcome.
Liberals & NDP pay the price for refusal to move on from pandemic
While the establishment media will attempt to claim that Ford won because he ran as a ‘moderate,’ the fact is that both the Ontario Liberals and Ontario NDP attempted to double-down on pandemic fear-mongering, and paid a massive price for doing so.
It’s deeply ironic, given that Doug Ford had imposed some of the most draconian restrictions in North America, and faced immense criticism from much of the Conservative base.
Yet, after he lifted most restrictions, the Liberals and NDP attempted to outflank Ford and push for continued masking in schools and raised the spectre of further lockdowns/restrictions.
That allowed Ford to be seen as the best candidate for economic recovery, and also helped to rally some of his disillusioned former supporters, since the radical turn of Del Duca and Horwath left Ford as the de fact ‘anti-lockdown,’ and anti-mask mandate candidate.
Coupled with the surging cost-of-living crisis that many voters are rightfully blaming on Liberal-NDP overspending at the federal level, and the PCs had a largely open field when it came to affordability and economic issues.
Don’t let the media re-write history
At this point, we can expect the establishment media to try and claim that the big PC win in Ontario means the Conservative Party has to become more like the federal Liberals.
Yet, all the evidence is to the contrary.
Del Duca and Horwath both took a Trudeau-style position on mandates, while the PCs sought to move on.
Further, Del Duca was one of the most ‘unique-looking’ and uncharismatic candidates in recent political memory, and in a very visual era having an odd-looking leader can be devastating for a political party.
It’s also essential to remember that Del Duca wasn’t actually doing too bad in the polls early on, until he pushed for continued mask mandates in schools.
This is what Del Duca said on March 9, 2022:
“Almost two years ago to the day, on the eve of March Break, our borders closing and a province-wide lockdown, Doug Ford told families: “go away, have a good time, enjoy yourself.” However well-meaning, it was reckless advice that likely contributed to the early spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.
Doug Ford was back at it today, none the wiser after two years of economic hurt and incalculable human loss. He just doesn’t learn from his mistakes.
Today, despite the clear and unequivocal advice of the province’s science table, and against the direct advice of the experts at SickKids, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences, and McMaster Children’s Hospital, Doug Ford decided to remove all mask requirements in schools.
He’s got it wrong again. I side with Ontario’s top children’s health experts who urged Doug Ford that “now is not the time” to lift the masking requirements in schools saying clearly:
“Given Ontario’s reopening and March Break, it makes sense to wait at least two weeks after the end of the break to review those indicators and make a decision for Ontario schools.”
That was the moment when many Ontarians realized that Del Duca was simply unwilling to move on from politicizing the pandemic.
And Del Duca kept doubling down:
He and the Liberals never really recovered, and they suffered yet another devastating defeat.
Jagmeet Singh’s brother, Gurratan Singh, also lost an NDP seat to the PCs.
This is a lesson to politicians around the country that Canadians realize Covid-19 is endemic, and that we can’t continue to decimate our economy and destroy the unity of the country in pursuit of an irrational zero-covid policy.
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