Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cloud Watching and the Ontario Election

As I look ahead to the Ontario election, I decided to look back and see what's been said. My first stop happened to be a speech given by Tim Hudak, the leader of the Progressive Conservatives. The speech was given in response to the last provincial budget, and was entitled "Families Need Tax Relief."

After listening to the video, I decided to do something different. Rather than simply write what I thought about the speech, I created this tag cloud based on the words used throughout.

Looking at the words and the frequency with which they are used, you can see the shape of the Tory narrative and the ballot box question they are trying to frame for Ontario voters. Their goal is simple - define the election around Mr. McGuinty and the perceived "cost" of another Liberal government.

Unfortunately, little is provided of substance or note around what a Hudak government would mean for the voter. He mentions his name once, and the PC party only a couple of times. Policy options are in short supply save for the traditional commitments to drop unpopular initiatives (smart meters) and vague generalities around reviewing programs.

It is not surprising, safe and typical. Unfortunately it does little to help the voter consider the choices in front of them.

I am hopeful that all parties can do better over the next 8 weeks or so. Thoughts?

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