Sunday, September 11, 2011

A campaign underway and more Hudak clouds

"And they're off!" Yes, the Ontario election officially kicked off this week with the traditional posturing and efforts by each party to frame the narrative.

Over the course of the coming weeks I will be looking at each of the three main parties and how their messaging is evolving. Is their message resonating, or are they having to tweak it to respond to campaign developments?

As a start, I decided to follow-up on the tag cloud I prepared based on Mr. Hudak's response to the last Liberal budget. As mentioned in
the accompanying blog post, a big part of the Hudak strategy is to make this election a referendum on Dalton McGuinty.

That speech was several months ago. So now, with the campaign underway, I wanted to see whether the PCs were sticking to this approach. To start to answer this question, I reviewed Mr. Hudak's speech to the Economic Club of Canada on Friday.

This was a somewhat more detailed speech, and one which attempted to provide some clarity as to what a Hudak government would look like. That said, it was still very much a speech focused on the McGuinty record - the Liberal government was not mentioned once; it was always the McGuinty government.

Here is a tag cloud created using the most frequently used words in his speech. Once again, the focus on McGuinty is clear as the current Premier is referenced twice as many times as the Progressive Conservatives.

Don't expect this to change. The PCs will make every effort to frame this campaign as a referendum on Dalton McGuinty. They will then use the issues to target a specific audience.

This speech was focussed on business leaders and the business press. The focus understandably was on job creation, with the not too subtle message that families, the middle class and business would all be better off under a Hudak government. Moving forward, we should expect messaging which continues to be built around Dalton McGuinty, but which focuses on specific issues such as health.

My challenge with this approach is that it is premised on the wrong question. It asks you to consider Mr. Hudak as "the Premier who isn't (McGuinty)" and not as the "Premier who might be." As a voter, I deserve more.

I deserve clarity as to what I can expect over the first 100 days. I want to know how the government will tackle the deficit and debt. I want to know about each party's plans regarding climate change and the environment. I want to make an informed decision.

Put another way, I want those asking for my vote to tell me who they are and what they will do, rather than who they are not and what they haven't done.

Is that too much to ask?


  1. I look forward to keeping an eye on this blog as we progress through this election. I respond to this post as a recent graduate who is concerned for the future of Ontarian's and my own future.

    I have read through all three of the main parties platforms and do believe that Tim Hudak's 'changebook' best reflects my own views and the views of many Ontarian's moving forward. Hudak lays out policies that reflect what people in ontario need - more money in their pockets, less government bureaucracy, and a government we can all trust. We won't know if we can trust him until he is in power, but we all know we can not trust McGuinty for another term. In a world where politicians are known for be liars and cheats - McGuinty has, and will continue to, lie about the things he will do for Ontario. More then anything, our government should be someone who we trust - and McGuinty has taken advantage of Ontario for far to long.

    The question then becomes, do I vote for NDP or the PC's. I am young - but do realize that socialism, although great in principle, costs tax payers more and more money. I agree in John Rawl's Veil of ignorance principle when he says that all of society should ensure that the least well of member of society is as well off as possible. But I do believe that hard work should pay off. Parents are continually working more and receiving less. The NDP have good plans, but the things that they continually promise cost families more and more.

    The PC's will most likely receive my vote on Oct 6th because they address the ridiculous deficit that Dalton has created for people here in Ontario. I WILL NOT leave my a deficit for my children to pay off through their taxes. Individuals are not allowed to spend money they don't have - so why should the government?

    'Changebook' outlines what the PC government will do, it may not have the full 100 day plan you are looking for but the other 2 platforms certainly do not either.

    Tim Hudak has not lied to Ontarian's. He has a plan. What Ontario needs right now is change - and I believe Tim Hudak is the man to provide this change.

  2. Why is no one considering the Family Coalition Party of Ontario?

    They have a viable platform and viable alternatives to all of the existing Ontario political Parties. Check them out at

    FCP - Strengthening Public Education
    FCP will Reduce our Provincial Debt
    Renewables Can’t Compete. They are tax funded.
    Energy supply policy should not be built on the government’s political priorities and ideology, but by balancing lowest-cost market principles with a respect and consideration for the environment.
    See the FCP platform!

  3. Its to bad all anyone can focus on is the idea of tax cuts and not have an understanding of how they will be achieved. The 2% waste that is referred to in government most likely will be at the expense of the middle to lower class worker. An example would be reduction in health and safety officers, employment standards and human rights tribunal. Unfortunately most people won't miss any of the above mentioned until they themselves need these services.
    I myself am voting for a government that has stood up and reduced work place injuries, been environmentally conscious and started to rebuild what the previous PC government destroyed.


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