Saturday Debate: Is This the Beginning of a New Progressive Conservative Dynasty in Ontario? – News 24



Andrew MacDougall

Trafalgar Strategy

Big gear. This is what every leader wants to achieve in politics.

Great political machines are the ultimate instruments of power. They know how to sustain themselves through government. They know how to campaign when election duty calls them. They can spot a changing landscape and act quickly to crush their opponents and maintain their advantage. When built right, anyone can bring a big machine back to power. Ask Ed Stelmach of Alberta.

Moreover, Canada is the land of great political machines. Do you like red machines? Well, the federal Liberal Party has been involved in much of 20th-century politics in Canada, including nearly the entire period from 1935 to 1984, except for the brief fart that marked Diefenbaker’s interregnum and Joe Clark’s nine-month “period.” became dominant. More importantly, the country still bears traces of those years in the form of multiculturalism and the Declaration of Rights and Freedoms.

Being a large country and on top of that a federation, Canada can even host several large machines at once. Liberals have been on both sides of federal politics over the past century, while Big Blue Machines have dominated several major states. Beginning in 1971, the Progressive Conservatives had a 44-year run in Alberta (after finishing a 36-year run with Social Credit) and the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario had a 42-year run (1943 -1985) and were crowned with 14 years. legendary Bill Davis.

Which brings us to Doug Ford. Does his recent re-election suggest that the legendary Big Blue Machine will be reinstated? Or are we as a society too fragmented to be reunited in the long run?

At first glance, it seems like good will prevail. After all, Justin Trudeau currently leads a national minority government with only 32% support, and state governments have been torn between parties in recent years.

Is there anything in politics that is built to last when people are as disinterested as they are now, or when there are more and more problem-oriented voters? And can lasting coalitions be built as an afterthought instead of political parties as creatures with real roots in communities?

Again, judging from the ashes of recent local elections, the conditions for a new term in Ontario are certainly set. With a divided and disorganized opposition and the worst of the pandemic behind, there is a margin of peace waiting to be claimed by the Ford government. And much of the PC rhetoric is now geared towards the working class – and the NDP is falling like a hot potato – if that rhetoric turns into action now, there is a constituency and a permanent path to victory.

Doug Ford and his PCs have a large gap if the liberals and the NDP manage to refocus politics on more sustainable issues like economic opportunities and the economy, while becoming increasingly involved in the echo chambers of social media and the cultural imperatives of vocal lobby groups. inclusion.

Saying that doesn’t make you popular in today’s newsrooms (or justify you for that matter), but issues like Indigenous rights or climate change are harder to cover if you don’t. I don’t know where or how to win. or if your dream of owning a home is slipping away.

Many people currently experiencing economic stress do not feel that their politicians are listening to them and have not for decades. So when a leader comes along who looks like them, like them, and talks about things that worry them, that leader has a chance to be part of the country furniture.

Ford has something that Trudeau has so much: name recognition. And in today’s era of celebrity politics, that matters. More importantly, Ford has no competitors. With Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca now taking a break from politics, the NDP and Liberals will need to renew their roster.

But who in their right mind wants to get involved in politics these days? If you’re making a good living doing something else, what makes you trade it for a chance to become a hotspot on the internet? Who on the NDP or Liberal Party team could spark a Trudeau-like revolution at the federal level in 2013?

Answer: no one. As such, Ford is built to last in Ontario, provided the prime minister can stay on the sidelines and surround himself with a talented crew.

Andrew MacDougall He is the director of Trafalgar Strategy and former communications director to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


Andrew Tumilty

Canada Business

To determine whether Doug Ford’s second term as prime minister was the beginning of a conservative dynasty, it is worth trying to define what constituted the dynasty.

Colloquially, the term heraldic is often applied to championship sports teams. It’s a somewhat subjective label, but at the very least, the bar for a dynasty is set at three championships in five seasons. Ford’s conservative parties have now won back-to-back elections, but they must continue to win even to be considered a dynasty.

To say that Ford is on the verge of a dynasty is hasty at best and impudent at worst. For Ford, a second win has always been the most likely scenario. In Ontario history, Bob Rae is the only prime minister to win a majority government and fail to win his first re-election attempt.

A dynasty’s standard is particularly high for Ontario curators. Beginning with a minority government in 1943, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario remained in power for the next 42 years until 1985. Even then, a support agreement for the “Big Blue Machine” was struck by Bob Rae between David Peterson’s Liberals and the NPD. ”. just to be driven off the road.

During those forty years, a prime minister himself ruled the province for a third of the time. Bill Davis was first promoted to Prime Minister in 1971 and remained there for 14 years until his retirement in 1985. Ford served four years and won another four years. He could win a third election and still be short of Davis’ tenure, far behind the party’s previous record.

It is clear that Ford has not yet achieved a dynasty, but it would be unfair to ignore the question of whether he can still achieve this status.

If predicting election results weeks after Election Day is like driving at night, predicting results a few years from now is like driving in a snowstorm and back at night without headlights. Still, some roadside signs could point to Ford’s future.

Ford’s team ran an impressive campaign for reelection. They were disciplined, tactical, rarely left without a message, and rightly deserved a convincing victory. To be lucky in politics and sports, it is necessary to be good. Ford’s two wins had lucky factors that overwhelm his team, and that’s unlikely to happen again.

In 2018, Ford ran against a Liberal party that had been in power for 15 years, and voters were clearly ready for change. To keep winning in future campaigns, Ford will need to ensure that voters don’t get tired of his government. If he makes a big change move again, it will be his team that will be on the wrong side of the election results.

In his second win, Ford took over two opposition leaders who spent most of the campaign fighting each other, rather than providing a clear rationale for change. Andrea Horwath had served as NDP leader in the previous three elections and failed to win the vote in her fourth attempt. The voters apparently knew him well enough to decide now was not the time to lead, and so they decided it was time to go.

In Steven Del Duca, Ford faced a leader the voters barely knew. What they knew was that they were not yet ready to get the Liberals out of the box, and so Del Duca found himself quitting on election night.

In the next election campaign, Ford will face new leaders for each of these opposition parties. New leaders can bring fresh perspective, voters, and energy to a campaign, and the Ford team will need to devise new strategies to secure a third victory. It is possible that they will succeed, but this is not certain.

It’s like taking Ford’s second win as a cue or more, looking at the Leafs’ Stanley Cup record in the 1960s and not knowing what happened next.

Winning at the moment is not a way to judge whether to continue to win. Ford won twice; it is not a dynasty per se, and it is too early to see these victories as the beginning of one.