Ontario To Be Made Great Again
Populism invades Canada as Doug Ford – brother of the flambouyant former mayor of Toronto – is elected Prime Minister and his Progressive Conservative Party wins a majority.
After 15 years in the political wilderness, Ford led his Progressive Conservatives to victory in Ontario’s provincial election Thursday. Less than half an hour after polls closed the victory was called for Ford.
A higher than predicted popular vote and new electronic vote counters — a first for Elections Ontario — made for a very quick result after voting ended at 9 p.m. The victory was declared in record time, less than 30 minutes after polls closed.
“A new day has dawned in Ontario: a day of opportunity, a day of prosperity and a day of growth,” Ford said after taking the stage at his party’s headquarters.
The premier-elect threw tradition out the window on election night and was the first leader to make an election night speech. His decision to go first meant that Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s concession speech wasn’t aired on most television networks.
“We’re going to turn this province around,” Ford told the crowd of party faithful. “We will make sure Ontario is the greatest place on earth to live, to do business and to raise a family. And we will make Ontario once again the engine of Canada.”
The Liberals had been in power for quite a while, so a changing of the guard was due. Even so, now Alberta has an NDP government and Ontario a Progressive Conservative one. In both cases, though, the majority political orientation was split. In Alberta, the PCs and rightwing Wildrose Party combined for over 50% of the vote, whereas here the Liberals and NDP combined for over 50%. Election systems matter.