Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservative party bet that people in Ontario would want out of the Liberal’s Green Energy Act. His confidence appears to have been misguided. The Liberal victory fell just shy of the 54 seats they needed for a majority. Final seat counts put the Liberals at 53 and the Tories at 37, with the New Democrats at 17. The Liberals won about 37 per cent of the popular vote, just ahead of the Tories at 35. The NDP was at 23 per cent. However, just 47.6 per cent of eligible voters turned out, down from 52.1 per cent who voted in 2007.
As the economic storm clouds darken over North America people are looking for a better future. Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty’s Green Energy Act offers promise, whereas Hudak’s job creation strategy relied almost exclusively on tax cuts.
Hudak’s negative campaign was another factor that did not resonate with voters. Conservatives promised to remove the HST from home hydro and heating bills, to lower income taxes on the first $75,000, to allow income splitting among couples and to reduce red tape for business.
Although Hudak was ahead in the poll this summer, his pledge to end the Liberal green energy scheme that supports local wind and solar producers contributed to his loss.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.