By Trent Gow
Just 94 days from today we will be voting for a new Ontario government. At some point the real campaign will begin in earnest with the four main parties taking aim at each other. But for now, all attention is focused on the efforts of the Progressive Conservative Party to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. Haven't we seen this movie before?
On the surface this apparent implosion seems like good news to Kathleen Wynne's re-election prospects. With the Conservatives in disarray and the NDP's continuing failure to gain traction there is a clear path for yet another Liberal victory. But is this Wynne coronation inevitable or even likely? In my view, as a lapsed Liberal, the answer is a resounding NO.
Kathleen Wynne is deeply unpopular. In spite of six months worth of expensive pre-election goodies, her personal support level is less than 20 per cent. Put another way, more than 80 per cent of Ontarians have less than positive perceptions about her.
As well, while Patrick Brown caused huge damage to the PC Party, by election time he will be a footnote in history. Another leader – likely a woman – will be firmly ensconced and on her way to the Premier's office.
So in spite of their best – or is it worst – efforts the Progressive Conservatives are likely to seize victory from the jaws of defeat. Let's hope that when they do so they settle down and provide good governance for all Ontarians.