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ontarionewswatch.com NEWSROOM

In this new twice a week Campaign 2011 feature, ONW eavesdrops as top party strategists talk political tactics.  

Today's Question:  What do you think about the Liberal strategy to drop the platform on Labour Day, and is it a vote getter?  


Bob Richardson, Liberal Strategist:

I thought it was a smart, thoughtful platform. Credit to Dalton McGuinty, who shows experience and leadership more and more.  Targeted approach is good and it is fiscally reasonable which is why it is the only plan backed by a major bank economist, Warren Jestin at Scotia. This is good for seniors, small business, students and commuters. Am very happy with this plan!


Blair McCreadie, Progressive Conservative Strategist:

Bob may be happy with the platform - but that's because he doesn't need to run on it.  At least three of the five key "highlights" are re-announcements of existing government initiatives, and for Ontario families looking for real tax relief after eight years of Dalton McGuinty, there is little there.  Further, I expect that many Liberal activists will be disappointed by the embarrassing platform leak by disgruntled members of the Liberal team.  For a government seeking a third term, the Liberal campaign is showing some lack of discipline coming out of the gate.


Elliott Anderson, New Democratic Party Strategist:

I'd agree that the leak is embarrassing. I'd also suggest to Blair that the inflatable elephant his candidate posed in front of wasn't a high point in political discourse.


Bob Richardson, Liberal Strategist:

I think most Ontarians couldn't care a less about political games and leaks. I think they are focused on whether the ideas help them in their day-to-day lives (they do!) And does it move the province forward (it does!)  Focusing on process usually means the opposition doesn't want to talk about the ideas because they are good, well thought out and popular!


Blair McCreadie, PC Strategist:

Between now and October 6th, Ontario families will be looking to see which leader can provide real relief to them.  Through Changebook, Tim Hudak has set out a clear plan to deliver that relief.  And to their credit, the NDP has also put forward some concrete ideas in their platform as well.  Today's Liberal platform announcement will just reconfirm the notion that Dalton McGuinty has fallen out of touch with the challenges that many families are facing, and it certainly doesn't address the majority of Ontario voters who feel that it's time for a change.


Elliott Anderson, NDP Strategist:

It's certainly time for a change and we see that in public opinion polling and hear it at the door. We'll be asking people -- as we've done in our first ad -- to choose the right kind of change. Tories and Liberals implicitly share key planks: corporate tax cuts, public sector CEO pay, private power deals. 


Bob Richardson, Liberal Strategist:

Well we are pretty happy with our comprehensive, serious plan. No carnival circus wheels, ankle bracelets or chain gangs, just smart policies that help people in their day-to-day lives.  We shall see soon enough what Ontarians really think! Cheers and good luck to all candidates.


Blair McCreadie, PC Strategist:

By now, voters know what to expect from a Dalton McGuinty election platform.  In the 2003 Liberal platform, there was no mention of a health tax.  In the 2007 Liberal platform, there was no mention of the HST, eco taxes, or hidden "smart meter" hydro taxes.  If the 2011 Liberal platform was intended to be truly comprehensive, it should have clearly revealed what tax hike Ontario families can expect next.  The good news is that Dalton McGuinty still has just over four weeks to come clean!


Elliott Anderson, NDP Strategist:

Blair makes an interesting point and I'd take it one step further. The Liberal platform desperately attempts to fix their own failings: unaffordable post secondary (tuition up 30 percent over 5 years) and broken home care system (10,000 on waiting list). They can't be trusted to do that. It wouldn't be fair, however, if I didn't remind Blair of their 1997 and 1999 platform where there was no mention of privatizing 407 or deregulating hydro. That government ran out of gas and this one has too.

Always enjoy the debate, friends. Have a good day.


ONW's Strategists will be back at it Thursday. Stay tuned.

Posted date : September 06, 2011
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