It wasn't that long ago that Tim Hudak seemed a shoo in to be the next premier of Ontario, however a disastrous campaign convinced enough Ontarians to return McGuinty and the Liberals to office. He wasn't the first rookie leader to botch an election campaign and it need not have been fatal but the decision to cede the budget debate to the NDP just may be.
Hudak's bizarre decision to reject the budget outright without attempting to wrest concessions from the Liberals allowed the NDP to fill the void and rendered his party irrelevant in that debate. Throughout the budget debate it was Andrea Horwath that we saw on our TV screens every night not the official opposition leader. Yesterday upon leaving her meeting with McGuinty, Horwath was mobbed by the media.It was Horwath the media horde waited to hear from, will she accept McGuinty's offer or will she trigger an election was what was speculated about. Hudak and the Ontario Conservatives were mere after thoughts with Hudak left to stammer once more that he and his party will vote against the budget.
What is truly confounding about Hudak's stance is that given the liberals and the conservatives have much more in common with each other than with the NDP, after all both parties wholly embrace neo-liberalism and austerity, that I suspect McGuinty and Duncan would have preferred to deal with Hudak over Horwath. Hudak could have won concessions that he could present to his base as victories instead all I heard today was, Way to go Andrea Horwath and the NDP, it's about time the rich paid their share.
I'll end with a conversation I overheard at work today. A coworker lifting his head from reading the Toronto Sun exclaimed "I'm starting to like this NDP" to which another replied "Yeah about time we had some one to replace the Liberals" It wasn't all that long ago that these two were prepared to vote for Hudak.