2018 Ontario Election: Uncertain ChangeJune 21, 20182 min read
The 2018 Ontario election was billed as a ‘change’ election. Certainly many things have changed with the results of June 7, but it is unclear what actual change will come and what change was actually voted for.
What is clear is that there was unhappiness with the outgoing Liberal government. With a historically low number of seats for the incoming Liberal party that does not give them official party status this will mark a shift away from centrist politics.
What is also clear is that new PC government will have a leader and Premier who has never been involved in provincial politics.
The election brought forth politically polarized platforms, so we will see a new socially and fiscally conservative narrative from the PC government. We will have to see if there is an effective socially progressive counter-narrative from the NDP, and perhaps the media and/or the public.
The Progressive Conservatives, had, by many accounts, expensive promises. However, they did not present a costed platform. These promises will need to be paid for so the question then becomes one of how these promises will become budget items.
We do not really know what kind of Premier Doug Ford will be. Tightly scripted during the campaign, he gave few media interviews and offered few policy specifics. What the real changes in policy will be, therefore, are hard to predict.
How will he translate his list of promises into actual policies? How would he fulfil his promise to end carbon pricing if it means the loss of cap and trade revenue, which last year was nearly $2 billion? Ford would need that revenue to finance promised tax cuts, the reduction of gas prices by 10 cents per litre, and the lowering of hydro bills by a further 12 per cent.
He said he would get rid of the new sex education curriculum, but what would it be replaced with? Would that curriculum be any less contentious? These are only a few examples of the challenges of governing rather than making election promises.
So yes, it was certainly a change election in Ontario. But what that actual change will look like remains to be seen. And that’s where the experts from University of Ontario Institute of Technology can help. Dr. Shanti Fernando is a political expert with Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (Political Science). She is available to speak with media to offer perspective on the next era of Ontario politics. Simply click on her icon to arrange an interview.