(And no, I never get tired of that joke.)
Seeing as my city now has a dipshit Conservative mayor, and my country has a snarky Conservative PM, would it be too much to ask to have a middle-of-the-road Liberal premier?
Long Story Long:
We have fixed provincial election dates in Ontario. I personally hate this, because it means the erstwhile campaigning began months and months ago, turning the election into a decidedly American-style affair. But hey, that's what our previous Conservative premier(s) gave us, so that's what we've gotta live with. (Besides, when you have flexible election dates, you can have fun, neat stuff like David Peterson calling a snap election pretty early in his mandate and having his ass handed to him by once-provincial-NDP-turned-interim-federal-Liberal leader Bob Rae. Good times. (Sorta.))
In the spring, Tim Hudak and the PCs were polling disturbingly high. Very disturbingly high. Even though the campaign was months away from its official start (i.e., today), a lot of us were shitting bricks over the numbers. Then the summer came, and people forgot about Hudak a bit, and the Libs' numbers started inching up. And now it's fall and the race is on and Blue and Red are pretty much neck-and-neck these days. (I'm not sure where Orange is, to be honest. I have nothing against Andrea Horwath (pronounced Horvath), but let's wait until the PCs are at least in a medically-induced coma before we can put some serious effort behind the NDP.)
(That is to say, I'm much more afraid of the Tories running Ontario than Horwath. It's sad that this has to be based on fear, and of whom I'm afraid the least, but...)
(...well, I don't really have a good answer for that. But, back to the task at hand.)
I've been not-so-secretly hoping — and actually somewhat expecting — Hudak to put his foot in his mouth this election campaign like John Tory did so beautifully in 2007. If you'll recall, Tory tried to shore-up his 905 Jewish/immigrant* vote by musing, "Hey, wouldn't it be great if taxes helped pay for private religious schools?" Tory couldn't have gift-wrapped a better sound bite for the Libs if he'd gone to the mall in December and stopped by the little table that wraps your presents for you and donates the profits to some local charity of some flavour. Naturally, that worked out well for me in '07.
And hey, it might just be happening again. Recently, Tim opined that the Liberal goverment's current program which has $12 million headed towards employers who hire immigrants with decent credentials and skills back home but can't find good jobs here is tantamount to "affirmative action" — and he's starting to refer to immigrants as "foreigners."
Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good Foreigner song. But referring to immigrants as foreigners clearly sets up an "us vs. them" mentality, as this Star article points out. I heard a clip of Dalton McGuinty on the radio today, sounding just about as angry as I've ever heard him — seriously, the guy would probably be humming showtunes if his house was burning down — slamming Hudak and comparing him to the Tea Party. And to Dalton's credit, the more I think about that comparison, the better it is.
Listen... I don't like it when politics turns ugly. I don't like campaigns that run on negatives. But McGuinty kicked a lot of verbal ass today, and it was an ass that needed to be kicked. (If it's Tim Hudak's ass, let me invoke Butthead (who's back with Beavis this fall in a series on MTV, hooray!) and call it "the ass of the ass.") More, please!
(And yes, today I am officially embracing parentheses within parentheses (like this), because it just makes sense.)
* I'm not invoking this in any pejorative way at all. I dig Jews and immigrants; I count some of them among my very closest friends. I'm merely pointing out that the 905 had ridings that were real horse-races between the PCs and the Libs, and thumbing the scale in favour of these groups could've meant another few seats.