Tim Hudak is Polling Strong… Again
April 25, 2013 · By Jonathan McLeod
We’ve seen this before. Tim Hudak has a massive lead over the current Ontario Premier. The sitting government is losing steam and public support. They’ve been in charge for too long, don’t appear to be great managers and haven’t offered any fresh vision. It’s just the sort of time for the opposition Tories to take charge.
But, again, we’ve seen this before. The Progressive Conservatives were polling at 42% leading up to the last Ontario election. Dalton McGuinty was unpopular and uninspiring. The economy wasn’t great. A lot of the Liberal’s big plans just weren’t panning out (eHealth, anyone?). Mr. Hudak was poised to be Premier.
Sadly, as uninspiring and vision-less as Mr. McGuinty was, he was no challenge for Mr. Hudak in that race to the bottom. The Tories came out with a tough on crime agenda, touting discredited policies that were too extreme even for Texas. And they were doing this as crime was on the decline, and no one was particularly worried about it. Following such a catastrophic move, the Tories decided to cement their opposition status by rolling out a little xenophobia in response to a non-policy put out by the Liberals. Mr. McGuinty trolled the PCs good, and the out-of-touch racists went down in flames.
Now, they’re leading the polls again. But this time, they’re only at 37%. Premeir Wynne is actually somewhat popular, and is really only weighed down by a decade of lousy Liberal rule. To use the past as predictor, there is no reason to think that this time Mr. Hudak will actually be able to capitalize on his strong polls. He’s in a worse position than he was last time, and he really hasn’t demonstrated the type of leadership anyone would want.
Perhaps he’ll be able to right the ship. It sure would be nice to have a viable conservative alternative once again. But there is really no reason to believe it will happen. Tim Hudak has been a disappointment at every turn. He has been, sadly, the perfect conservative version of Dalton McGuinty.