Ontario is right in the centre of Canuckistan -- politically as well as geographically. Radicalism, either to the right or to the left, is for the other provinces. If you look up "moderate" in your dictionary of politics, you'll find, as Example No. 1, Ontario's oxymoronically-named Progressive Conservatives (aka PC party), who governed the province for 40-odd years from the middle of World War II until the mid-80s. The Premier, for much of that time, was a chap named Bill Davis, whose motto was "Bland works."
Since then, except for a brief fit of madness in 1990, when Ontario voters elected an NDP (read: socialist) government by mistake, Ontarians have elected a succession of Progressive Conservative (centre-right) and Liberal (centre-left) governments whose policies vary by no more than two iotas, combining big government, big business and social engineering into a stew of liberal progressive pap.
The present stirrer of the pap, and Chief Social Engineer of the "province of opportunity" is proudly lesbian Premier Kathleen No-Wynne, who has attempted in the last few months to push her Liberal party in a more leftward direction, particularly on "social justice" issues such as public safety (Police bad!) and education reform (Gender ideology good!).
Ms Wynne and her cronies in the Pink Palace at Queen's Park are up for re-election in June. Her approval ratings being as close to zero as to be within the margin of error, she looked certain to be defeated by the Progressive Conservatives, whose leader was a nebbish by the name of Patrick Brown. Having hoodwinked the PC's social conservatives to become leader, Mr Brown promptly flip-flopped on sex education and other social issues, so as to be seen as more "moderate" than Ms Wynne, therefore more acceptable to Ontario voters. He might have pulled it off, too, if he hadn't got caught in the #MeToo foofaraw, as a result of which he resigned on January 25th.
Patrick Brown's resignation threw the PCs into panic mode, since they needed a new leader to take them into the June election muy pronto. Four people their hats into the ring, including Tanya Granic Allen, endorsed by Walt on February 12th, whose goal was always and only to give a voice to Ontario's social conservatives, who hadn't had anyone to speak for them since... well, since forever!
The other three were: Christine Elliott, the widow of a former federal finance minister and darling of the party insiders; Caroline Mulroney, political neophyte but well-connected daughter of Lyin' Brian, a disgraced former prime minister; and Doug Ford, elder brother of Rob Ford, the crack-smoking (etc etc) populist mayor of Toronto until his untimely death in 2016.
Voting for the next PC leader and, probably, next Premier of Ontario was to be done online, all very modern and, errr, progressive. All you had to do was get your party membership by February 16th. Then they would mail you -- by snail-mail -- a "verification code" which you would enter online to send them a scan of your photo ID, after which they would e-mail you a PIN number which you would use to vote, online. The party bureaucrats would then print out your ballot, which would be counted by machine. The votes would then be adjusted -- weighted -- so that all the ridings (electoral districts) had an equal say. What could go wrong?
Yes... what could go wrong? Walt was in Ontario yesterday for the goat rodeo [leadership convention, shurely. Ed.] to find out. Of about 140,000 registered party members, only some 70,000 had received verifications letters. Of those, around 65,000 had actually been able to vote. The result was to be announced at 1500 EST. 1500 came and went. So did 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2000. Finally, at about 2025, a minion emerged from behind a black curtain at the Hilton Markham Convention Centre to tell the tired and emotional party faithful to go home! Seriously! No result tonight, they said, but we'll let you know "in the short term".
A couple of hours later, while those who hung around were still picking their jaws up off the floor, the party honchos, stung by speculation that the fix was in for Ms Elliott, relented and announced, very quietly, that the winner was... no drum roll... Doug Ford! They did not give any numbers, nor any explanation for the delay. Christine Elliott, who was rumored to have finished a close second, was nowhere in sight, and has refused -- just like Hellery Clinton -- to concede. An "investigation" is under way, and a court challenge is likely. Mr Ford made a short (and less than stirring) acceptance speech.
I've been following politics on both side of the World's Longest Undefended Border for decades and have never seen anything like this, north of that border. It was all so American! Here you had a sexagenarian woman, already a two-time loser running for the same position, who didn't get what she felt entitled to (in spite of the machinations of the party brass) and stormed off into the night. And the winner was a populist social conservative who campaigned openly against the party elites and the (((controlled media))), whom he accused (quite rightly, IMHO) of being out of touch with the needs and sentiments of the Real Ontario.
The lamestream media don't have their hair on fire over the Ford win. Being Canucks, their hair is just smouldering slightly. But already they're saying that Ford can't win, he's too right-wing, wants to turn back the clock, yada yada yada. Where have we heard that before! Doug Ford may not win Rosedale and Forest Hill -- posh parts of the Little Apple -- but Walt predicts he'll do well in "the 905" (the ring of exurbs around Toront) and sweep rural Ontario, just as President Trump swept America's "flyover country". Lifetime pct .989.
Final thought: I was pleased indeed to see Doug Ford give a special shout-out to Tanya Granic Allen, who was standing behind him and to his right (!), and stepped forward with a wave and a smile at about the half-way point of the video. Well done, that lady! Make her Minister of Education, Doug!
Further reading: "After a wild PC leadership race, don't rule out Premier Ford", an unusually unbiased account by (((Martin Regg Cohn))) in the Toronto (Red) Star, 10/3/18.