It's taken me a few hours to get going this morning, following a night of toasting [marshmallows? Ed.] but a small serving of Ma Nifkins' jellied gin has me almost back to normal, so let me share some thoughts from yesterday's provincial election in the Canadian province of Ontari-ari-ario.
To set the stage, and get our American readers up to speed, Ontario is one of the more "progressive" provinces in one of the most liberal nations on earth, outside of Scandinavia. For the last 15 years it has been misruled by the Liberal Party -- the party of Big Government and social justice for all (except for straight, white, Canadian-born males). For the last five years, the Premier (head of the provincial government) was Kathleen Wynne, pictured at left below, the image on the right being that of her sister.
Ms Wynne is proud to be a lesbian, and is largely responsible for the much-reviled dirty sex education curriculum imposed on Ontario schools (including Catholic schools) in 2015. See WWW passim.
After 15 years of the Liberal nanny state's social engineering and tax-and-spend mismanagement, the people of Ontario were crying, begging for change. But who would change what the liberal elites and the (((controlled media))) keep saying is the natural order of things? Could anyone promise to turn back the clock?
Two other parties -- three, if you count the Green Party -- said they would do things differently. The socialist New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Andrea Horwath -- another short, shrill lady (?) -- promised to tax more and spend more, to give Ontarians free drugs, free dental care, and the sun, moon and stars, all by making the corporations and the rich, pay for it. As part of that, Ms Horwath said she would declare Ontario a "sanctuary province", so the bounties of socialism would be available to the huddled masses entering Canada illegally, at a cost of a mere C$2.5 billion (about $1.93 billion in real money).
The alternative -- and quite a stark choice it was, according to Ms Wynne herself -- was the oxymoronically named Progressive Conservative Party, led by Doug Ford, brother of the late Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, famous for having appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Like his brother, Doug Ford portrayed himself as a tax-cutting warrior, a fiscal conservative who believes governments waste too much taxpayers' money. Over and over, he repeated a simple message: a Ford government will be a responsible steward for taxpayers' money, and that "help is on the way for hard-working families!"
Mr Ford said he would cut taxes, cut the price of gas, cut hydro rates, cut the price of beer and eliminate the deficit while spending billions on transit and infrastructure projects. He had a simple product, and he was selling it at a lower price than anybody else in terms of tax cuts and other commitments of reduced prices. Those are tangible things that people understood and -- after 15 years of liberalism -- very much wanted.
And guess what, folks? It worked! The simple small-C conservative message, delivered by a straight white male -- the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with -- carried the Progressive Conservativess to a solid victory over lefties. Here's Doug Ford celebrating going to Queen's Park today as the head of a majority government.
Any resemblance to Donald Trump is purely coincidental, don't you think? Mr Ford's detractors say otherwise. They accused him of cultivating the same image to win the same voters -- the plain people of Ontario, ignored for so long by liberal chattering classes of downtown Toronto. Whether he did so deliberately or not doesn't matter. It worked! Don Guy, a veteran Liberal political campaign strategist and former chief of staff to Kathleen Wynne's predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, said "[Mr Ford] was the ideal candidate because he gave small-c conservative voters a very comfortable home, a very comfortable archetype and a very strong message."
Kathleen Wynne had a mutual love affair (philosophical, not physical!) with Canuck Prime Minister Justin "Mr Socks" Trudeau. She shared Junior's "progressive ideals", and could be counted on to support his view of government as an agent for change. Doug Ford? Not at all! A price on carbon? He's against it. Asking the wealthy to shoulder a greater tax burden? He's against that, too. Free drugs for all? Social housing, especially for "refugees" and the idle poor? Gender-based analysis of government initiatives? Such entitlement programmes weren't at the bottom of Mr Ford's to-do list. They weren't on it at all! The priorities of a Ford government, he told voters, begin with "A" for "austerity".
A political scientist at Queen's University, in Kingston ON, said, "I think the fact that he came across as sensible during the debates really helped him a lot. He didn't get upset during them. It was a very controlled campaign. He was very much in control as well. He had his key messages. He stayed on point. He repeated them." Mr Ford's message that he would find "efficiencies" in government resonated with Ontario voters, she said. "People do see government as being wasteful in some ways. Everybody's got a story about that, so that kind of hits home."
As well as a warning to the libtards, progressives and SJWs, Doug Ford's victory -- and it's very much his, personally! -- is a good lesson for small-C conservatives everywhere. Keep the message simple, stay focussed on bread-and-butter issues more than ideology, and you will win. Next target for Canadians -- turf Trudeau in 2019! If I were "Mr Socks", I'd be quaking in my loafers.
Note from Ed.: For American readers who are wondering what's with all the blue in a conservative celebration... party colours in Canada are, like those of Britain, the reverse of what you're used to in the Excited States of America. Liberals wear red. Conservatives wear blue. The Greens favour green -- DUH! As for the NDP, who you'd think would be in the pink... their colour is orange. Go figure.