Monday, June 16th Commentary
I am glad to see not much happened while I was out of the country for the last two weeks, he said facetiously.
A Liberal majority! What happened? When I left this was Tim Hudak's to lose. Sure enough he lived up to expectations. He missed the brass ring for a second time and now his political career is in tatters.
I've had to play a lot of catch up over the last few days to sort out just what transpired. Voters have decided not for Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals. Instead they concluded that under no circumstance would they swallow what Tim Hudak and the PC's were trying to sell.
For many years now I've been of the view that people generally vote against. They don't often vote in favour, although it does happen from time to time.
As best I can tell, the Tories banked on the idea that the negatives of the gas plant scandal would sink the Liberals. They got a lot of mileage out of it, 3 years’ worth, but by the time the election came around, people were tired of hearing about that scandal and they did not buy into the PC's claim that Kathleen Wynne was as guilty as Dalton McGuinty in blowing a billion dollars of their hard-earned money. Tim Hudak and his team also came up with this hair-brained million jobs plan, which was horribly crafted and when it became obvious that the million jobs claim was a con-job, then it was easy for the Liberals and their union backers to instill fear into the hearts of voters by leaning heavily on the 1-hundred-thousand lost jobs in the public service and how that would mean worse education for your kids and lousy health care.
At the beginning of the campaign a lot of Liberals were preparing to sit on their hands and just not vote. That should have been the gold rush for the Tories but the combination of the PC's and New Democrats accusing Wynne and company of corruption, when voters clearly like Kathleen Wynne and the unravelling of Hudak's million jobs plan awakened the small-l liberals to get off their backsides and out to the voting booth to vote against Tim Hudak and the PC's.
And now Kathleen Wynne has carte-blanche for a while but not 4 years. She has two years at best before the politics of re-election creeps back into all decisions. I hope she does not follow the budgetary track she promised she would because that yet to be passed budget is political and economic suicide. All the good stuff is up front, which bloats the deficit and the debt. All the bad stuff, the cuts that must surely follow are on the back end, right about the time the next election draws near.
A forum on solving gridlock in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is being held starting at 7:30 this morning at the Hilton Double Tree. It's an all-day affair including a debate amongst some of the candidates for mayor of Toronto.
There are no easy answers here so don't expect to hear some, out of the blue, solution. It takes years of planning and commitment and money.
But there are small steps motorists here could take to vastly improve things. On my drive to Memphis over to Knoxville and back there were two things that really stood out. First, most Americans driving in the left lane pull over when a car approaches from behind, like you are supposed to. Here, for some reason people think it is their right to stay in the left lane no matter how fast they're going and it always seems to be people driving mini vans. Second, and this is key, Americans drivers leave a lot more room between vehicles. They don't climb up the tail of the car in front so when traffic slows, it doesn't come to a complete halt. It just slows. Here we seem to bunch ourselves so close together that one driver just touching the brakes causes vehicle after vehicle to stop and then it takes that much longer to get back up to speed.
One other point: the high occupancy vehicle lanes in the U.S. are usually only in effect during morning or afternoon rush hours, not both. They run in-bound during the morning rush, outbound during the afternoon rush and the rest of the day and weekends, everything is wide open. They should be doing that here too to create better traffic flow.