It’s incredible what happens when you tell people you’re going to let them keep a little more of their hard-earned money.
They tend to be less angry, frustrated and stressed.
The Ontario Liberals knew that when they announced an obscenely costly 25% cut in our hydro bills.
A poll by Mainstreet Research shows Ontarians softening their views, slightly, about Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals after their latest round of bribing us with our own money.
It found 47% of Ontarians are just fine with the plan, which is supposed to reduce the average residential hydro bill from $135 to $101 a month, but tack on $25 billion in interest costs over 30 years.
However, the good news ends there for the premier.
Only 18% felt her announcement was a “sincere desire to reduce electricity costs,” while 41% believe it was a cynical ploy to shore up the Liberals’ sagging election fortunes.
That said, the poll isn’t all good news for Patrick Brown’s Progressive Conservatives or Andrea Horwath’s NDP.
Undecided voters have gone up following the hydro rate cut announcement — at the expense of the opposition parties.
Alarmingly, 25% believe Wynne is the leader best suited to fix the energy mess she helped create.
If the opposition parties have any hope of forming the next government, they cannot discount the Liberals’ ability to score quick, cheap political points at the expense of future taxpayers.
The 416 remains solidly Liberal — the PCs are not too far behind but lagging enough that it won’t translate into winning seats.
The NDP is barely registering in vote-rich Toronto.
For now, the opposition’s strategy is to do and say little, so as not to make themselves a target before next year’s election.
But an election is coming and voters need to know what they’ll be voting for.
For now, saying “we aren’t Liberals” may be good enough, but it won’t last.
Especially with a Liberal premier and government having ruined every file they’ve touched, under fire from all sides.
That makes their only option convincing voters that Brown and Horwath are the devils incarnate.
Wynne’s own words should have Ontarians running for the hills: “I’m quite comfortable saying to my grandkids that, you know, in order for your mom and dad to be able to do the things that they want to do for you right now, we’re going to ask you to pay a little bit for electricity that you’ll be using.”
Translation: Wynne has no qualms imposing massive debt on present and future generations.
Wynne might want to have a chat with her friend, former Liberal PM Paul Martin, about how things turned out for him on the eve of the 2006 federal election, when he tried to bribe Canadians with their own money, offering $30 billion in tax relief.
Martin and the Liberals were defeated anyway, ushering in 10 years under Conservative PM Stephen Harper.
While Wynne is counting on it, sometimes voters can’t be bought.
Toronto Sun by Adrienne Batra
March 15th 2017