Premier Kathleen Wynne’s freshness date may finally have passed.
Wynne’s approval rating has dropped to a new all-time low of just 12%, according to a poll released by the Angus Reid Institute Friday.
Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute said, “We tend to see premiers offering up their resignations or quitting politics when their approval levels get to this point.”
Indeed, in September of 2012 an Angus Reid poll revealed, “32% of respondents said they approved of Dalton McGuinty’s performance.” The next month McGuinty — Wynne’s predecessor — stepped down.
In public Wynne’s caucus supports her.
But it is telling that each week as Liberal MPP Arthur Potts (Beaches-East York) appears on my NEWSTALK1010 radio show, his response to my constant badgering of him over Wynne’s polling numbers is to repeat that while her numbers are low, he insists that the Liberal’s policies and actions are popular.
When asked if that means that it would make sense for the party to throw Wynne off the boat and elect a new leader, presenting the fresh face they insisted Wynne was when McGuinty left, he insists that is not the plan.
What is the plan?
Wynne announced that our hydro bills would go down by 25% by adding to the bills our children will pay. Yet her numbers dropped.
Her response was, “People haven’t seen the impact on their bills yet. But you know with all of that, I have a job to do. I made a commitment to the people of Ontario in 2014, I’m doing that job and I’m going to continue to do that job.”
“That job,” is drawing unprecedented low approval, yet she soldiers on as if all is well. It is dysfunctional.
Meanwhile on Friday the government announced, “Ontario is continuing to boost income for workers across the province by increasing the general minimum wage for the fourth consecutive year, which will bring the wage up to $11.60 this fall.”
Will an extra 20 cents an hour tip more low income people back into Wynne’s camp? How will it impact business owners?
Both the minimum wage and the hydro price change are attempts to win support by spending other people’s money, and for a change it appears not to be working.
The recent poll found 82% of those surveyed oppose the sale of shares in Hydro One to private investors, while 74% described their electricity bills as “very unreasonable” or “fairly unreasonable.”
Those numbers are so high it is certain that even those who might regularly support the Liberals are angry over hydro issues.
The decisions your government makes matter. Hopefully enough voters realize that treating politics like a team sport is dangerous. Being a liberal shouldn’t be like being a Leafs fan.
Supporting a sports team through thick and thin is admirable; that’s what fans do. Doing the same with a political party is counter-productive, and perhaps these recent poll numbers show citizens realize that.
Agar hosts the 9 a.m. to noon show on Newstalk1010
Toronto Sun by Jerry Agar
March 24th 2017