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A year ago, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty was returned to power in an election that featured the lowest percentage voter turnout (49.2%) in the province’s history. The Liberals retained power with a miniscule 18.5% of potential voters, which was likely the result of the combined efforts of special interest and lobby groups. What of those groups, did they get the special favours they had lobbied for? One year later, most of them have been betrayed.
During the election campaign of 2011, there was very little mention of Ontario’s debt or deficit by any of the major parties. The incumbent Liberals had a record of scandals and gross fiscal mismanagement throughout their eight years in power, yet attempts by the Progressive Conservative opposition to attack the government on those issues were pathetic. They were unable offer a viable alternative or show they were any different.
“In fact, we were the only party that made spending and debt a central issue of our campaign during the election,” said Paolo Fabrizio, Deputy Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party.
Prior to the campaign, the Liberals had created at taxpayer’s expense, the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services led by Don Drummond. When that report was released in February 2012, it received wide coverage but the Liberals have chosen to ignore most of it’s 362 recommendations including the one that abandons all-day kindergarten as being too expensive. They also apparently have ignored this comment from Drummond’s report: “Tactics geared towards short-term fiscal gains such as wage freezes and limits on the number of civil servants should be avoided. Wage freezes damage labour relations and are often followed by wage catch-ups.”
“Instead of making the program cuts, divesting the province of public assets, seeking private delivery of services, and the 359 other recommendations recommended by Drummond, the government has chosen to wait for an economic recovery, a faint hope,” said Allen Small, Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party.
What have they done? They have chosen to freeze the wages of teachers and all other public sector workers for two years, just as Drummond recommended they NOT do. This is how the Liberals have repaid the support of the special interest and lobby groups in 2011. They have effectively disowned their voter base.
So, after one year as a minority government only questions remain. Will the Liberal public sector wage freeze become law? Will it be a confidence issue? Will the Liberal government survive another year?
The Ontario Libertarian Party has been a registered political party since 1975. We advocate free markets, property rights, limited government, and voluntary interactions within communities between individuals and groups.