Ontario Liberals face electoral oblivion in June 7 provincial vote
19 May 2018
Although Ontario’s June 7 provincial election is still nearly three weeks away, it is clear that the governing Liberals are headed for a massive defeat. After 15 years in power, during which time they have slashed public spending, repeatedly criminalized worker job-actions, privatized public utilities, and further reduced taxes for big business and the rich, the Liberals are struggling to stay above 20 percent in the polls.
To this point, it is the right-wing, populist businessman Doug Ford who has been the principal beneficiary of the popular anger against the Liberals, who have been eagerly supported by the trade union bureaucracy throughout their tenure in office. After waging a Trump-style campaign to win the Progressive Conservative (PC) leadership earlier this year, Ford has largely been accepted by the corporate elite and its media mouthpieces as Ontario’s premier-in-waiting. A concerted media campaign has sought to downplay his similarities to Trump, even though his calls for slashing billions in government “waste,” cutting already minimal corporate taxes and environmental and workplace regulations, and demagogic attacks on the “elites” resemble nothing so much as the fascist-minded billionaire’s 2016 election campaign.
Ford’s sudden rise to the leadership of Ontario’s traditional alternate party of government was no accident. The position of PC leader came open in late January when Patrick Brown, a former Stephen Harper acolyte, was felled by unsubstantiated charges of sexual misconduct. The PC leadership, frustrated by Brown’s efforts to pick up votes by shifting the party to the “center,” threw him to the wolves within a matter of hours of…