Monday, April 23, 2012

Ontario Budget Consensus : Ontario Wins, Ontario's Conservatives Lose

If you're from Ontario, you have to agree that all the political discussions taking place to prevent an election are a welcome relief. The deal of course reached between the Ontario Liberals and New Democrats is to include a surtax on those in Ontario earning more than $500,000 per year. If you're an Ontario Liberal or an Ontario New Democrat, you're clearly on the side of Ontarians.
Sources close to the talks said Mr. McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan had vigorously opposed the new tax. But they were clearly in the minority. The sources said a many Liberal caucus members support the tax, including a majority of cabinet members. As well, opinion polls show that the tax also enjoys widespread support from the public.
As an aside, polling those earning more than $500,000 will likely show they're not opposed to the surtax.
Fully 64 per cent, including a majority of Conservatives and wealthy people, say they are willing to shell out a bit more in taxes to protect social programs such as health care, pensions and access to higher education, all of which help reduce income inequality. Less surprisingly, there’s even more support — 83 per cent — for raising taxes on the wealthiest.
[H/T, Scott's DiaTribes]

However, count on the Ontario Conservatives to be on the wrong side of opinion.

Adding insult to injury, Ontario's Conservatives find themselves on the wrong editorial side as well.

Steve Paikan, TVO
The Progressive Conservatives, in the short run, seem to have taken one on the chin.  By announcing on budget day that his entire caucus would vote against the budget, PC leader Tim Hudak essentially removed himself from the conversation.  That immediate "nay" vote may have pleased his base which hates any accommodation with McGuinty, but it allowed the spotlight to shift to Hudak's NDP opponent as "a player" at the legislature.
Torontoist
The Tories, by contrast, have been nowhere in evidence. Tim Hudak came out the day the budget was presented and said his party would be opposing it; in so doing, he put himself on the sidelines. (Whether the Progressive Conservatives reward the principle or condemn the politics of that move is yet to be seen.)
Toronto Star
The downside for McGuinty is that he is now exposed to attack by Tim Hudak’s Conservatives for raising taxes, yet again, after vowing not to do so. That’s a price the premier is prepared to pay. He’s probably also banking on Hudak coming across as a one-trick tax-cutting pony, while others are trying to make the legislature work.
That said, if you're an Ontario Tory - you're probably breathing a sigh of relief.

How exactly do you campaign that those earning more than $500,000 shouldn't be charged a surtax and that Ontario needs to be plunged into another election for no reason whatsoever?

Rant on Tories!

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