Conservatives and a Disdain for Data

June 17th, 2014 by Potato

I did not have the chance to follow the Ontario election in depth, and haven’t commented at all on it. Now that it’s over, there isn’t much to say.

Except one thing: Hudak’s “million jobs plan” was shown fairly early on to be based on flawed math. This was an excellent opportunity for him to take the race* by changing his platform based on the data and corrected information. Not only could he then have run on a sounder plan (though in the end that plan would likely have looked very much like the other parties’), but he could have distanced the provincial party from the federal cons and their well-known disdain for data.

Instead, the message was “well, in my heart and mind…” [it’s true]. For so long I have had so much trouble relating to conservatives — there is a perfectly valid basis for disagreeing with one another on how we should run the country, what roles the government should play, and whether that should be minimized or optimized based on various value systems and circumstances of the day. But some opinions and plans are so out there that I’m just left shaking my head. And now I know: the disdain for data goes so deep that — Hudak at least — lives in a fantasy world. That or the conspiracy version where he is so interested in appeasing the corporations/lobbyists he truly works for that it doesn’t matter if the thin veneer of reason for playing into their interests comes off, he’s sticking to that flawed plan.

I know the centre and left are far from perfect, and at both the federal and provincial level the Liberals have had their share of scandals and waste, but it’s the lesser evil in my mind. Hopefully Toronto at least has seen enough of reactionary leaps to the right — with Rob Ford, Mike Harris, Harper, and now a glimpse at a near-miss of the Hudak fantasy — to perhaps give us a generation or two of respite from the conservative fantasies.

* – Not that I was rooting for the provincial conservatives — I’m definitely a left-leaning centrist if anything — but as many commenters had said going into the election, with the sentiment against the Liberals and the illogical move by the NDP to trigger the election in the first place over a budget they should have been crowing about, it was his race to lose.

4 Responses to “Conservatives and a Disdain for Data”

  1. save. spend. splurge. Says:

    The whole election was a headache for me.

    Why trigger an election over a budget that will now be put into play, if you weren’t sure of your victory? Horwath had a very thin, non-existent campaign. I struggled to really find what she stood for.

    She practically handed the reins over to Wynne.

    On a superficial note, Hudak’s face made me think of a weasel which made me uncomfortable and less likely to vote on him. I am not the only one who thought this.

  2. Potato Says:

    Oh yeah, I don’t understand Horwath’s political moves. The pre-election budget that supposedly triggered all this was virtually a gift to the NDP. Instead of being unable to support it, Horwath should have been out on the Abraham Lincoln under a “Mission Accomplished” banner telling everyone how she made the minority Liberals take up some NDP priorities like the provincial pension plan. Instead she triggered an election, and for what can only be transparently political motives — hoping to pick up seats while the Liberals were facing scandals in the news. I think many of their supporters may have been turned off by such political opportunism.

  3. frank le skank Says:

    The conservatives and NDP assumed that the gas plant scandal (among others)was going to sink the liberal ship, no matter how bad of a campaign they ran. This led to overconfidence and some critical mistakes like promising massive job cuts during questionable economic times (Hudak). I’m not sure what Horwath was thinking as she had absolutely no strategy or plan (Horwath). The liberals campaign was on the defensive the entire time due to the constant onslaught from Hudak and Horwath. I’m glad the people of Ontario voted for a majority gov and the entire PC and NDP campaign staff should be permanently exiled from politics for such a piss poor, half assed campaign.

  4. Ben Says:

    I find Hudak looks more like a badger than a weasel…