Opinion: Ontario Liberals show real Grit, win a fourth term and make history with the first elected LGBT Head of Government in the Commonwealth!

Ontario Premier Kathleen WynneCongratulations to our cousins in the Ontario Liberal Party in Canada who, overnight, have won a remarkable fourth term of provincial government and, at the same time, have made history with leader Kathleen Wynne becoming the first elected LGBT Head of Government in the Commonwealth!

Going into the election, the Liberals had been in a period of minority government and Wynne had taken over-a year ago from the by-then unpopular Premier Dalton McGuinty.

The party has been in Government in Ontario since 2003 and some pundits had predicted that the opposition Progressive Conservatives (I know, what an oxymoron, right?) would return to Government for the first time in over a decade…but Wynne and her team had other ideas!

They’ve proven that Liberals can renew in Government if they have the courage to be true to their values and, dare I say it, replace a leader who has become deeply unpopular.

In the new provincial parliament the Liberals will now have an overall majority, their first since 2011, with 59 seats (up 11) 38.56%, with the PCs on 27 (-10) 31.27% and the NDP remaining on 21, 23.82%.

The third party supposedly left-wing NDP forced the election by withdrawing its confidence and supply for the minority Liberal Government’s budget which they said was ‘too left-wing.’

So, the NDP are a third-party with traditionally centre-left support who moved to the centre-right and it got them precisely no where.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Whereas the Liberals put forward to the electorate a vision of how they were going to continue to strive for a fairer society and were re-elected in numbers.

The Grits showed real grit and it paid off!

Now, strictly speaking, the national Liberal Party of Canada is a separate party to the provincial one but this result certainly augurs well for Justin Trudeau and his team in Ottawa.

His caucus are currently the third party in Parliament but, amazing as it might sound to us in Britain, a third party leapfrogging the official opposition to become the Government in an election in Canada is far from impossible!

So, best wishes Justin for when the General Election is called!

Back, finally, to Kathleen Wynne. Becoming the first elected LGBT Head of Government in the Commonwealth is another wonderful, shimmering step forward in the ongoing global fight for full equality. Of course she won the election on merit and based on her character and record but, nonetheless, this is another glorious moment in the history of the LGBT community.

It’s a great day.


* Mathew Hulbert is a parish Councillor in Leicestershire.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and Op-eds.


  • ” The third party supposedly left-wing NDP forced the election by withdrawing its confidence and supply for the minority Liberal Government’s budget which they said was ‘too left-wing.’. ”

    I wonder if anyone at the top of the UK Liberal Democrats has read this?

    A Liberal Party which wins a fourth election in a row because it had a budget that was “too left-wing”.

    Maybe I should live in Kingston Ontario instead of Kingston upon Thames ?

  • Richard Dean 13th Jun '14 - 3:54pm

    Sooner or later LGBT will become so non-controversial that it will be boring to mention it. Hopefully sooner.

  • Surely you mean the first elected openly LGBT Head of Government in the Commonwealth?

  • This has been on the cards for the last couple of weeks, judging from the Opinion Polls. Follows the Liberal parties victories in British Columbia and Quebec. They seemed to be coming back since Trudeau came into the fold.
    I still cannot get over how incompetent, inept and just plain stupid was the act of Clegg and Milliband with the Sun.
    Clegg will not apologise, The Merseyside Liberal democrats or what is left of them must be contemplating Hari- Kari. He just goes from bad to worse and yet some people in the party still support him, amazing.

  • Remove unpopular leader, find a more popular one, with a different personna and the wagon begins to roll, Surely Caron, even you must have received the message by now.
    He has to depart.

  • Edward Reach 13th Jun '14 - 4:48pm

    Congratulations to Kathleen Wynne, a truly brilliant result. Shame this piece focuses more on a rather clumsy and crude attempt to conflate what happened in Ontario with what might happen here if Clegg was removed as leader.

  • paul barker 13th Jun '14 - 4:54pm

    All the Anti-Clegg comments might have some value if Nick were in fact less popular than The Party but all the evidence shows the opposite. Compare like with like & Cleggs approval ratings have usually been substantially higher than Libdem VI Polling. Of course “Approval/Doing a good job” isnt the same as voting “Intention” but their is no directly equivalent Polling. The numbers who loathe Clegg only matter in as far as they subtract from the potential pool of Voters ( And you can make the same calculation for Milliband ). British Politics is very Tribal & the smaller the Party, in general the more Voters will claim to hate them or their Leaders.

  • @paul barking
    So it wouldn’t matter if Clegg was on 2% as long as he’d also managed to reduce the popularity of the party to 1%?

  • Simon Beard 13th Jun '14 - 5:46pm

    Is it just me or is there some sort of hidden message in this post? I just wish I could work out what it is.

  • “Of course “Approval/Doing a good job” isnt the same as voting “Intention” but their is no directly equivalent Polling.”

    Of course they’re not the same thing. They bear no relation to each other and it’s nonsensical to compare them.

    If there were a hundred equally popular political parties and people had no strong feelings either way about their leaders, the VI for each party would be 1% and his/her approval rating would be 50%.

  • David Evans 13th Jun '14 - 7:07pm

    Paul Barker – the error in your analysis has been pointed out to you so many times and you have never come up with an argument to contradict it. Nick is less popular than the party, and we all know it.

  • paul barker 13th Jun '14 - 7:16pm

    For those of us sick of the endless “Sack Clegg” comments (or the endless replies) can I suggest a brief Holiday on Labour List where Milliband is getting a similar beating or else Labour Uncut where the leading article ” defends “Their Leader against “Hysterical Activists”. And this is when Labour are still ahead in The Polls.

  • They have some excellent policies. a balanced budget, keeping spending low and supporting natural resource extraction. Plenty here for the LDs to copy.

  • David Evans 13th Jun '14 - 7:54pm

    Paul Barker – and when you are reminded of your mistake, you just ignore it and carry on.

  • It is good to see the Grits recover, Canada is a great, safe, tolerant place in the main and a credit to liberalism. Should say that both the NDP ( a radical splinter whose departure from the main Liberals split their vote and let the conservatives into power federally) and the Bloc Québécois are also progressive, at least in social terms.
    I can’t think why the NDP has drifted right wards – being to the left of the Liberals was their selling point. …

  • @paul barker:

    “the smaller the Party, in general the more Voters will claim to hate them or their Leaders.”

    Historically this is so far from the truth. Normally, third Party leaders in the UK attract a considerable degree of positive support from both sides. At the moment, Nick Clegg’s monumentally minimal support probably comes as much from died-in-the-wool Conservatives as from genuine Lib Dems.

  • Steve Comer 14th Jun '14 - 1:57am

    “…the NDP are a third-party with traditionally centre-left support who moved to the centre-right and it got them precisely no where.” Just like the FDP in Germany and the Liberal Democrats in the UK then!

    Good to hear some good news form overseas, closer to home there was good news at the end of March when D66 made gains in the local elections and is now the largest party in several towns and cities (including Amsterdam). D66 also gained ground in the Euro elections.

  • There is much that is wrong in some of the summaries above, and the errors may, perhaps, be instructive.
    The NDP are not a splinter from the Liberals, but a long-standing party (in existence since the early Sixties) of independent origin. They are not a “centre-left” party but have always campaigned as a social democratic party of the left. And they did not “move to the centre-right” — rather, the Ontario Liberals tacked to the left, and picked up left-wing votes who saw the Liberals as more capable of delivering on their promises. The NDP did not say that the Liberal budget was “too left-wing,” but rather claimed that the Liberals were poor managers, corrupt, and incapable of delivering on their promises. The voters did not concur, but rather felt that Kathleen Wynne was not responsible for the questionable dealings that had occurred under her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty (whom she replaced last year) and believed that under Wynne’s leadership they would have a better chance than if they split the vote and let the Ontario PCs in.
    One may draw one’s own conclusions about the applicability, or otherwise, of these results to the Liberal Democrats.

  • Richard Harris 14th Jun '14 - 9:06am

    @ paul barker,

    Yes, I’m sure looking at leadership issues in another party will make all the LDs problems just vanish. Ed and his party are light years ahead in popularity than either the LD party or it’s leader.

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