Opinion | Increasingly, there’s only one option for anti-Ford voters


Usually, political leaders are reluctant to do anything that might suggest they are critical of medicare. Ford has had no such qualms. Physician Merrilee Fullerton, the PC candidate in Kanata-Carleton outside Ottawa, is a well-known proponent of two-tier health care — which she calls a “hybrid” system.

When this was brought up by local Liberals, Ford’s campaign simply responded that the PC leader is “100 per cent committed to Ontario’s public health care system.”

Fullerton, whose website profile says she “supports a hybrid health system as a long-term solution to Canada’s health care challenges” issued an identical response. And that, it seems, was that. Medicare controversy over.

On it goes. Ford’s proposed middle-class tax cut disproportionally benefits higher income earners, according to economists with the leftish Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. But so what? The voters — including those who are low-income — don’t seem to care.

All of this drives Ford opponents nuts. They rail at the PC leader. They ask how Ontarians can opt for such a choice. They view those who would vote for him as delusional.

And, as a result, there are the inevitable calls for some kind of anti-Ford coalition between Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats. In the event that no party wins a majority of seats, could the two so-called progressive parties strike a deal to keep Ford from power?

The answer to that question is almost certainly no. The NDP would be committing political suicide if it made a formal power-sharing arrangement with the desperately unpopular Wynne Liberals.

And so anti-Ford voters are left with this option: The only way to prevent Ford from becoming premier is to ensure that someone else gets the job instead.

In 2014, enough NDP supporters voted for Wynne’s Liberals to keep Tim Hudak’s Tories from power. But Wynne was a fresh face then and relatively popular. That is no longer the case.

This time, the anti-Tory vote seems to be coalescing around Horwath’s NDP. Can it coalesce enough to keep Ford out of the premier’s chair? That is another question.

Thomas Walkom writes commentary for Torstar. Twitter: @tomwalkom

Thomas Walkom writes commentary for Torstar. Twitter: @tomwalkom

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