The parameters of the Canadian Provincial Elections: Exploring the case of Ontario

Abdelkader Filali : Ph.D. Politics/Security Ottawa University

 Democratic Arab Center 


In the Canadian elections and specifically in the Non-French speaking provinces, the Progressive Conservative (PC) and Liberals have been the main actors in the political field for over half a century. The defeat of liberals in June 7 elections brings us to the question of what is fixed and stable and what is shifting and changing in the Canadian politics. The strong return of the conservative party clearly confirms that the elections in the province of Ontario have dominated its voters by two main factors, the first one is security and second one is psychological where the desire to change faces is becoming a must. The conservative party has always been working on a security agenda and its rhetoric is constructed on the idea that makes immigration a point of concern that requires vigilnce and suspicion. Immigration is becoming now in Canada a security question, where parties are manupulating their audiences over measures how to encounter ‘the threat of immigration” mainly in the conservative party’s discourse.

In a simple equation we argue that liberals traditionally adopt the cycle o f the economy, between inflation and recession, and recovery programs. As a result the constant demands will escalate the level of inflation, creating a favourable environment for the arrival of a conservative candidate. We observed that since Kathleen Wayne now outgoing Ontario premier’s “Stretch goal” approach and auto insurance rates or minimum wage increase all this accumulation contributed to the seeds of the liberals failures. Consequently, Ontarians were gradually driven to lean to the conservative agenda. Let us put it this way: Ontarians punished Liberals for Kathleen Wayne’s stretching policies.

On the contrary, the arrival of a conservative premier means a reduction in taxes, bureaucracy, federal government, and a rationalization of the state’s health, education and housing services at the expense of low-income earners. The pretext is always the revitalization of capital; the re-consideration of the principle of economic freedom, and the assertion of the principle of Smith in laissez-faire economy. These policies ultimately lead to the rule of a recession that paves the way for the arrival of a liberal candidate.

This is simply the cyclic nature of Canadian politics in general and Ontario in particular. We ask then where can we situate the New Democratic Party NDP? The NDP have quickly grown beyond its predecessor’s prairie roots and minor-party status. Indeed, some impressive gains were made throughout the 1970s and early 1980s in provincial elections in Western Canada, including the formation of governments in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, and the Yukon. The answer would be that a strong labour movement is key to success of NDP in the future. Without such an ingredient, Ontario would still live in the dialectic motion between the conservatives and the liberals.




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