ABOVE: Kathleen Wynne vows never to support a possible Hudak government
TORONTO – Forget the ugly election campaign: If Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak wins a minority government Thursday – as polls suggest he may be within spitting distance of doing – he may have a harder time getting his hardline austerity platform passed.
Both Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath said they’ve no plans to prop up his government if he presents his plan unchanged to the legislature.
“I will not support a Tim Hudak government implementing the plan. Because of the plan he has put forward, I will not support a Tim Hudak government,” Wynne said in Kingston Tuesday morning.
“I call bullspit on the idea that we will have a coalition with Tim Hudak,” NDP leader Andrea Horwath said in Essex, Ontario.
Two of the five most recent polls have the PCs with a very small lead; Hudak was statistically tied with Wynne in a third.
Watch: Horwath calls “bullspit” on the notion of an NDP/PC coalition.
While a seat projection created from an aggregation of the polls by Lispop.ca suggests the Liberals will get enough seats to form government, they only have a two per cent lead in the popular vote.
In Depth: Ontario Election 2014
And Hudak wouldn’t comment on how he, as premier, could work with a fractious opposition. Instead he attacked his opponents by paying himself a compliment.
“You’re seeing two leaders in Andrea Horwath and Kathleen Wynne who are telling you what they won’t do, they’ll tell you who not to vote for, that’s not me,” he said. “I’m telling you what I’m going to do if you give me the mandate to create more jobs in this province, more affordable energy, lower taxes and less debt.
“I’m not asking you to vote against somebody, but I am asking you to vote for our plan.”
Wynne also blasted Hudak for his proposal to cut 100,000 public sector workers (mostly through attrition, the PCs say). She suggested up to 22,000 of these jobs would be in the education system and is symbolic of the “lack of value” she claims Hudak and his party place on the education system.
“Saw all of this in the Harris years and there’s no mistaking that what Tim Hudak is proposing is more than, it goes beyond what Mike Harris did.”
When Hudak unveiled his cost-cutting, tax-cutting platform at the beginning of the campaign – well before multiple economists picked apart his math – Western University economics professor Mike Moffatt warned the hardest part might be getting the plan implemented once elected.
“They’re setting themselves up for a very big fight,” Moffatt warned at the time. “If they end up a seat or two short of a majority, I don’t really see a lot of middle ground here.”