Bill Kelly: Leadership gaffes hurt NDP and PCs

Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne, left to right, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford and Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath participate during the third and final televised debate of the provincial election campaign in Toronto, Sunday, May 27, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Sorry, Liberal supporters, but it’s clear at this point that either the NDP or the PCs will form the next government in Ontario.

But it’s also apparent that leadership gaffes by both Andrea Horwath and Doug Ford may be holding their respective parties back from taking a commanding lead.

Polls showed the NDP with a slight lead over the Conservatives late last week, but that seems to have evaporated over the weekend.

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Horwath’s mediocre performance in the last leaders’ debate was certainly a factor, but so too was her decision to support two of her candidates who made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

One of them made derogatory remarks about Remembrance Day and called Canadian veterans “warmongers,” while another is said to have posted pro-Nazi material on Facebook a few years back.

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That kind of behaviour feeds the narrative that the NDP are a bunch of radicals and not ready to govern, and calls into question Horwath’s leadership.

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Solving Ontario’s energy crisis, so far no party has offered a “serious” proposal, says expert

Ford also performed poorly in the debate, even though the bar has been set pretty low for him.

More and more voters have concluded that he just doesn’t have the knowledge of the issues, which is why the PCs’ huge lead from a few weeks ago has disappeared.

We’re not sure if it will be the NDP or PCs in the winner’s circle on June 7, but whichever it is, it may be in spite of their leadership, not because of it.

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Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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