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2014-06-01 at 10:33

Coalition talk

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
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TORONTO - With polls suggesting the possibility of an indecisive election result, chatter about a potential coalition government dominated the Ontario campaign trail on Saturday.

The talk of what might happen in the event that voters hand the winning party only a minority of seats included pointed barbs hurled by the leaders at their rivals on the issue.

Liberal Kathleen Wynne warned that voting New Democrat could put Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak in the premier's office as head of a minority government.

Wynne called it "shocking" that NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has refused to rule out propping up a Hudak-led government if no party wins a commanding majority after June 12.

"Andrea Horwath's NDP is a party that used to have principles," Wynne said. "It used to stand for something."

Horwath, the leader of the third party in the last legislature, hit back at Wynne by attacking the Liberal record, which includes several scandals.

Among them is the cancellation of two gas plants three years ago that will end up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion.

"The last thing I'm going to do is take lessons on principles from a corrupt Liberal party," Horwath said.

The New Democrat accused Wynne of grasping at straws in an effort to distract voters from the wasted public money.

Despite her refusal to rule out a possible coalition or support of another party after the vote, Horwath slammed Hudak's pledge to slash the civil service as she said her aim was to overcome the odds and form a government.

"I am running to be premier of this province," she said.

"I will never support any plan that fires 100,000 hard working people."

Outside an advance polling station, Hudak again ruled out any kind of coalition and called on his rivals to stop talking about the possibility.

"Last time, (former Liberal premier) Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne said that they could break their promises because of the coalition they formed with the NDP," Hudak said.

"Voters don't like that. It might be good for politicians but it's not good for the province."

Hudak has come under repeated fire from economists — and his political opponents — for his promised public-sector job cuts even as he pledged to create one million jobs over eight years.

The consensus among experts appears to be that his pledge is based on faulty math — something Hudak denies.

Ontario has twice had minority governments in recent years.

In 1985, the Liberals and NDP signed a two-year accord to replace the newly elected minority Tory government under then-leader Frank Miller.

The Liberals agreed to implement New Democrat policies but pulled the plug two years later. The Liberals won the ensuing election by a landslide and the NDP lost seats.

In the last provincial election in 2011, then-premier Dalton McGuinty hung on to office despite lacking a majority when the New Democrats agreed to support his government.

Horwath forced the current election by refusing to support Wynne's budget, saying the Liberals could not be trusted to implement its commitments.

— With files from Diana Mehta, Paola Loriggio and Will Campbell

The Canadian Press
© The Canadian Press, 2014

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Comments

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ranma says:
So what are the bets that Toronto votes in Hudak as a minority, and the Liberals and NDP do a vote of no confidence, and force another election.

You know since, Tea Party Tim, says he will not do a coalition.

Heck I still can't believe that Horwath would seriously lie in the same bed as that devil Hudak. His party stands for the exact opposite that hers stands for, and yet she is willing to prop him up if need be? Way to just take your principles and throw them out the window. I know a LOT of NDP supporters whose vote you lost Horwath.
6/1/2014 12:40:23 PM
Common cents says:
Anyone who votes PC is out of their mind.

And anyone who supports and votes for the NDP are indeed supporting the PC.
6/1/2014 1:06:48 PM
Truthandjustice says:
Liberals are generally favoured in this part of the province due to our large component of the population who rely on the government for their quality of life. I do not support the PCs but I know that as a province we can't keep going down the path of where the liberals are heading. You can only tax the population so much to pay for your waste and corruption. As long as the populace believes that someone else will pay to keep their quality of life they will support the liberals. It's only a matter of time before the government will cut back. I remember Bob Rae days. Do you think the NDP wanted to hurt the public service union workers? They had no choice as the general market will force cutbacks. To all of you out there that live in the dark and believe it won't effect you, you are just kidding yourselves. Sooner or later the government will run out of rich people to tax and then it's your turn!
6/1/2014 5:44:29 PM
Eastender says:
Heres my prediction, I could be totally wrong, but then again....
Everybody hates the liberals, for their scandals of which there have been plenty, not to mention the gross mismanagement of money, The HST, the no new taxes tax on health, the contempt with which the libs have treated their electors.
The New Dems., well they are a lot like the liberals, so we could vote for them, punish the liberals, and avoid (shudder), Hudak
Then there are those who remember Ray Days, and wont vote for Libs. or NewDems. But will vote for PC. As the only credible alternative.

As a result, i can see at least a minority PC gov't. Or, maybe even a majority, just by a hair.

I calls em as I sees em.
6/1/2014 1:15:55 PM
fastball says:
Hudak anywhere NEAR being in charge of anything other than a broom closet scares me.
6/1/2014 1:52:56 PM
Eastender says:
Me too, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from that weasel McGuinty.
6/1/2014 9:11:40 PM
mercy mercy me says:
jeez,this story just made me throw up in my mouth a little
6/1/2014 4:50:34 PM
shortpeter says:
tell us what McGuinty/Wynne have done in the last 10 years that qualifies the Liberals to be financially responsible enough to manage more than a broom closet
6/1/2014 4:52:18 PM
dynamiter says:
Time for people to make a decision. A simple decisive but nonetheless important decision. Do you want the Fiberals and their corrupt do anything to keep in power ( including breaking ev every one of their election promises). Or do you want another party in power. Vote for somebody just dont vote Liberal. Drum them totally out of power so that we dont need no coalition. Pardon my grammar.
6/1/2014 8:31:58 PM
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