Public sector muscle influences elections

By Lorrie Goldstein

Toronto Sun

JUNE 02, 2014

Anyone shocked at how Ontario’s politically corrupt Liberal government can be competitive, let alone ahead, of the Tories in Monday's exclusive Sun Abacus Data poll, shouldn’t be.

A big part of the reason is that Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is the only one of the three major party leaders calling for a two-year wage freeze, along with a 10% downsizing, of Ontario’s 1.1 million-strong, heavily-unionized, public sector.

It represents about 20% of all Ontario workers and, along with their families, constitutes a huge, powerful and organized voting block, whose wages, benefits and pensions are, on average, significantly better than those doing comparable jobs in the private sector.

On Monday, in an unprecedented move, the Ontario Provincial Police Association launched two attack ads suggesting Ontarians will be less safe if they vote for Hudak and the Conservatives, an appalling and chilling tactic, particularly since the OPP is conducting two criminal investigations into the Liberal government over its cancelled gas plants and Ornge scandals.

While people say they don’t like attack ads, the reality is they work, and the OPP association is merely the latest public sector union lining up to bash Hudak and the Conservatives through television and radio ads.

The grandaddy practitioner of this tactic is Working Families Ontario, (aka Working Families Coalition), a collection of public (and some private) sector unions, which has spent millions of dollars relentlessly attacking Hudak and the last three Progressive Conservative leaders in Ontario elections.

While the Tories failed in court to prove Working Families is a front group for the Liberal party, in terms of realpolitik, its relentless advertising attacks on Hudak and previous Conservative leaders serve the political interests of the Liberal party, whether under Premier Kathleen Wynne in this election, or Dalton McGuinty before her.

The public sector unions also offer the Liberals, and to a lesser but still significant extent Andrea Horwath’s NDP, a steady stream of campaign volunteers for everything from sign crews to canvassing to getting out the vote on election day, crucial in close riding-by-riding contests.

The quid pro quo, of course, is that Wynne, if she wins the election outright, or Wynne and Horwath in a minority situation, will look after the unions that looked after them, by providing the taxpayer cash for relatively generous labour contracts, certainly better than what they would get with a Conservative government in power.

And if the skyrocketing Ontario deficit — now at $12.5 billion — and record public debt, which the Liberals have doubled to almost $300 billion in their 11 years in power, has to rise to even more economy-undermining levels to achieve that, well, that’s fine with the unions, the Liberals and the NDP.

Because none of them is prepared to address the inescapable reality that half the cost of government in Ontario is directly attributable to the superior wages, benefits and pensions (compared to the private sector) of public sector workers.

Trade unionists will sniff “big business supports the Conservatives” but that hasn’t been accurate for years.

Big business supports whoever it thinks will win. Even a cursory examination of election donations by business lobby groups shows the Liberals have done very well for themselves since 2003, when they first won power.

In any event, the growing power and influence of the public sector in Ontario elections is why every Conservative leader now starts out the campaign with one hand tied behind his back.



Again Sun News, the Tea party voice of the north just happens to be bang on with this particular article  however it fails to point

out the significant problems with the Ontario Conservative plans that are designed to be simple, for the simple minded which is unfortunately necessary

for the general simple minded voters who don't really give a dam about the Billions of Dollars the Ontario Government spends funding

its own Criminal Organizations like the Children's Aid Socieities of Ontario.