Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Ontario election...

The news only gets worse for John Tory. An Ipsos poll released Monday says this about the aid to religious schools promise:
The poll also finds that three in five Ontarians (62%) oppose the Ontario Government extending full funding to all faith-based schools, not only the Catholic schools, a stance championed by Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory. Opposition to the plan cuts across party lines, and is opposed by majorities of Liberal supporters as well as Tory’s own PC supporters. In fact, if given a choice, a majority in the province support a public school only system (53%) compared with the status quo (23%) and extended funding (21%).
It reported the party numbers as: L - 41, PC - 36, NDP - 17, Green - 6, in line with other recent polls.

The next day a Decima Harris poll reported a 41-33 Liberal lead. However, this poll has the Greens too high (11) and the NDP too low (13), at odds with all other recent polling including Ipsos.

I don't ordinarily waste my time reading Margaret Wente's column in the Globe. However, she probably does reflect her right wing affluent anglo neighbourhood (the kind Tory needs to secure for victory in Don Valley West). Here is what she had to say:
For John Tory, the man who wants to be premier of Ontario, the news on the doorsteps isn't good. Nobody wants to talk about the health tax, leadership or the economy. Instead, it's all about religious schools. Most people are flatly opposed to Mr. Tory's promise to fund more of them. Tempers run highest in Toronto, where the Conservative candidate is hoping for a breakthrough. Raise the issue at any dinner party, and watch everyone start yelling. ''I can't understand why he made it an issue,'' say more Tory supporters than I can count.
Tory really would be better off admitting he goofed now and get the issue behind him, as extremely damaging as that would be. It doesn't seem likely.

Looking past this issue, if that is possible, the one hornet's nest for McGuinty remains the fiscal struggles at the municipal level across Ontario. In Toronto transit fares were hiked today mid-campaign.

And in today's print edition of the Globe the following passage appeared about community centre closings:
The closings also have financial impact for parents such as Lorena Amarista, who faces making alternative after school arrangements for her son Jacob. For Ms. Amarista, who is self-employed, this means working a few hours less instead of getting a sitter. "I blame the McGuinty government," Ms. Amarista said. "They're in charge. They're supposed to be taking care of our kids".
The NDP is the only party that could potentially benefit from such sentiment. Will they? Not while the subject of conversation is faith based schools.

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