Greetings from Contrario, the multiple personality province that votes a different way federally and a different way provincially. If the Progressive Conservatives are in nationally this province will vote Liberal for its provincial leaders. If the Liberals are in nationally, it will vote for the NDP or the Progressive Conservatives to steer the province.
I remember hearing of this tendency way back when I was a kid when Bill Davis (Progressive Conservative) won regularly for the province and Pierre Trudeau (Liberal) won regularly for the nation. I heard this had been going on more or less since World War II.
So I just checked today. I compared the federal leaders to the provincial leaders and found that there were only 4 overlapping time periods. From 1957-1963, Progressive Conservatives were in nationally and provincially. From 1979-1980 again the Progressive Conservatives were in the two high levels of government. And a third time, 1984-1985 the PC’s were in both levels of government as the leaders.
More recently, 2003-2006 the Liberal party was in charge provincially and federally. Since then the leaders have been different.
Simple addition will give an 11 year total for a period out of a total of 66 years that the ruling party was the same, federally and provincially. Or about a once in 6 years showing. Maybe someday I won’t be so lazy and might try to take this back to confederation and see how the voting went. But that makes things more complex as there was a Farmer Party that ruled Ontario once and for the first years of confederation, a coalition of Conservatives and Liberals led this province. Interestingly this coalition was headed by John S. MacDonald. I always wondered why John A. MacDonald insisted on the A.
You would think that Stephen Harper, who was also raised in Ontario, would have been politically astute enough to have heard of this contrariness of the province. Instead he predicted a conservative hat trick in Toronto earlier this year of conservative Rob Ford municipally, Tim Hudak provincially and himself federally. Well Hudak failed, I say because of the contrary behaviour of Ontarians.
What could be the reason for this voting behaviour? At first glance one might think that Ontarians become disenchanted federally really quickly, so they react and form a different government provincially and vice versa. But this doesn’t explain the dynasties. Like Bill Davis and Pierre Trudeau, Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty, dynasties abound in this history.
No, I think that Ontarians are deeply conscious of their weight in the nation. Federally Ontario has 1/3 of the voters of all of Canada. Because many times they decide the national vote, they also realize that trusting one party too deeply could be bad. Thus the contrary nature.
So McGuinty got into power again, this time with a minority.
And as an update, Dave MacDonald, the TV weatherman who was claiming the jury was out on whether there was a human cause of climate change, barely lost his race in Kitchener Centre. It was close enough that maybe blogs like this one had a role. I’m probably done for local and regional politics for a while.