I am seriously angered by Tim Hudak's campaign in the 2011 Ontario Provincial Election. Why? Because he has turned the Ontario PC party into the political equivalent of the Boston Red Sox.
Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberal party do not deserve another majority mandate. Period. But (for me anyway) the Ontario Liberals are the least worst option. This has nothing to with how well Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberals campaigned. It has everything to do with how poorly the others did. Specifically the Progressive Conservative party under Tim Hudak.
During the 2007 election, I didn't much care if the Liberals or the Progressive Conservatives won. Ontario under McGuinty or Tory would have charted pretty much the same path (one would hope John Tory would have handled the G8/G20 fiasco better, but that's unknowable). There wasn't a heck of a lot to differentiate the two parties other than the idiotic opening of the public funding of private religious schools issue.
Fast forward to 2011. Dalton McGuinty is justifiably very unpopular with Ontario citizens. The election campaign starts up and I totally expected a Progressive Conservative cakewalk. All Tim Hudak had to do was shut his mouth, smile and wave, and he would have won the election in a FPTP landslide. Not that I was looking forward to that result, I was just treating it as inevitable. For Pete's sake the man had a 20 point lead in the opinion polls just because his last name was Hudak and not McGuinty.
And then Tim Hudak opened his mouth and an ugly little troll fell out. First he called immigrants foreigners. Well he lost my family with that description. My father immigrated to Canada with his brothers, sisters and parents. They (like many immigrants) worked hard to be accepted as Canadians, often facing prejudice along the way. Way to bring back those unpleasant memories Tim! And then he doubled down with the homophobic anti-public education clusterfuck.
Believe it or not, I think Tim Hudak has committed a bigger sin. He failed to offer an alternative to the McGuinty Liberals. His entire campaign (when it isn't xenophobic or homophobic) has been based on promises to undo damned near every change McGuinty and the Liberals tried to introduce in their last two governments. It is one thing to win a campaign just by showing up and not being the other guy. That's politics, (and a failure of the electorate). It is another thing to actively promise to be the Anti-McGuinty. There's a difference between skipping Sunday service, and preaching Satanism as an alternative. (Or, there's a difference between discussing how a building should be constructed, and advocating it be blown up.)
I truly believe that we need strong alternative political views for our democracy to survive. And I am not seeing any of that this election, especially from the PC and NDP parties. Due to the nature of Ontario politics, the PC party had the best chance of replacing the Liberals, which is why I am holding them to a higher standard then the NDP (I am disappointed in the NDP, but they didn't piss me off the way the PC party did). Tim Hudak as their leader had a moral responsibility to all Ontarians to run an intelligent, forthright campaign that offered serious policy alternatives or improvements to the policies that the Liberals proposed. Tim Hudak utterly failed on all counts. Which makes the xenophobic/homophobic aspects all the more jarring. A decent platform wouldn't excuse those aspects of his campaign, but the complete absence of a platform raises that ugliness to a much higher profile. Tim Hudak is running as a total imbecile who is also a racist and a homophobe. Those three failures can be mutually exclusive, possessing all three is a spectacular orgy of ugly human traits in single human flesh-bag.
The fact that anyone is supporting the PC party depresses me even more as there is not one single redeeming quality in that party under the leadership of Tim Hudak, but that's a whole other topic. But the fact that Tim single handily destroyed any whiff of credibility the PC party possessed should cause him to be tarred and feathered and horse whipped out of town. His failure is complete and absolute, and he should pay dearly for that.
UPDATER: More from the Torontoist. "In this Provincial Election: Anyone But the Tories"