GOLDSTEIN: There’s no Tory dynasty in Ontario and the Liberals aren’t dead – Toronto Sun

Posted: June 5, 2022 at 2:45 am

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Premier Doug Ford had an impressive election victory on Thursday, but its not the start of a Progressive Conservative dynasty in Ontario and the Liberal Party isnt going to disappear.

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People who think in such politically apocalyptic terms dont know the history of Ontario politics.

Its going to be very difficult for the PCs to win a third majority government in 2026, whether Ford is still premier or has retired and been replaced by a successor.

The last time any party in Ontario achieved three majority governments in a row was when John Robarts and the PCs won the 1963 and 1967 elections, followed by Bill Davis winning a third majority in 1971 51 years ago.

Davis Ontarios longest serving premier in the modern era (1971 to 1985) never won back-to-back majorities, let alone three in a row.

Following his 1971 majority government, Davis won minority governments in 1975 and 1997, followed by a second majority in 1981.

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The last political dynasty in Ontario 42 years lasted from 1943 when George Drew was elected premier to 1985, when Davis retired from politics, 37 years ago.

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Since then, Ontario voters have elected and defeated Liberal, PC and NDP governments without any enduring loyalty to any one party.

The Liberals David Peterson won fewer seats in the 1985 election than PC premier Frank Miller who succeeded Davis (48 for the Liberals, 52 for the PCs).

But Peterson forged an alliance with then NDP leader Bob Rae (whose party won 25 seats in the 1985 election) to become premier.

Petersons Liberal government lasted five years a minority government from 1985 to 1987 followed by a majority from 1987 to 1990 before being defeated by Rae and the NDP, who won a majority government that lasted from 1990 to 1995.

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Rae and the NDP were defeated in 1995 by the PCs Mike Harris, who won two majority governments (1995 and 1999) before resigning in 2002, with the party choosing Ernie Eves as his successor.

Eves lost the 2003 election to the Liberals Dalton McGuinty, who won two majority governments (2003 and 2007) followed by a minority government in 2011.

McGuinty announced his retirement a year later and was replaced by Kathleen Wynne, who won a majority government, from 2014 to 2018.

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Wynne was defeated by Ford and the PCs in 2018, who won a majority government and have now been re-elected with a second majority, which will run until 2026.

The Liberal party isnt going to disappear, even though it was reduced to seven seats in the 2018 election and added only one more on Thursday, insufficient to achieve official party status which today requires 12 seats.

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The NDP lost official party status in the 1999 and 2003 elections and survived to become the official opposition party in the last two elections.

Since the end of the PC dynasty in Ontario in 1985, the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP have all been in government, all been the official opposition party and all been the third party in the Legislature.

The reason is that Ontario has a mature three-party system (the Greens having won only one seat in the last two elections).

A more enduring theme in Ontario politics is that voters prefer their provincial government to be of a different political stripe than the federal government which repeated itself Thursday, with Fords victory while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are in power in Ottawa.

lgoldstein@postmedia.com

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GOLDSTEIN: There's no Tory dynasty in Ontario and the Liberals aren't dead - Toronto Sun

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