I just about spit my coffee through my nose this morning when I read Greg Sorbara’s comments from yesterday that the Ontario Liberal budget hadn’t hurt the federal Liberals.
Finance Minister Greg Sorbara, the principal architect of the budget that hit taxpayers with a health premium of between $300 and $900 a year, went so far as to say Martin hasn’t been hurt at all by the budget.
“I think it’s a real stretch to say that our budget had much of an impact at all on the federal campaign,” Sorbara said before a caucus meeting.
“Most voters know they are completely separate issues.”
There’s denial, and then there’s outright fantasy.
The most interesting miscalculation on this whole topic was the federal Liberals focus on healthcare as a key platform plank for this election. In Ontario, the provincial Liberals have just brought down a budget in which they have indicated they will be fixing healthcare on their own. The federal party, who desparately wants to win Ontario (because it’s the key to winning the election), are also promising to fix healthcare. Most Ontarians are saying “Thanks Paul, but here in Ontario it’s already going to be fixed, courtesy of your provincial counterparts.”
It’s really quite stunning what the provincial Liberals have managed to do. In one master-stroke they have enraged the population of the province that is key to winning the federal election, and stolen the federal party’s platform out from under Paul Martin’s feet.
Dalton McGuinty may be the best thing that has ever happened to the Tories in Canada.