Hudak's biggest failure was his 100,000 job cuts mantra. Notice I said cuts? That's because that's what every attack ad stated, regardless if they were to be done through attrition. This was met by candidates and canvassers every day throughout the campaign. At the door, on the phone, via email and text, at local debates, that was what gave Wynne her majority. The other part of the failure was the fact that during a 40-day campaign, Hudak and his war room continued to run this as their main campaign plank. Not really smart politics. When they are bashing you over the head with a bat, why keep giving them a heavier bat?
In my opinion, this election was easily winnable, with a PC majority a very real possibility. During the campaign I did a BLOG POST in the form of advice to Hudak and the war room that was basically ignored while sticking with the million jobs, 100,000 cuts mantra. I received more positive comments on this one blog post than any I had ever done in the past, including one of my FIRST BLOGPOSTS way back in 2009 challenging the CAW and their refusal to accept concessions to gain government bail-outs to keep Canadian Chrysler and GM workers jobs from being lost. The pressure put on the CAW made them accept those concessions, saving thousands of Canadian jobs in the process.
Given the Liberal's record of governing since 2003, there was a virtual Pandora's Box of botched government decisions combined with scandal that should have been enough for the PC campaign team to put together a cohesive and effective platform that would have been a resounding success in voters minds. And here it is:
- Removal of HST on heating and electricity bills (rather than a 10% personal income tax cut, connects much easier with voters)
- Elimination of Drive Clean (promised by Hudak and well received by voters)
- Improving the youth unemployment crisis (which should have been announced hand in hand wth CoT elimination. Instead CoT was another union rallying cry)
- Slowing of public sector hiring ( sounds a lot nicer than 100,000 job cuts, no?)
- Convening a round table of the heads of the auto manufacturers together with reps from Unifor on what can be done to get auto sector back to pre 2003 levels. ( takes any attacks from Unifor off the table, and also puts them in the position of either fighting against good paying union jobs or supporting Working Families Coalition)
- A jobs plan that mentions increase in hiring, noting average yearly jobs created prior to 2003 and the average in 11 years of McGuinty/Wynne. (rather than sticking the 1 million number on it, which might as well have been a bullseye)
- Highlighting the scandals with the accumulated costs ($7+ billion )
- Reinstating physiotherapy, eye exams and chiropractor care (in conjunction with a balanced budget, which would have left Wynne vulnerable on two fronts)