So the people of Ontario have chosen Dalton McGuinty on the leash, as opposed to off the leash. That much is clear.
What is less clear is whether the NDP win in K-W means that the teachers unions have Dalton's number, or if this was merely a local protest vote that won't translate into bigger wins against the Liberal machine in a general election. We'll resolve that controversy soon enough.
For us, the PCPO, there is a bigger problem. As yesterday's results showed, either Dalton is the real power in Ontario, or the teachers unions are the real power. We don't seem to figure in that equation.
Right now, if you want to register your displeasure with Dalton, you vote NDP. Not PC. The NDP are quite simply doing a better job of tapping into the anger people feel towards Dalton.
Now as a party, we don't want to tap into that anger. We want to stay on message. We want to talk a lot about overspending and job creation. And the results are clear.
As always, the preferred avenue for people who are unhappy with the party's performance is to complain about the leader. But we've been changing leaders, logos, and slogans since 2003. It hasn't helped. And I will not be bashing Hudak, because it's pointless. We don't need another post bashing the leader when he isn't the problem.
A week or so ago, a few thousand teachers descended on Queen's Park and basically declared war on Dalton. It was a disgustingly partisan gongshow. It was loud and disorganized. They weren't too concerned about message discipline, and it showed. But, on Sept 6th, in KW, it worked.
We don't have anything like a few thousand teachers ready to march around on the Queen's Park lawn with flags. They don't have a reason to. Talking about overspending and job creation is not making that happen.
The difference between us and the NDP is one of attitude. They don't care if they look a little ridiculous along the way. And we are a little too concerned.
When we lose this hesitation, we will be back on the road to forming government. Not before.
For now, it is time to change the way we do things, starting from the ground up. With each of us.