You might recall last year's "high-stakes" showdown over the budget when the NDP made a similar show of force before the fact, and then decided to be bought off with a new tax on the rich, and then pretended that they were going to vote the budget down again, and then decided to spend the rest of the year making things difficult for the Liberals with their teacher union buddies. It was an amazing series of reversals made all the more brain twisting by the fact that NDP leader Andrea Horwath emerged with her image as an innocent consensus builder intact. We know Horwath wants to preserve that image because Adam Radwanski is writing columns full of Liberal talking points designed to showcase how generous the Liberals are being and how Andrea shouldn't be a Debbie Vote-Downer and bite the hand that's feeding her.
As far as the Liberals go, not only are they giving away the store to fend off an election, but they are also attacking Tim Hudak's wife in an attempt to change the channel, which is something they keep promising they'll never do and yet keep doing. Doing things they keep promising they'll never do, including pushing the Deb Hutton Panic Button whenever things get heated, has been a defining feature of the Liberals since Day 1, so I can totally see the Liberals contorting themselves into a pretzel to keep their not-real image as consensus builders alive. Consensus builders who attack women, I hasten to add.
If the above two paragraphs make your gorge rise, you might understand, for the briefest of moments, why Tim Hudak and the PCs have declared things unworkable and have signalled for an end to this farce. Then you would read the coming avalanche of columns, tweets, and general derpiness that suggests that by wanting out, Tim Hudak has marginalized himself and isn't working to build a "consensus" (there's that word again). People are going to get really, really mad about how Tim Hudak wants an election in the next few days, just like they did last year, and the reason why they are is because Tim Hudak is making it harder for them to shut their eyes and pretend everything is just hunky-dory in Ontario.
The worst thing you can do, worse than lie about the cost of cancelling a gas plant, worse than bend over for the teachers, worse than bend over for the government, worse than bash someone's wife, is publicly point out that the entire situation is a joke. For the past decade, Ontarians have been putting an insane amount of effort into ignoring the ugly truth; that things have not gotten better since booting out the PC's, that the almighty consensus is brittle and fragile and kept alive with prayers, and that nobody has the stomach to do what needs to be done.
And that is why I believe that despite all the huffing and puffing about how we're definitely going to go this time around, Horwath will once again find a way to save the day by reaching a compromise with the government, where the government gives up a bunch of expensive concessions we can't afford, and she gives up her credibility with her union friends, and everyone learns a lesson about sharing and sharing alike.
Don't get me wrong- I hope we do go so we can break this disgusting stasis, but we've all seen this movie before, and I know how it ends.