Saturday the Ontario Liberals elected their new leader to replace Dalton McGuinty who resigned as Premier and leader of the party in October. It was a day of some firsts, the most important was that for the first time in our provincial history, it was two women as front runners in the race. It would also see the first openly gay premier in Canadian history as Wynne became the winner.
Kathleen Wynne and Sandra Pupatello went into the convention closely contending for first place. I’ll confess, I didn’t know a lot about either woman having not paid a lot of attention to the race for Liberal leader. I had to some extent tuned out to most of the campaign as I had other things in my life to take up my attention. However, Saturday, I took a much harder look at the situation knowing that the person who emerged at the end of the day would be premier of this province. I took some time to do some reading on the background of the two women.
I liked aspects of both of them. I think they are both strong women who have grown to become the women they are today. They are both leaders, both willing to take on a fight and carry it through, both able to engage with others. I can relate to the scrappy nature of Pupatello, it’s my first instinct in many ways. I’ve learned as much as my instinct is often to hell with the outcome, man the barricades and game on…. most times a less combative way of getting results is a lot more productive. Save the big stick for an end game, not the first round.
It is in that understanding that I found myself drawn to see Wynne as the more likely winner. Her activist background shows she can scrap with the best of them but she first tries the less combative approaches before resorting to the big stick. Right now, Ontario needs a lot less combative approach. One thing that still remains to be seen is if she will have the courage to look into the issues that have cast dark shadows on the conduct of the Liberal government and cast light on the dirt that most Ontarians are tired of seeing.
I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the teachers cries of foul in having contracts imposed. Keep in mind, this is not all teachers and educational support workers, many had settled their contracts in a pragmatic manner knowing that Ontario has a deficit to wrestle to the ground and that they have enjoyed as much as 25% increases in their income over the last several years. Something few Ontarians were able to enjoy. However, having said that, I’m not convinced it was necessary to be as combative as the government appeared to be in how they got the needed contracts in place.
As far as Wynne being gay goes, I never asked about what McGuinty or any other political leader does in the privacy of the boudoir, so why exactly should I care what she does? I’ve already heard comments in my circle of friends and acquaintances condemning her as our Premier because she is gay. Sadly it says more about the person making the comment, than about Wynne. If that is all they can come up with to convince me she wont make a good Premier, it’s pretty slim.
There are much bigger fish to fry in this province.