Hard Work

A New Era of Political Leadership

Last night the Province of Ontario made history. We elected Kathleen Wynne as Premier in a sweeping majority government. Not only did they elect a women Premier for the first time ever, but they also elected the first openly gay or lesbian Premier.  Wynne was appointed Premier when the incumbent, Dalton McGuinty stepped down about 18 months ago, amidst a scandal. At the time, many predicted that Wynne would not survive past the next election, as the leader of a minority government. Of the five female leaders of Provincial Governments in Canada last year, only two have survived, Kathleen Wynne and Christy Clarke, of British Columbia.

Wynne’s government was brought down over her recent budget.  She fought a difficult, ugly campaign, that right to the end looked like it could be a nail-biter. Whether or not you agree with Liberal Party policies, you have to admire Kathleen Wynne. Not for her politics, but for her approach to politics. She tried to be inclusive and positive in an environment that was loaded with attack campaigning. Yet again, this suggests that Canadians just don’t respond to negative attack approaches. Here is a lesson in leadership – a focus on the positive, on vision, on what is possible resonates more than a focus on the negative.

I do have to say that the opposition, both the NPD and the Progressive Conservatives refrained from personal attacks against Wynne and her lifestyle. They kept it about the issues not the people. Let’s give them credit for taking the high road.

In her victory speech last night, Wynne noted, “This is a beautiful, inclusive place we live in,” where “anyone can be the premier” in such an open-minded province.   “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ontario. We are going to build Ontario up for everyone in this province — everyone. You voted for jobs, you voted for growth.”

Whether or not you agree with Wynne’s policies, it is clear to me that Wynne ran and won on her merits. It makes me proud to be a Canadian, proud to be an Ontarian, where sexual orientation is not a reason for scandal in politics, is not a reason for rejection, in fact, is not an issue when we vote for a leader. While we still have a long way to go to ensure equal opportunity for women, visible minorities and for the LGBT community, this election certainly signals that we have made some progress.





1 reply »

  1. Congratulations go out to the people of Ontario and the political leaders for not attacking Kathleen Wynne’s lifestyle. I feel pride in my province for, as you say, taking the high road. Congratulations also to Kathleen Wynne for becoming the first female to be voted into the premiers office.

    Having said that, I do not believe it was Kathleen Wynne’s politics, positive attitude or charisma that put her back into power with a majority. I believe it was simply, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know!”

    Let’s face it, a platform of eliminating 100,000 front line public service jobs was simply suicidal. The word “Attrition!” was never heard because it came out as an after thought. Kathleen Wynne had won the election at the release of that statement. The voter was left with looking at facing four more years of possible corruption (1 billion + dollars? ouch!) or the possible collapse of the infrastructure that supports, cares for and protects the people of Ontario. Some choice!

    The people of Ontario spoke out: “We can’t wrap our heads around 1 billion + dollars but we know what it is like to not have police protection, fire protection, nurse care or sound education”. Possible corruption vs possible instability – since corruption is believed to already exist in all governments we will accept that – Liberals receive the vote and they did.

    !,000,000 jobs – a walk down the yellow brick road. Wasn’t even a consideration.

    If the Liberals can find similar PC competitors they can look forward to a long and competition free reign.

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