The future of the Ontario Liberals, a question of “revival or extinction”

With the worst election result in their history in the June 2 general election, they now face another four years without official party status, which means they won’t get funding for their staff at Queen’s Park.

The Ontario Liberal Party also faces a leadership race to find a replacement for Steven Del Duca, who announced his resignation on election night.

The most pressing question, however, remains that of the party’s future direction.

We’re either heading for an extinction or a rebirth, and I hope it’s the second hypothesis summarizes bluntly Jonathan Scott, a liberal strategist who supported the candidacy of Michael Coteau for the leadership of the party in 2020.

Scott says the party didn’t quite get the message Ontario voters sent it in 2018 that they were unhappy with the way the Liberals governed during the home stretch of their 15 years in office. power.

It is imperative that the party show some humility and embark on a top-to-bottom reform, he believes, in the hope that it will rise from the ashes after the election. This idea is also spreading among the ranks of the Liberal candidates defeated on June 2.

I don’t think we can minimize what happenedrecognizes Andrea Barrack, beaten by the NDP in the riding of University-Rosedale, an area of ​​​​Toronto that the Liberals previously considered their stronghold.

In the red

Loss of credibility with voters, of relevance too, introspective questions are multiplying while appetites are sharpening for a refoundation.

We really need to think about what we stand for, and for whom we do it. »

A quote from Andrea Barrack, defeated Liberal candidate in the riding of University-Rosedale

For Liberal candidate Jeff Lehman, beaten by just 609 votes by the Progressive Conservatives in the riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, it is essential that the party focus on its two fundamental values ​​of social progress and responsibility financial.

Our challenge now is to restore the faith of Ontarians in this centrism, in this fiscal responsibility, so that we can talk about the importance of the economy, just as we talk about the importance of social progressMr. Lehman told the show The Agenda of TVO with Steve Paikin, in an episode titled Are the Ontario Liberals in crisis?.

Doug Ford (foreground), Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca during the leaders’ debate, May 16

Photo: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

Both Mr. Lehman and Ms. Barrack believe that the Liberal Party has drifted too far to the left and left the center of the political spectrum to the party of Doug Ford, which has presented itself as an ideologically moderate and pro-worker choice.

The self-analysis of defeat brings out a common theme: many liberals admit that their party has been the victim of a kind of arrogance, of an overly strong belief that they are always right, rather than really listening to the people. A neologism sums it up: libsplaining (portmanteau between liberal” and “explaining“, explain in French).

While waiting for an uncertain clarification of its future, the Ontario Liberal Party must face a series of questions, each one more difficult than the other. And probe the reasons for its failure with voters, which will not be an easy task.

With only four seats in Toronto, three in Ottawa and one in Kingston, the Liberals find themselves without representation in large swaths of the province.

We need people who talk to their neighbors about the issues that matter to them, thinks Mrs. Barrack. Period of severe turbulence to be expected in the weeks and months to come.

Based on information from Mike Crawley, CBC

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