So John Tory didn’t have the right stuff after all and will have to be replaced by someone who does. And apparently over the weekend the NDP replaced old what’s-his-name with . . . somebody. At times like this you have to wonder: could anything be less consequential than Ontario politics?
At the same time the big picture is less than rosy. Real change is coming – not the kind rung in by soapy politicians but by large-scale economic trends. The days of this province’s have-notness are probably just beginning. The global storm that has swept aside many things, including the levees of automotive overconsumption, may leave North America with new-car demand pounded down from the old level of 17m new cars per year to a new long-term level of maybe just 9m. The barriers that sheltered Ontario from the global marketplace are gone. Will there be any room at all for Ontario in the new manufacturing order? If the CAW is making concessions, we probably really are close to game over. And in that case what will the role of our provincial leadership be, except to squat outside Parliament Hill and rattle the begging bowl even louder? Canada will survive; there’s oil in Alberta and diamonds up north, and potash in Sask or Manitoba or wherever it is, and the deprived provinces will have to get their cut, by equalization or however else. Our premier has already made clear that his number one priority is getting our fair share. Hell or high water. The two new leaders will certainly follow suit, so they will all three be on the same page as far as that is concerned. Meanwhile, the little matter of how we are actually going to earn a living, and make up for the partial or total loss of the auto sector is something that doesn’t seem to be attracting a lot of interest. As the rusting out process plays out it may never. Not a happy prospect.