Ontario Premier and Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty (L) stands with provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath (C) and provincial Conservative leader Tim Hudak before the provincial Ontario leaders debate in Toronto September 27, 2011.
Credits: REUTERS/MARK BLINCH
What's McGuinty going to run on?
The ongoing Ornge air ambulance scandal and the fact his multi-billion-dollar green energy boondoggle was exposed by the auditor general in December, two months after the last vote?
What's Horwath going to campaign on?
That veteran teachers deserve more than the $92,000 a year they now make, that they should continue to get retirement gratuities of up to half-a-year's pay and that they should have their ruinously expensive (to taxpayers) pension plans protected forever?
None of those ideas is going to impress voters forced to endure another $100-million election a few months after the last one if McGuinty and Horwath can't make a deal on the Liberal budget, so you can bet they will.
The real problem is neither the Liberals nor the NDP has a clue about financial restraint.
Both believe in nanny state programs we can't afford in tough times like all-day kindergarten. Both believe in ruinously expensive and totally unreliable wind turbines and solar panels.
Both advocate token, as opposed to real, fiscal downsizing. Both believe in taxing and spending. Both have to be dragged kicking and screaming into cutting deficits and balancing budgets.
That's why it doesn't matter what deal they agree on over the next few days in order to pass McGuinty's budget next week.
It won't solve the root problems facing Ontario.
As for Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, he needs to do more than keep repeating the mantra that he won't support the Liberal budget because it doesn't address job creation or government spending.
In the last election, the Tory platform was virtually indistinguishable from the Liberal one in its support of all-day kindergarten and its absurd mimicking of the Liberals' promise it would be relatively easy to balance the budget by 2017-18.
What the Conservatives should be doing is developing and sharing a credible plan with voters about how they'll balance the budget when the real election comes.
Which isn't going to be next week, unless McGuinty and Horwath have a death wish.