How do you celebrate the upcoming defeat of the most unpopular Premier ever? With a Top 10 list, of course!
Kathleen Wynne’s nasty, bitter, desperate and vindictive performance during this campaign — especially her recent “concession speech”, which came off as a giant middle finger to her own party and her supporters — has absolutely cemented her legacy as the Premier who turned victim-hood into an art form. Never before has a person with so much power pretended, so often, that she had so little. (I’d like to add “never again”, but it probably won’t be long before some public figure finds a way to outdo her.)
Nonetheless, I’m sure some of you out there are a little shocked by her behavior. “Was Kathleen Wynne always like this?” you might be wondering. The answer is yes. Yes, she was, as this top 10 list — which could have easily been a top 50 — will show. Paring this list down was difficult, but we think you will agree with our choices, and if you don’t, you’re sure going to bombard us with the ones we left out in the comments, aren’t you?
10- Stabbing Sandra
Things could have been a lot different if the OLP had gone with Sandra Pupatello, but we’ll never know for sure because Wynne rallied the downtown Toronto troops against her, implying that because Sandra got well out of the way of what should had been a Liberal wipeout in 2011, she wasn’t qualified to be leader because Sandra would have to… gasp… run in a byelection! An early display of snobbish arrogance that should’ve set off alarms bells early on. And as we’ll see, you can’t trust Wynne to run a byelection if her life depended on it.
9- Disorder In The Court
Suing your political opponents because they say something you don’t like about you is totally normal, right? Sure it is. That’s why, when Tim Hudak made the rather oafish statement that Wynne “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents” related to the Gas Plant Scandal, the Premier slapped him and Lisa MacLeod with a statement of claim for the modest sum of TWO MILLION FREAKING DOLLARS IN DAMAGES. This took place right before the Liberals absolutely cleaned the hapless Hudak’s clock in the 2014 election, suggesting that the suit was a) politically motivated and b) totally pointless.
Under Wynne, the Liberals lost byelections like it was their job. (Pity they didn’t apply the same zeal to lose in regular elections!) London West. Windsor-Tecumseh. Niagara Falls. Scarborough Southwest. Sault-Ste-Marie.
So why would you blow an enormous amount of political capital and trigger a slow-moving nightmare scandal that made a lot of lawyers rich just to hold one riding? The Sudbury Byelection Scandal was a pretty clear indication that Wynne would gamble on the barest of chances if it would lead to an advantage, and it wouldn’t be the last.
7- Duck Dodger
I’ll type that again: $200,000. Spent. On a giant. Rubber. Duck.
And then, after the assault on the public treasury, came the dreaded puns. Ontario sure is DUCKED, huh? The Opposition is sure going QUACKERS, aren’t they? The Premier is really FLIPPING THE BIRD to taxpayers, isn’t she? LOL
When the rubber met the road, or rather, when the rubber duck met the road (now I’m doing it too!) the Liberals defaulted to two of their favourite talking points: “It’s a rounding error!” and “It pays for itself! In FUN!”
6- Trumped-Up Charges
Remember when the Wynne Liberals tried to make you believe that Patrick Brown was Donald Trump? Is that more or less hilarious now than it was back then? I honestly can’t tell.
Honestly, the biggest problem with this strategy is that Brown was, and is, somehow more ridiculous than Trump could ever be. Not even Trump is dumb enough to fall for the exact same rope-a-dope lawsuit gimmick that snared Tim Hudak that I wrote about all the way back in #9 on this list. Kathleen Wynne must have known that comparing this twerp to Trump was completely unnecessary because nobody is scared of Patrick Brown, and yet, there we were.
5- Double-Double, Toil And Trouble
Kathleen Wynne styles herself an “activist Premier.” All well and good, but when you use your personal Twitter account to attack the founder of Tim Horton’s to justify your minimum wage increase, and when you use a Trump-style tweet to do it, you create a precedent where any PRIVATE CITIZEN could end up on the wrong end of a Twitter mob if they are unlucky enough to anger the Premier.
If anyone’s still confused about why this was a bad idea, consider this: You REALLY don’t want to create that precedent when Doug Ford could be your next Premier, but naturally Kathleen Wynne went ahead and did it anyway!
4- Red And Black Attack
Graeme would kill me if I didn’t include at least one point here about Wynne’s fiddly math. Check out his piece on how Wynne spent $2 million to hide $4 billion, for one.
Entire flotillas of Canadian newspaper columnists and commentators made bank wagging their jowls about Wynne’s financial sins, refusing to understand that the Liberals were actively working to destroy the very concept of government financial accountability with their joke budgets.
One year, we would have deficit spending, and the next we would have a balanced budget which really wasn’t all that balanced with promises of two more years of not really balanced budgets, and then it would be back to deficits again.
Can you see why I think writing about the need for fiscal probity is wasted on these people?
3- Train Wreck
I don’t know if Kathleen Wynne watches The Simpsons, and I might actually respect her more if she didn’t, but I know that at least one person in her entourage has, and the fact that they let her go out there and promise high-speed rail to Windsor actually makes me think that they were playing a cruel prank on her because IT’S LITERALLY THE MONORAIL AND THE ESCALATOR TO NOWHERE IN ONE CAMPAIGN PROMISE.
2- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t No Valley Low Enough
So you’ve been scaring Ontarians for months about the threat of Trump Style Politics coming north. You find out that, instead of Patrick Brown, your opponent is now the brother of the guy who formed the template for Trump Style Politics, right here in Canada, before Trump, while you were Premier, (so did it already “come north”?) and it’s finally time to do what Hillary and your masters in the Democratic Party couldn’t, and show the world that Canada is just better, and we have the magical formula to defeat populism, and you lead with…
The premier quoted former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s admonition that “when they go low, we should go high.” Unfortunately, there’s not always a happy ending in the blood sport of politics.
“I loved that idea when she said it — until we ended up with Donald Trump in the White House. So, I’m sorry, but not again. Not here, not in Ontario,” Wynne mused.
…..What the hell? Seriously, what the hell?
OK, so he’s Trump, but she’s not Clinton, because… she thinks Clinton didn’t call Trump out for his “bullying behavior”? but Clinton did, actually? And she says not in Ontario when it already did happen in Ontario with Rob Ford? And Ontario is not the United States of America so how could Doug Ford be Trump then and oh noooo my brain is devouring itself
1- Sorry, Not Sorry
Very rarely can you pinpoint the exact moment when a Canadian politician’s political career goes “KA-BLASTO!” (which, as we all know, is the sound a political career makes when it ends). No matter how unpopular you are when you actually leave office, Steve Paikin will still take your calls and emails. Even Mel Lastman got a chance to make his endorsement of Doug Ford, and that guy humiliated the entire country by not knowing who the WHO was. And at the very worst, you can still crap around your local EDA, terrorizing the “youngies” into obeying your every whim. Point being — it’s very hard to totally ruin yourself once you’ve been elected somewhere in this country, because there’s always enough people who you didn’t piss off with whatever dumb thing you said or did.
Unless, of course, you’re Kathleen Wynne, and you release a “Sorry, not sorry” ad, in which you blame the people of Ontario for not liking you enough — and since her party may not even win 8 seats, there isn’t much room left for people not to be pissed off. Who’s going to want her endorsement now? Who’s going to want the “Sorry, Not Sorry” lady on their corporate board?
The Sorry, Not Sorry ad tops this list because it is Kathleen Wynne stripped of all the tricks and ploys she employed to make people believe she was something other than what she was: thin-skinned, attention-seeking, desperation-perfume-wearing, constantly on the defensive, and in need of some real self-care. Seriously, Kathleen? Take some time for you after your party gets reduced to atoms. You’ll feel a lot better.