680News political affairs specialist John Stall on politics.See more blogs
A sophisticated vote, summer lethargy, or “still to come”?
Yes, the Liberals are breathing a sigh of relief as they celebrate a decisive victory in the byelection, to fill the seat vacated by Michael Bryant. But, just as placing too much weight on byelections that go against the government can be a misleading trend, my sense is this victory should not be interpreted by the Liberals as a benign response to the tax harmonization plan, or the spending scandals at eHealth Ontario and at OLG.
The reality is that the affect of the HST on people’s lives has not yet been felt, nor will it begin to be until this time next year. So, despite the attempt of the opposition in this election to provoke a backlash, in most people’s minds, the HST is still an intellectual financial notion that is debatable.
My gut tells me though that when people start paying more for more things, the attitude will change. Granted, the government will have time to manage the public mood between the time it is introduced next July and the next election, but I suspect there will be way more to manage than there is now.
As for the scandals, it is puzzling why the government wasn’t punished by a closer vote. Perhaps people are just too emotionally caught up in their own financial recovery to muster and to direct their anger to the polling booth, or perhaps, (as we say here at 680News) it’s “still to come.”