UWindsor’s Cheryl Collier has crafted the ultimate guide for the upcoming Ontario election.
The associate professor and acting head of the political science department led a team of 15 contributors for The Politics of Ontario, an in-depth analysis of all aspects of the Ontario political landscape.
“The book was about trying to understand what makes Ontario tick,” Dr. Collier said.
“You want to think about all the changes over time, how remarkably stable the province has been and how important the provincial government is in peoples’ daily lives.”
Collier and her co-editor Jonathan Malloy from Carleton University examined issues like the economy, the media and racial diversity in the province.
While change is the undercurrent that typically runs through every election, Collier said the theme of change is particularly powerful in this current election.
“But others have messed it up during the campaign before him so that is a distinct possibility.”
And while change is at the forefront of the conversation, Collier said Ontarians historically have been politically indifferent with a limited appetite for profound alterations.
She points to Bob Rae’s New Democratic Party in 1990 that attempted to introduce sweeping reform to provincial policy, just as the province was on the precipice of a deep recession.
“Even the NDP were surprised when they got elected,” Collier said.
“They were not ready to govern and flirted with things like public auto insurance which proved much more difficult to implement than they were prepared for.
“The spectre of that experiment of the first and only NDP government still haunts the province.”
Ontario has among the lowest voter turnout in Canada for provincial elections and has been ruled by the same three political parties for nearly 100 years.
Collier said despite the growing racial diversity of the province and the “firsts” of Kathleen Wynne as an openly gay woman premier, “the core of what makes Ontario and how it sees itself has not fundamentally changed.”
The Politics of Ontario was shortlisted for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s 2017 Speaker’s Book Award.
Collier said the book doesn’t pretend to predict the results of the upcoming election, but rather sets the stage for what issues the Premier will face.
Through a comprehensive analysis of the political history of Ontario and its current state of affairs, readers will be presented with the facts they need to untangle the complexities of the election campaign.