The system once again failed to deliver democracy to Canadian voters. McGuinty is whistling past the graveyard, trying to put the best face on a crushing rebuke by voters:
Premier-elect Dalton McGuinty is ruling out negotiating with opposition leaders after his narrow victory, saying he has a strong mandate to govern Ontario.
Mr. McGuinty described the outcome of Thursday’s election, which left him just one seat shy of a third straight majority, as a “major minority.”
The result really shows that the first past the post system of voting is undemocratic, does not reflect the wishes of voters, distorts regional representation, and has resulted in a minority government which has questionable legitimacy to carry out its election campaign.
McGuinty's Liberal won 53 seats with only 37.5% of the votes cast; the Tories won 37 seats with 35.3%; and the NDP won 17 seats with 23% of the votes cast.
What Ontario voters really voted for was something entirely different. What a democratic system would have resulted in is 41 seats for the Liberals (12 fewer than they won); 39 seats for the Tories (2 more than they won); and 26 seats for the NDP (9 more than they won).
The voters of Ontario – those who voted, anyway – wanted the NDP to be the party which decided which of two parties with nearly equal seats would form the government, unless the two parties with nearly equal seats (Tories and Liberals) agreed between themselves who would win.
What is very clear is that McGuinty is living on borrowed time, that the Tories have almost as much legitimacy as the Liberals have in Ontario's legislature, and that the NDP once again got the short end of the stick.
The Cat gives McGuinty about 9 months before Ontarians go to the polls again.
Hopefully, the NDP will insist upon legislation to change FPTP to proportional representation as a price for its cooperation with either the Liberals of Tories, and the Tories would do well to consider voting for an NDP motion for such a new system.
McGuinty might have won a minority government, but Ontario voters were screwed.