The Ontario election is a preview of coming attractions. Tim Harper writes:
It may appear Stephen Harper is being dragged into the Ontario election campaign by responding to goading by Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne.
But Harper was on full combat footing when it came to Wynne’s made-in-Ontario pension plan even before NDP Leader Andrea Horwath forced this campaign on provincial voters.
It is an issue on which Harper had to engage. And one on which he is all too eager to engage.
The cornerstone of Harper's philosophy is you're on your own. He believes that it should be Canadians individual responsibility to save for retirement. Thus, the only commitments you make are to yourself. Wynne's pension plan rests on the basic assumption that we are all in this together. Thus, we not only make commitments to ourselves, we make them to each other. Unions no longer have the membership or the clout to demand pensions. That responsibility has now become a government responsibility.
The fight between Wynne and Harper is all about what government should and should not do. That debate will be carried forward to the next election. Harper wants to stage a preemptive strike in Ontario. If he has that province in his pocket, he figures that the next election will go his way.
We shall see.