Elections campaigns in the last concluded election of June, 2014 were probably some of the most of competitive political campaigns witnessed in Canada history. Various political parties had taken different campaign strategies in order to ensure that the voters voted for their candidates.
This paper analyses the campaign strategies that were used by some major political parties in the Ontario province. During the last concluded election the Liberal Party which the most populous political part in the province won majority of the seat where it won nearly 39% of the entire seats. The liberal party managed to win 59 seats in the provincial’s legislature.
The Right-Leaning Progressive Party managed to finish second winning 27 seats in the provincial legislature (Mehta). The other party that won a significant number of seats is the Left-Leaning New Democratic Party where it managed to win 21 seats. This paper will therefore seek to establish some of the strategies that helped various political parties in province of Ontario secure different seats.
Effective campaign strategies were evident considering that voter turnout that was experienced during these elections. This is because during the last concluded elections of June 2014 over 51% of the voters had turn out to vote for the various political parties. This high voter turnout indicates that most of the major political parties had managed to convince their supporters on the importance of voting during the last concluded general elections. In addition this high number of voters who turned in the last election also indicates the important role played by the media.
This is because most of the major political party had mainly used the media such as televisions and the social media to convince their voters to turn out during the last elections. In relation to this some of the major political parties had created brochure that contained some basic information of the entire voting process.
This election brochure also contained information on why the voters needs to needs to exercise their right to vote. Most importantly the voting brochure also contained the various role performed by the provincial government. In addition the brochure that was distributed by various political parties also helped to educate the voters on how to choose who to vote.
For instance in the brochure the voters were explained on the need to ensure that they choose each candidate depending on how he or she articulates ideas on he or she will spend the tax money and at the same time some of the problems that affect community. However the voter turnout was still low since a significant number of the voters did not turn out during these elections.
According to Helms (298) the political party leaders play a critical role in ensuring that a given political party is able to achieve its strategic objectives. With regard to political campaign in Ontario province Ms Wynne played an important role in ensuring that her party won majority of the seats in the province. Ms Wynne had succeeded Dalton McGuinty.
After becoming the party leaders she automatically inherited most evils that were committed by her predecessors. She was therefore forced to come up with strategies to rebrand the Liberal Party. in order to ensure that the party was also able to secure majority of the seats in the provincial elections. Ms Wynne begun by first offering her apologies to the voters for the various scandals that her predecessor had committed.
For instance she convinced the voters that upon being elected her party will take time to look at the gas plant scandals that was estimated to cost the tax payers over $1.1 billion. The other political parties also used this gas scandal in order to convince the votes not to vote for the liberal party (Mutimer 55). However due to the fact that the liberal party is the most populous political party in Canada she was able to convince most of the voters that her party would improve their lives.
During the party campaign Ms Wynne took time to convince the votes that once her party secure majority seats she would commit effort to ensure that it works toward improving the lives of the ordinary citizen. She also dismissed some of the claims that were made by her competitors that once she was elected she would continue committing various scandals like her predecessors (Tatalovich 180).
In order to convince her voters to vote for her political party she insisted that one she was elected she will have the opportunity to deliver the change that most of the Ontarians were seeking. In relation she had argued that nobody was supposed to take the result of the elections to indicate that they were in any way depicting the endorsement of the status quo since she would ensure that she is held accountable.
This message that she would be accountable played a critical role in convincing the voter to vote for the liberal party. This is because most of the voters felt that the accountability strategy would help to ensure that the various problems they were currently facing would be addressed.
Moreover during the party campaign Ms Wynne had also tried to guarantee her supporters that her government would commit effort towards creating more jobs for the youths and build infrastructure that would benefit all the resident of the province (Mehta). The ideas of creating more jobs for the youths helped her to reach out many youths to vote for her political party since there is significant number of the youths who are jobless in the province.
Through creating various job opportunities she therefore aimed at reviving the economy of the province. In order to capture the attention of the elderly people in the region she had promised her supporters that her government would provide support to elderly in the society (MacDonne 639). In addition Ms Wynne also promised to revive the pension plan in order to ensure that the families were able to save for their future.
The right-leaning progressive party came second in the elections. This was mainly as a result of the efforts by its party leader Tim Hudak where he managed to get 31% of the total votes. In order to secure these high numbers of votes he had pledged to get Ontario to a budget surplus through ensuring that he implements strategies of eliminating of over 100000 public sectors jobs (Vieira). Although this plan was dismissed by Ms Wynne and her supporters since they argued that job cut would in turn take the province back to economic recessions. In addition, Mr. Tim Hudak had also pledged to reduce the various business taxes in order to ensure that the province was able to attract more investors.
However it is important to note that most of the voters preferred the budget proposal from that was presented by the liberal party. This is because the liberals had promised to set aside some billions in order to attract the investors in the province. The liberals had also promised to implement strategies to ensure the government was involved in the various developmental projects in the province.
The liberal party managed to recapture most of the seats. Ms Wynne was able to get most of the seats in the greater Toronto area where it managed to recapture over seven seats. The liberal also managed to pick up seats from Tories especially in the Kitchener areas. Moreover Ms Wynne herself was reelected in her home district. Reelection of the liberal party leader clearly showed that most of the people in the Ontario province still had some fear that the party would improve the lives of the citizens.
On the other hand the Progressive Conservative(PC) failed to picks out seats. The popular vote of PC was down to more than 10% compared to last general election. After PC failed to recapture most of the seats it had secured during the last general election its leader Hudak announced that he would be stepping down in the concession speech. Failure of Hudak to clinch most of the seats was linked to the fact that some people accused him of meeting some of the extreme republicans who had plotted ill plans for the province. Most of the political analyst argued that Hudak and his party failed to capture many seats in the province since the party had decided to attack Ms Wynne personality rather than attacking her ideology (Vieira).
However research that were done on the Ontario province had indicated that the most of the people were confident that Ms Wynne would deliver in her campaign promises and seemed to have more integrity than any other candidate in the elections. Besides wining the seats that were previously dominated by the PC the liberal party also managed to win seats that had been held by the NDP. In this case the liberal party managed to win seats that were previously held by the NDP since Ms Wynne argued that argued that the NDP party had strayed from its core mandates that it was given by people. However the NDP managed to gets seats in Oshawa and in the areas of Sudbury. After the defeat Horwath acknowledged the fact that her party was defeated although she promised to work toward ensuring that the liberal delivered on their campaign promises.
After the election result were declared, Ms Wynne in her acceptance speech took time to assure the voter that she was committed to accomplish her campaign promises. She clearly indicated that she would not be leaving anyone behind and that she would work to improve the lives of everyone living in Ontario. During her victory speech she also indicated she will ensure that her government would work with anyone irrespective of his or her political affiliation. The win of Ms Wynne liberal party clearly showed that the Ontarians do not have any prejudice since it managed to elect her as the first woman.
From the above it is evident that the various campaign strategies that were employed by the Ms Wynne and her liberal party helped to ensure that the party was able to secure many seats in the provincial elections.
The campaign strategy that the part would create more job opportunities for the youths played a critical role in ensuring the party was able to get support from the youths. In addition, the campaign strategy that her government would work towards enhancing transparency and accountability also helped her to secure a large number of seats in the province. Poor campaign strategies that were adopted by the PC contributed greatly in their loss to recapture most of seats that it had secured during the last election.
This poor campaign strategy was evident in the way they were attacking the personality of Ms Wynne rather than her policies. The NDP also failed to recapture most of its seats since it did not also adopt effective campaigning strategies. It is therefore possible to conclude that the campaigning strategy that is adopted by a given political party play a role in ensuring success of a given party in an election.
Mutimer, David. (Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 1999. Univ of Toronto Pr, 2005. Print
Tatalovich, Raymond. “Revisiting Post-Confederation Fiscal Policy: Liberal Dissent From Conservative Deficits.” Journal Of Canadian Studies 47.2 (2013): 180-214. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 June 2014
Helms, Ludger. Comparative Political Leadership. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Internet resource.
MacDonnell, Vanessa A. “The Constitution As Framework For Governance†.” University Of Toronto Law Journal 63.4 (2013): 624-654. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 June 2014.
Vieira Paul. Liberal Party Wins Majority in Ontario Election The wall street journal June 2014 web http://online.wsj.com/articles/liberal-party-wins-majority-in-ontario-election-1402628125 accessed on 16 June 2014Mehta Diana. Ontario election campaign bitter to the end: Hudak blasts Liberal ‘campaign of fear’ just hours before polls close National post. Web. http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/06/12/after-90-million-election-will-ontario-be-right-back-where-it-40-days-ago/ accessed on 16 June 2014