I had a hard time voting for the Liberal party this election. And I live in one of Scarborough's most ethnic communities in the GTA, full of immigrants, Muslims and (former) Liberal supporters. And yet, our riding went Conservative. Here's my take on why the Liberal party has been decimated in their stronghold of Toronto.
1. A "Just Visiting" Leader
A lot of us don't like Michael Ignatieff. And that's us Liberals; forget those who just know him from "Just Visiting" ads. The guy stays out of the country for 30 years, and then comes back and immediately wants to be Prime Minister? What does he even KNOW of the average Canadian? Hell, he even supported the Iraq war!
2. A Shift to the Right
The Liberal party was supposed to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. What happened?
The Liberal party was supposed to oppose corporate tax rate reductions. What happened?
The Liberal party was supposed to be against deficit spending. What happened?
The Liberal party used to have a balanced position in world conflicts. What happened?
When the voters cannot see a difference between Liberals and Conservatives, those on the right will vote for the real right party i.e. Conservatives. And those on the left will support the NDP, which is what happened. I have said long ago that Liberals need to be more left than right.
3. The Economy is Pretty Bad
Really. People are worried about their jobs, or how they will pay the next bill. And along comes the Liberals promising $4000 in tuition to students, cap and trade, telling people to "Rise Up" (for what?) and so on. What about their MAIN CONCERN?
As a Blue Grit, I would have LOVED to see my taxes go down. The Liberals should have borrowed Paul Martin's playbook and promised a reduction in income taxes. Liberals need to concentrate on the basics.
4. McGuinty Or, as I call him, Mc Guilty
You can blame Harper for the G20 all you want, we who live in Toronto know that the real villains were Mc Guinty and his secret law, and the powers he gave to a police force that seems to have abused it. And which party is Mc Guinty again? Oh, yes - the Liberals. And that's not even getting into the HST.
5. Taking Immigrants and the GTA for granted
What was the last thing the Liberals did for us immigrants? It let us in. And that was it.
For years, I have been crying out about jobs and credential recognition for immigrants, while the Liberals seem happy to just let in immigrants to work as pizza delivery men or window washers or taxi drivers. Stephane Dion told me during an interview on how he planned to tackle this, but nothing was proposed by the Liberals in the last 4 years. Instead, it was Harper who was seen to be moving on this agenda.
Only time will tell how the Tories will reward Toronto and Rob Ford for their support, but at the moment, Harper is right when he mentions about the money he had spent in Toronto (Union Station, Spadina subway extension, and yes, G20).