In 1995 a Conservative Government headed by Mike Harris was elected in Ontario on the basis of a “Common Sense Revolution” and a promise to address the annual deficits and growing public debt that had built up under the previous NDP Government. In 2018 a Conservative Government headed by Doug Ford was elected in Ontario on a platform of “a government for all the people,” and a promise to restore fiscal responsibility after 15 years of “reckless spending” under the preceding Liberal Governments. In both instances, what we have seen is draconian measures, followed by a partial retreat when the harmful impact becomes clear, and tax cuts that make it more difficult to restore fiscal solvency even with reduced expenditures.
C. Richard Tindal, Ph.D is a retired Professor of Government. He taught for 30 years at St. Lawrence College, Kingston and was an occasional Visiting Professor at Queen's University. He has also written and consulted extensively about government.