Now that Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario (or about to be made formally), I think now might be a good time to review what she said in response to the 5 questions I sent her and some of the other candidates, and see where she might go:
The first question was why the OLP should pick her to be Premier. Her answer was that she had experience bringing people together, building partnerships, and that leadership depended on building a team. We’re going to see part of that over the next couple of weeks when she decides who to put in Cabinet, as well as the fractures she faces with teachers. This response will be put to an immediate test.
The 2nd question – what would be her first priority on being elected Premier? She said “my first priority will be to appoint a cabinet, bring back the legislature as scheduled, craft a Throne Speech, and introduce a budget.. the legislature should return on February 19th as scheduled.” That looks pretty well accurate, I’d say.
3rd question – What policy(s) or changes in style would you bring to the Ontario Liberal Party? Her answer here was more general. She basically said she wanted to start conversations inside & outside of government, and have healthy debate inside the OLP, and the caucus as well. More general then I would have liked, so I’m hoping that becomes more fleshed out in the days and weeks ahead.
The 4th question was with regards to how she would make the OLP more appealing to rural Ontario: The reply was about how she had dealt with leaders in both rural and urban Ontario, and would try to listen to their concerns better. Again, not as specific I’d like, and I’m with BigCityLib in his unease of what she has said to do with rural Ontario in her initial pronouncements on wind turbines during the debates (I do live in a rural area too, by the way, and I live north of a town (the town where I was born, actually) that is hosting a wind turbine factory for badly needed jobs).
That said, she expanded on this answer when she did her blogging conference call with us bloggers; there she said she supports the Green Energy Act, but felt the Liberal government could have done better at engaging communities and gettng their input, and she wanted a better up-front process. That I can certainly support.
The last question dealt with how she would deal with a potentially hostile minority government. Her answer was: “I will work with our partners in government, outside of government, and with the members of the opposition. I believe there is common ground and that the people of Ontario want all parties to work together to find solutions”. Again, very general.. but we have at least seen this week her meetings and attempts to reach out to the other parties, notwithstanding the PC’s and Tim Hudak deciding to give her congratulations with an attack ad.
When I first got her answers, and was later comparing them to the other candidates, I felt others had done much better for specifics and ideas.. it was her subsequent and aforementioned answers on that bloggers conference call where she filled in some gaps, and got me to thinking that she might be a good choice if she were to win.
She said in that call she’d like to do some more blogger/social media Q and A, and I hope that’s another promise she keeps. I’ve already mentioned in my last blogpost commenting on her win I’d like to see that, so if she wants to do them, I’m game, as would be others.