While most politicos have been watching the fall-out from the Quebec Election and the Liberal Party of Canada Leadership news, another political story will unfold tonight in Ontario.
Last October, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty was denied a majority. Voters gave him 54 seats, one short of that needed for a majority. The Rodney Dangerfield of Canadian politics has often been counted out but continues to defy pollsters and political watchers.
Not content with his super minority, McGuinty orchestrated an opportunity to pick-up that precious one seat needed to transform his minority into a majority. He convinced Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer to abandon her Kitchener-Waterloo constituency for the chair of the Workplace Safety Insurance Board. The job pays $188,000 plus expenses. Is it any wonder that Witmer jumped at the offer after 22 years as a PC MPP!
The blue-blue seat has been a Conservative stronghold. The Premier has visted the riding a couple of times a week over the by-election. The demographics are similar to the Toronto ridings that have stuck with him over the past decade. His message of reforming public sector jobs, salaries and benefits is resonating with voters, despite a popular New Democrat candidate.
If the voters go with the Liberals, McGuinty will have his majority! It will be a sweet victory.
The other by-election is in liberal friendly Vaughan, where Liberal veteran MPP Liberal Greg Sorbara packed it in to take up a new job - to prepare the Liberals for the next provincial election, which will be much further in the future if tonight's gamble comes up sixes for McGuinty.