Friday, June 13, 2014

Ontario Election - the dangers of overselling

Advocates learn early that it makes sense to underplay their case.  Clients don't like that – they tend to want their lawyer to take an extreme position – but the reality is that taking an extreme position impresses the client but turns off the judge (and it's the judge who makes the decision).


I thought of this last night when it became clear that Ontario was returning a Liberal majority government.


The election was there for Tim Hudak;  candidly if he had gone around the province smiling and referring to his family and little else my sense is the election would have been very different.


But that's not what he did.  He focussed his campaign on the most radical parts of his Party's platform.  Now he justified that by saying he wanted to be straightforward with the voters – but in fact it had the effect of making his platform seem far more radical than it actually was.  Adding to that was allegations of corruption against the Premier which were simply unfounded (there was no corruption as seen in Quebec – at worst there was government waste, a fact freely acknowledged by the Premier).   In truth the PC Platform was not all that radical and certainly it could have been described as being merely a good government alternative to the Liberals.


But that's not what Tim Hudak did.

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