There were a lot of people caught off guard when Dalton McGuinty announced earlier this week that he was resigning as Ontario’s premier, but Cheryl Collier wasn’t one of them.
An assistant professor in the university’s political science department, Dr. Collier – who is relied upon regularly by local and national media outlets for her expert opinion on Canadian politics – said she had been suggesting to her students for a while that it was time for McGuinty to step down.
“I think if he wanted to do the right thing for the party, the right move was to resign,” said Collier, who will appear on a weekly talk show on CJAM 99.1 FM today to discuss the resignation. “It was just a timing thing, and obviously he decided the surprise move was the right way to go.”
McGuinty, who represents an Ottawa-area riding, had enjoyed a majority at Queen’s Park for the last nine years, Collier said. His inability to regain a majority in Septembder byelections after being reduced to a minority government in the last general election may have proven too difficult for him to stomach.
“You go from a majority where you can basically set the agenda and to do what you want to be very forceful in politics to a minority, which is just no fun in Canadian politics,” she said. “Day in and day out he wasn’t able to do the things he needed to get the deficit under control, and deficit-fighting is never fun either, especially if it’s not your go-to thing to do, which I would argue it’s not for McGuinty.”
Collier also said she believes former Windsor West MPP Sandra Pupatello has a better shot at the premier’s office thatn Windsor-St. Clair MPP and finance minister Dwight Duncan, should she choose to throw her hat in the ring.
“She didn’t run in the last election, so she’s not getting tagged with some of the gridlock that’s associated with the Liberal government, and some of the nastier legislation and some of the missteps,” she said. “I think it would be easier for her to distance herself from the current government.”
Collier will appear today on Research Matters, a talk show that focuses on the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m.