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Ontario election: Globe editorial endorsements from 1981 to present Add to ...

The Globe and Mail's editorial board made its endorsement ahead of the election in Ontario on June 12.

Read the editorial here: Part 4: For a Conservative minority

This endorsement comes after a series of editorials looking at the province's government and finances, as well as the platforms of the two leading parties:

Scroll through to see which parties won the support of The Globe and Mail's editorial board during Ontario elections from 1981 to now.

Note to readers: A previous version of this story said there would be a Facebook chat at 1 p.m. We've had to postpone due to unexpected scheduling conflicts.

Ontario Liberal Leader Dr. Stuart Smith and his wife Paddy campaign on February 8, 1981. (Thomas Szlukovenyi/The Globe and Mail)

1981: The Globe endorses Dr. Stuart Smith's Liberals

From the editorial:

“If you are a citizen of Ontario and nearing 60 years of age, you will have known only one kind of government for all of your voting life. The Progressive Conservative Party, through 38 years and five premiers, has dominated our politics, ordered our lives, and convinced many of us that there is no alternative to Tory rule.”

“The Liberal Party, led in this campaign by Dr. Stuart Smith, offers competent candidates, challenging policies, and an honest ambition to bring a new sense of purpose to Canada's richest province.

A sense of purpose is what Ontario needs most in this decisive year for all of Canada. The genius of the golden years of Conservatism in Ontario was that the party was able, time and again, to refresh and restore itself without ever losing sight of a philosophical base that was receptive to dissent, open to innovation, and jealous of individual liberty. All of us have debts to George Drew, Tom Kennedy, Leslie Frost, John Robarts and William Davis; but we cannot live off the past.”

Liberal MPP, Robert Nixon (left) and Liberal leader, David Peterson sit in the Ontario legislature, June 4, 1985. (Thomas Szlukovenyi/The Globe and Mail)

1985: The Globe endorses David Peterson's Liberals

From the editorial:

“David Peterson and the Liberals do deserve to win. Throughout this election, Mr. Peterson has clearly been his own man, the source of his own policies, the energy in his party's campaign. There is no doubt that a Peterson government would bring a new idealism and sense of mission to Queen's Park. The Liberals would tap fresh talent in this province, liberating energies long frustrated by the Tory party-government system. The Liberal campaign has been inventive and energetic, where the Tory campaign has been self-satisfied and confined. What kind of government does Ontario need and deserve over the next four years? Mr. Peterson's kind.

It is one function of an election to confirm a government in power, another to renew a government by changing its political trustees. The 1985 Ontario election is perfectly timed to achieve the second goal - the orderly and logical replacement of long-serving Conservatives by a new generation of leaders - and supporters. It's time for a change in Ontario, time for the Liberal alternative.”

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, right, shakes hands with Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa as Ontario Premier David Peterson looks on, April 30, 1987. Mulroney and the 10 provincial premiers reached an agreement in principal Thursday on a deal resolving Quebec's constitutional grievances and giving major new powers to all provinces.

1987: The Globe endorses David Peterson's Liberals

From the editorial:

“Two years ago, we supported the Liberals in Ontario after 42 years of rule by a Progressive Conservative party that had just chosen Frank Miller as leader. In some ways, it is too early to assess the Liberal government that came to power in June, 1985 - which is one argument for its re- election.

Premier David Peterson has not faced many real tests during his stylish premiership, and he has shied away from major issues that will soon demand commitment. He has overseen a booming economy where annual provincial revenues jumped from $25-billion to $34-billion in two years. As good as that makes him look, Mr. Peterson can take little credit for this economic nirvana; indeed, he owes a debt to the previous Ontario regime and present government in Ottawa (not to mention Ronald Reagan).”

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother meets members of the public after her official welcome to the province of Ontario at Queen's Park in Toronto. The Queen Mother was accompanied by Premier David Peterson (left) and Lieutenant-Governor Lincoln Alexander (middle) on her walkabout in the blazing sunshine. (Erik Christensen/The Globe and Mail)

1990: The Globe endorses David Peterson's Liberals

From the editorial:

“Mr. Peterson's political cynicism provides the backdrop for this election, but the biggest single issue has been taxation. New Democratic Party Leader Bob Rae says the Liberals have raised taxes 28 times; Conservative Leader Michael Harris says it's 33 times. Debate on the number does not obscure agreement on the magnitude.”

“We supported the election of Mr. Peterson in 1985 and 1987. This year, we give him a third nod in the absence of defensible alternatives. At this moment in the history of Confederation, we would prefer a majority government in Ontario. We will not be whistling on our way to the polls.”

Newly elected Ontario Premier Mike Harris and his wife Janet wave to supporters on Mr. Harris’s way to make his victory speech, June 8, 1995. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

1995: The Globe endorses Mike Harris's Conservatives

From the editorial:

“Mr. Harris has run a strong campaign on a vigorous, sensible platform. He presents the most optimistic and ambitious vision to the voters. The Conservatives would restore much of the financial and social balance once associated with Ontario on the Canadian scene.”

“But the Conservative platform is the only one among the three that grasps the nettle on the big issues facing Ontario - its financial health, its tax levels, its employment markets and the status of individual rights in a multicultural society. After 10 years, the Liberals and New Democrats have left Ontario weighed down by spending, taxes and regulations that threaten both the quality of public services and the rate of job creation in the private sector. And they complacently insist that this is the best Ontario can do.”

File photo from May, 1999: Premier Mike Harris visits the Globe and Mail to speak with the editorial board. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

1999: The Globe endorses Mike Harris's Conservatives

From the editorial:

“Conflict and error have been part of the government's reform of education, but the goals and core achievements are sound. Ontario will now explicitly define the purpose of education through a new curriculum, regularly measure the progress of all students in learning, and hold teachers accountable for their students' progress. Funding has been equalized across religious and regional lines through provincial grants. Accountability for education taxes has been achieved by moving that responsibility to Queen's Park, and much of the funding has shifted off the property tax.

Ontario is late among the provinces in making these reforms, and many deeply entrenched interest groups have opposed them. But Ontario's students will benefit enormously over time, the problems with implementation acknowledged.”

Dalton McGuinty, during an interview in the premier's office at Queen's Park, Dec. 18, 2003.(John Morstad/The Globe and Mail)

2003: The Globe endorses Dalton McGuinty's Liberals

From the editorial:

“Ah, but what about the new cowboy striding through the doors? If Mr. Eves is all over the map, Mr. McGuinty is consistent. He's in favour of everything noble and good: health care, education, balanced budgets, low taxes; more hospital beds, smaller classes, better air. Every day and every way, he wants to make Ontario better and better.”

“What will happen when he has to choose among his umpteen promises? What, beyond making Ontario a better place, are his real priorities? Mr. McGuinty likes to keep focused on his plan. But the world often has plans of its own for political leaders. Mr. McGuinty will need to make good use of his demonstrated capacity to grow on the job.

These troubling questions make it hard to endorse Mr. McGuinty whole-heartedly for premier. But given the ghastly alternative – another Ernie Eves government – the choice is clear all same.”

Ontario Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty and PC leader John Tory speak during the provincial election debate Thursday Sept. 20, 2007. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

2007: The Globe endorses Dalton McGuinty's Liberals and John Tory's Conservatives

From the editorial:

“John Tory should no more be defined by his faith-based folly in the current Ontario election campaign than Dalton McGuinty by his broken pledge not to raise taxes in the last. Both men are better than their worst moments. Mr. McGuinty is not a serial liar and Mr. Tory is not grossly incompetent. They have erred, and both compounded their error by failing to come clean about it. But politics is an unforgiving calling, and its practitioners deserve a greater degree of empathy.

Ontarians, in fact, are lucky; some jurisdictions lack a single capable candidate for the top elected office. Canada's largest province counts two. And despite the amplification of differences that election campaigns bring out, these two adversaries are actually closer to one another in personal values and philosophical inclinations than either is to the three premiers who preceded them, Mike Harris included. They are earnest and middle-of-the-road, much like the province they seek to lead. Decent and well-intentioned, they have both been drawn into the public arena for the right reasons.”

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks during the swearing in ceremony for his cabinet at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Thursday October 20, 2011. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

2011: The Globe endorses Dalton McGuinty's Liberals

From the editorial:

“The Liberal record is imperfect, from the eHealth fiasco and the bloated size of the cabinet to the proliferation of provincial agencies and the cancellation of power plants. Liberals also like to thump their chests for presiding over eight years of labour peace. It isn’t difficult to buy labour peace with too-generous raises, however.”

“Mr. McGuinty has done well enough in the past, but now needs to apply the same leadership he has shown in education, health and energy policy to getting Ontario’s fiscal house in order.”

Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Hudak speaks with the Globe and Mail editorial board in Toronto, Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Galit Rodan for the Globe and Mail)

2014: The Globe endorses Tim Hudak's Conservatives

From the editorial:

"And then there are Tim Hudak’s Tories. Are they the ideal alternative? No, far from it. Are they a viable alternative? Yes, barely.

They deserve praise for taking a hard line with public servants, calling for an across-the-board wage freeze. Union attacks on Mr. Hudak, and support for Ms. Wynne, leave a reasonable apprehension that the Liberals won’t be firm in future contract talks. And absent a willingness to stand up to its own supporters, a Liberal government will miss its budget targets. Mr. Hudak also has the right idea on business subsidies: Get rid of them. His impulse runs counter to the Liberal tendency, which has been to move ever more deeply into the game of subsidizing businesses in an attempt to protect or create jobs. Several Liberal financial miscues, notably Green Energy, grew out of a mistaken belief that government has to get into industrial strategy. The game has long been powered by lobbying and fraught with muck, and the Tories are right to want to find a way out of it."

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