In a posh fundraiser in down town Toronto - Premier Kathleen Wynne almost conceded a must be called future by-election defeat for the Ontario Liberals. "I don't mean the idea that we as Liberals could lose a by-election or that we will be required to fight another general election," and that "it's more serious than that. We can handle that, we win elections."
The fact is that the Premier is very unlikely to win a general election anytime soon - whether it will be in a few years or weeks. The next Premiership will be occupied by either the NDP or the Progressive Conservatives. However - between the two - Tim Hudak has everything riding on his shoulder come the next election that is expected to come in mere months.
For the party of low expectation - the Ontario NDP - can win or lose any election yet the leadership of the party will be held by its current leader as long as she wants. The Ontario NDP is a party that is neglected to protest party status in Ontario or better yet as one time Liberal cabinet Minister Herb Gray used to say - "a waste of taxpayers money". The Liberal party remains to be a party of tokenism rather than true diversity.
The Progressive Conservative is a potential government in waiting as it has been the party in power more times than either of the two traditional parties in Ontario. As Hudak attempts a second chance at government - he gets one last chance to make a lasting impression.
He has a solid chance to be the next Premier of Ontario. That is if he plays his cards right and follows the footsteps of his Conservative cousins in Ottawa.
In Ontario - the Liberals have been in power for a decade. With a new leader on top, the party also holds no new policies and Ontarians might be looking for new political destinations. Hudak can give them that destination. The biggest untapped market in Ontario is the so called immigrants vote that the Liberals have for so long taken for granted.
For Hudak - there are many ways to make an impression on the immigrant population and captivate their imagination and bring them to the great party of William Davis and Leslie Frost. The party should define government not as the enemy but as a partner to do good. Their definition of smaller government should also mean taking care of the poor, the environment and the creation of institution as red Tories have always done.
For instance - Ontario's greatest Premier - Leslie Frost - a proud Progressive Conservative used his government to help build institutions. His government invested in education, hospitals way of publicly funded Medicare and roads such as the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway which was later named Highway 401. In return, he was rewarded with many electoral successes.
Tim Hudak can also make a great impression in new Canadians giving his party new and rewarding constituents. One way would be to endorse the idea of allowing permanent residents to vote in municipal elections. This would forever remove his party from the notion that it's anti-immigrants. This gesture would force the Liberals and the NDP to follow suit and endorse the idea as well.
Then again, Hudak will be the beneficiary of all the benefits and it will be at the expense of his adversaries.
Most might invoke what may have happened to John Tory two elections ago when he endorsed the idea of religious funding in public education. However, this is different. This is a future mainstream issue that any party will be too crazy not to endorse. No party would want to be seen as anti-immigrant as new Canadians are increasingly becoming more influential in politics.
The influence of new Canadians is what gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper his majority government.
The reason the federal Conservatives won the immigrant vote is not because its electoral success architect - Jason Kenny - is either charming nor good looking - but he was able to convince the electorate his party is not racist nor separatist but moderate and progressive
One way to convince people to your perspective is to charm them and the other is with ideas.
Hudak has no time to charm anyone yet has enough time to propose ideas. He should do that soon before its too late for him.
That is - if he still wants to become Premier.