During the just completed provincial election campaign, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's slogan was "Forward. Together."
Now that he's got what he calls his "major minority," the governing slogan seems to be "my way or the highway." And for even those in his own Liberal Party looking for stability, that is a worrying sign.
Case in point: earlier this week, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked but did not demand a meeting with McGuinty and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak. It was by all accounts a perfectly reasonable request in the post-election period when voters — as Horwath noted — want the three party leaders to work together.
But McGuinty and his inner circle said no, while promising that Horwath and Hudak would have lots of input — in the short and the long term — when the legislature reconvenes.
Why? Well, it's an indication that McGuinty — like Prime Minister Stephen Harper before this May's federal election — may have a major minority, but plans to runs things as if he had a full-fledged majority.
Now McGuinty may have decided he'll lead the game of Queen's Park chicken, knowing that neither the New Democrats nor the Tories are in a position to bring him down, no matter how much he ignores them and their agendas.
While there will be another election — perhaps even in two years — McGuinty also knows whoever forces an early vote will pay a price at the hands of an electorate just recovering from election fatigue.
Agreeing to meet Horwath and or Hudak could have been used, at the very least, as a good photo op for McGuinty — a premier re-elected and ready to talk with the opposition to make the legislature and the province work better and quickly after the election.
The fact that he said no to a meeting might be an indication the premier has forgotten that while he got his major minority, he also lost 20 MPPs — including some senior members of his cabinet. After all, most Ontarians did not vote to go "Forward. Together" with him.