When political parties, who have spent years wandering aimlessly in the wilderness of opposition, eventually come to power, they are often counselled by their new advisers to pause and take a moment to catch their breath.
This advice is offered not just with the best of intentions, but for good reason as well: campaigns are stressful affairs that drain resources and exhaust staff. And then the transition of power — a cumbersome and inelegant process — starts. Choosing a cabinet. Hiring staff. Reconciling the promises of a platform with the realities of government — all while trying to find the bathroom — takes time, effort and attention to detail.
The reality is that getting a government fully up and running takes months. That’s why it isn’t difficult to understand when newly elected parties opt for the easier and safer route of taking their time to establish their footing before surging onwards.
As they have already done with so many conventional approaches, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have opted not to follow that familiar path.
Shortly after their election, the government announced it would bring the legislature back this summer to tackle its immediate priorities. The move was greeted with mixed reviews, to say the least.
Proponents argued that a short session would act as a proof point of directional and philosophical change from the previous government.
Critics, on the other hand, argued the platform on which the PCs were elected was light on detail and provided little guidance in the form of a legislative road map. They cautioned that the opposition knew their way around the house better than a neophyte government would, that traps would abound — that it would be a government that was ungrounded and would be error-filled.
A general consensus seemed to emerge: after the whirlwind leadership change and a frantic election, a Ford government would be far too rickety to provide many meaningful changes during a summer session.
But there turned out to be a problem with that analysis: its foundation.
Ford has carried his campaign for premier, which was driven, focused and on-message, into his government — a government with action as its hallmark.